[Checklist] Are You Ready To Use iPads in School?

[Checklist] Are You Ready To Use iPads in School?

iPads are among the most sought after and popular technological devices today. The iPad rage spreads incessantly among kids and adults and they’re now using it for a variety of purposes. From being considered as mere entertainment devices, iPads have

now set their mark in the field of education. Numerous uses of iPads have been uncovered for educational purposes. iPads offer ease and speed of use and accessibility through their touch interface and app system that make it easy to access learning tools; they make it extremely easy to access AV (Audio-Visual) tools like Camera, Video, Voice Recorder which can be used creatively across countless number of apps; they are great source of reading and allow users to annotate, highlight and look up word meanings; the inbuilt AV tools offer endless possibilities to use in any subject of the school curriculum and many other advantages over other devices.

Schools are increasingly considering the use of iPads, so they can make learning fun and engaging for students and provide their teachers with new and trendy ways to teach. Utilizing iPads for educational purposes requires careful planning and preparation which is crucial to their success as educational tools. Well planned deployments of such devices can be hugely successful and transformative for schools. For this you need to correctly determine whether or not you are ready for the use of iPads in your school.

Here’s the checklist:

Make certain that you have the technical infrastructure to manage and deploy the devices. You need to consider whether you have adequate incoming Internet bandwidth to connect all the devices and use them at the same time.

Make sure that your wireless network is robust enough to manage and distribute a strong, reliable wireless signal all around campus.

Make sure your classrooms have safe and secure locations to store iPads.

You have developed a clearly communicated explanation for the teachers, students, parents and administrators of your school, of how iPad use complements your educational mission.

Make sure that your teachers and students are ready for modern pedagogical practices and are comfortable with the integration of multimedia, communication, collaboration, project-based learning and more.

You have decided on which apps you’d like to purchase and how you’ll buy and deploy them.

You know how to manage user profiles, the restrictions that you’ll enforce and whether you’ll prefer one common student profile or vary them by class or group.

You have selected your processes for system and app updates and data synchronization and decided how often they will be carried out and by whom.

You have considered if you would allow your senior students to manage their own iPads and are also aware of the risks and benefits of it.

You have decided where and how students will store and submit work and if you could use cloud services such as Evernote or Dropbox for the purpose.

You are prepared to deal with possible damage and theft, for which you can consider buying insurance and communicate the responsibility of use to the parents.

You have considered how e-mail accounts can be used and if the iPads can have generic e-mail accounts to enable outgoing e-mail of content from students to teachers.

Make sure you understand the difference between iPads and laptops. With iPads there is no login and the ability to secure and control them is minimal.

Make sure that iPads are deployed on 1:1 basis, since they are designed to be personal devices and sharing them causes high security and privacy issues.

Make sure you have scheduled regular training sessions and created teacher support groups where they can share their practices and experiences.

The use of iPads will be most effective when they will be used as tools for student empowerment. Students don’t require constant guidance by experts to be adept with the use of such devices, and sufficient freedom will allow them make successful use of them. It’s crucial that the revolutionary technological devices like iPads are used wisely and creatively. iPads are doing an impressive job of improving the education space, and now that instructors have these tools at their disposal, students can continue to reap the benefits of increased understanding and greater participation.

The deployment of iPads in schools should be carried out only when schools certain that they can deal with the associated risks and can make the most of using them to derive as many benefits as possible. If this technology is implemented with method and in the correct manner then it is sure to impact the school or any educational organization in a marked positive way. Share your views on the context and make any suggestions you have in the Comment Box.

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About the Author
Author: Saomya Saxena
Educational technology blogger, loves to research and write about tools and tips for educators on how to integrate technology into everyday instruction creatively and effectively. Fond of reading and writing.

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