10 Things You Need To Know About Bringing iPads into Your Classroom: Tips for iPad Deployment

By Derek May on September 04, 2012   /   Apple Configurator Creation Apps Edmodo EdTech Educreations free apps free creation apps free education apps iBallz iPad iPad Deployment iPad Roll Out iPad Rollout iPad Settings iPads in the Classroom Prezi Restriction Settings Technology in Education Volume Purchasing Program    /   1 Comment








The grants been granted and you're approved to bring iPads into your classroom.  Now what?  Here's 10 tips you need to know about bringing iPads into your classroom!

1. iPads alone won't improve your students' classroom experience or academic achievement 

New technology is only half of the journey to taking student learning to the next level.  The best way to use iPads in a classroom isn't to fit the new technology into the "I have always taught it this way" curriculum, but to rethink the curriculum entirely, redefining your lessons and practice with the new technology in mind.  What are the goals you have for you and your students with the use of iPads?  What can you do in your classroom with these devices that you wouldn't be able to do otherwise?  Keep the answer to these questions in mind as you rethink the way you teach everything, devising new lessons and an entirely new practice.

2. It is the Teacher's responsibility to keep the iPad's usage constructive in the classroom

Make sure there is structure and oversight from you as the teacher to keep iPad usage constructive and not a distraction – this means setting restrictions in the settings, setting rules in the classroom, and applying certain organization within the iPad, such as grouping apps by usage.  It's important that it is clear to the students when the devices are to be used and when screens are to go dark and often a verbal cue (like "screens dark now") is helpful for letting students know when it's time to put the device aside.

3. Password protect, and set settings carefully to have the most control over the device when in students hands

Turn on Passcode Lock in the General menu within Settings.  Next turn Restrictions to On in the same menu and go into Restrictions and turn off Deleting Apps and In-App Purchases, as well as Multiplayer Games and Adding Friends within the Game Center section on the same page.  The latter two is to keep strangers from reaching out to students from the Game Center app.  You can also choose media ratings for Movies, Apps, Music, etc on the Restrictions page.


4. Set-up both Find my iPhone and Find my Friends app for each device to keep track of iPads

Find My iPhone and Find My Friends are essential tools for keeping track of your classroom iPads and should set-up as soon as possible!  Find My iPhone tracks individual devices and allows you to remotely display a message or play a sound on a missing iPad and Find My Friends lets you track all of your classroom devices on a map in realtime!  Both Apps are free will you give you a serious leg up when it comes to keeping track of your iPads.

5. Invest in Only Free Apps in the beginning

It's tempting to load your new iPads up with tons of apps, but it's best to get going with the iPads and test the waters so you have a better idea of the best Apps that will help you use the iPads best in YOUR classroom.

6. Creation Apps > Content Apps

Content apps (apps that have built in content for the students to learn from) are limited and have a hard line standard of what the student can learn from them.  While they are great up to that limit (and there are many excellent ones to choose from), your time and budget is much better spent on open-ended Creation apps, that allow your students to process and present information that they input in new and exciting ways.  We will delve further into Creation apps in a later blog post, but for now check out free apps Educreations, Prezi, and Edmodo to get a feel for what a Creation app is.

7. Many useful Apps come with the iPad right out of the box!

Since we're on the subject of apps, there are a number of great apps that come with the iPad right out of the box.  Reminders (simple reminders and to-do lists), iBooks (and excellent ebook reader with features like search, highlighting, note taking, and bookmarking), Newsstand (a newspaper and magazine app which stores and organizes periodicals), and the Calendar app are extremely useful and should not be forgotten!


8. Purchase Apps through Apple's Volume Purchase Program

This program allows Educational Institutions to purchase apps and books  in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, etc.  Enrolling in the program will also allow you to purchase apps tax-exempt (if your institution is tax-exempt) and access special bulk pricing offers from app developers.

9. Use Apple Configurator to manage your fleet of iPads and keep the data student specific

Apple Configurator is a free app that will help you update, back-up, and install apps on a small fleet of iPads.  This app will save you from the time-killing headache of downloading apps individually on each device and the app is also a great way to synch data on the device with individual user profiles so that students can access all of their data regardless if they're using the same iPad from day to day.

10. Don't forget to budget for headphones, Apps, Charging Carts, and iBallz!

Classroom iPads need accessories to get the job done.  Once you get your new iPads you are going to need a charging cart, headphones, and iBallz to keep your tablets safe from spills and drops!  Don't forget to include those expenses as you budget for your new learning tools.

Bonus tip!

Bringing in new technology to your school classroom is going to be a process of trial and error.  If something doesn’t work, change it up – don’t be afraid to try new lessons and new practices and don't be afraid to ditch them if you don't feel they're working!  Get feedback from your students on their experiences with the iPad and keep refining your new practice as you get the feel for all the possibilities this exciting technology can bring to learning!

Keep in touch with iBallz for more tips on tablet education - Like us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter

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iBallz at ISTE conference in San Diego

By Alex Marketing for iBallz on August 02, 2012   /   Camper DEN Discovery Education Network iBallz ISTE ISTE 2012 San Diego Snowcones Technology in Education    /   0 Comments

We had a blast exhibiting at this year's ISTE conference - it was great to meet all the forward thinking educators in attendance from around the world.  We carted out the big blue iBallz trailer and were dropping iPads and serving snowcones right out of the camper in the convention center!

      

The conference was a huge success - almost a thousand people came by the booth, many sent by an early morning presenter who sang the praises of iBallz from the ISTE podium!  We also spotted iBallz on a few booths throughout the convention center :)

   

  
It wasn't all hard work in San Diego!  We spent a super fun evening in Old Town
San Diego with the Discovery Education Network, who generously
let us into their club for the night :)

And we even got in a little beach time, before heading back on the dusty trail.



Thanks to ISTE and everyone else for a fun-filled couple of days - can't wait 'til next year!

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iBallz photo shoot.

By Alex Marketing for iBallz on July 06, 2010   /     /   0 Comments

iBallz photo/Video shoot was Great!
Thanks to everyone involved, Dalia, the Matt's, Eric, Howard, Roberto, Brian, Millina, Milla and the staff at Smash Box studios for making it happen!
Video available soon, check out the great behind the seen pics!

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iBallz on KPSP in the palm Desert, Fathers day gifts :)

By adminner on June 17, 2010   /     /   0 Comments

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Find Team iBallz outside the E3 Conference (front entrance) today!!

By adminner on June 15, 2010   /     /   0 Comments

Find Team iBallz outside the E3 Conference (front entrance) today at the LA Convention Center to receive 25% discount coupons and enter to win iBallz gift packages![gallery]

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