Tuesday's Tip: Storing Headphones for iPads

     If you're like me, you want students to have easy access to all their materials (okay...that's not really a "me" thing, is it? That's more of a "good teaching" thing). That is why when we got iPads for the first time, I found myself a little lost on how best to store the iPads, not to mention the headphones. I needed a safe location, but also one that would be easy for students to access independently. I had to play around a little before I found the answer to this storage problem.
     Storing the iPads turned out to be not so complicated after all. My school purchased a lockbox that stores and charges the iPads. I keep the iPads in this box during the day so students can easily get to them. Before I go home, I just close the box and lock it. It couldn't be easier. This eliminates my having to take them out of their stored place and into an easily accessible place each day. The two are one and the same.

     With the problem on how best to store the iPads now solved, I was then faced with the dilemma of where to keep the headphones. This did not prove to be as easy as the iPad storage situation. I really had to try a couple of different systems before I found "the one". First, I tried sprawling the headphones on a desk with the cords hanging down (yeah, in hindsight this just sounds awful). This didn't work. Students threw them back on top of the desk, entangling the cords, even knocking the headphones over as they walked by throughout the day.
      Then I tried putting each headphone into a large ziplock bag. It seemed like a brilliant idea until I actually tried it. Students were supposed to nicely put the headphones into the ziplock bags and leave the  bags on the desk. What could go wrong with that? Apparently a lot. Now the cords were getting tangled with themselves (even though I had them rubberbanded (is that a word?) together to make the cord short....but the kids could not resist undoing those rubberbands). Students were now spending most of their iPad time trying to detangle the cords. MAJOR FAIL!
     Finally, someone gave me the bright idea to use hooks to hang the headphones. Upon hearing this, I rushed to the store to purchase my ever-needed hooks. This turned out to be the answer to my headphone dilemma. Now, the headphones hang on hooks at the students' level, and right next the iPads. I still have the cords shortened with rubberbands, but the students are better at not undoing the cords (maybe the novelty wore off).
    If you're looking for an effective way to store headphones in your classroom, I highly suggest using hooks. They keep the headphones organized and accessible, making iPad time more enjoyable for all.