February 4, 2014

DISCUSSION PANEL: iPads in the Elementary Classroom – from Kate Wilson

This live blog from the iPads in the Elementary Classroom

Holly Clark(@HollyEdTechDiva) is moderating a panel with Jo-Ann Fox  (@AppEducationFox), Karen Lirenman(@KLirenman), Samantha Morra (@sammorra), Reshan Richards (@reshanrichards), and Kristen Wideen  (@mrswideen).

“If they will build it they will come” says Holly who convinced Tom Daccord, our CEO to come to San Diego for the inaugural event just little over a year ago.

Sam’s start in educational technology was because her principal walked past her classroom while she was taking her first laptop.

Reshan Richards is the Director of Technology at his school as well as a 5th grade math teacher. O, and the creator of Explain Everything, everyones favorite screencasting app!

Jo-Ann Fox is a 4th grade teacher and founder of AppEducation

Kristen Wideen hails from Canada just across the border from Detroit and has been in a 1:1 elementary ed classroom for three years.

Karen Lirenman also comes from our neighbors to the North and is an ISTE award winning teacher in a 1:1 classroom 1st grade classroom.

Holly: This is a journey we all are on together. She is encouraging people to join the conversation. You can follow along the conversation on Todays Meet.

Question 1: Why iPads? What has this device brought to your classroom?

  • JoAnn: Brought my students a voice
  • Reshan: The connections to research on early childhood development about the disconnect between using a laptop or desktop between the keyboard and mouse separate from the screen. The interactions are more responsive and cognitively a better connection for younger students. Its not just the tool but they can so more.
  • Sam: I love digital storytelling and this helps students communicate with a global audience. The device becomes the tool to make the students become communicators. I want my students to do many different things. Its a swiss army device.
  • Holly: iPads are game changers.

Question2: How has your classroom or school learning environment changed as a result of gibing students access to these devices?

  • Kristen: Students want to share. If they can’t post it on their blog to share with the world, they don’t want to use it.
  • Karen: There is no reason or excuse not to tailor learning for my students needs.

Question3: What do you see as some of the best strategies and approaches to using iPads in the classroom, especially with the younger students?

  • Karen: I had to learn to let go and let them create. Putting them in control of their learning.
  • Kristen: Keep a core of set apps so its not overwhelming for the younger students. Limit their apps to one screen.
  • JoAnn: I have such a small amount of time with my students. So I have to determine is an app worthy of that precious time. What is a creative app vs. skill reviewed app? You want open ended apps not apps where students can say “Im finished.”
  • Reshan: Structure in unstructured time. Give them time to tinker and play. Also give them time to share what they discovered. They learn to communicate better.
  • Sam: Think about creating an active learning enviornment. Picture how to you enable opening up the “arrows” of communication.

Question4:What are some of the challenges that you had to face with integrating iPads?

  • Holly: Kids love to take pictures. So teach digital citizenship by teaching kids to ask before they take pictures and show the picture to the person first.
  • Karen: The iPads fill up with their pictures and their content. So teaching them how to manage or how to delete.
  • JoAnn: Another challenge is about who owns that student data and how to manage that data with your school/district.
  • Holly: Create positive digital footprints.

Questions from the audience:

Holly is now Oprah running around getting questions…You get an iPad. You get an iPad!

Question: How do you manage the apps and purchase the apps?

  • Reshan: We have one iTunes account but we will buy 20 copies of an app even though one code is redeemed.
  • JoAnn: I have become masterful of using free apps in creativity ways. I sync once a week.
  • Audience member: Its important not to take advantage of Apple by using just one code.
  • Audience member: There are MDMs such as Configurator through iPad Air to manage.
  • Holly: One screen of apps is a great way to manage the Apps because its less apps!

Question: What do you do in a mixed 1:1/ shared device?

  • Karen: Its about a conversation with the students to manage and make sure they are logged in properly.
  • Kristen: As a rule, “if you did not create it, you don’t delete it.”
  • Audience member: For us, we started that way which helped show the administrators why we had to go 1:1 due the time it was taking to setup each time you got a shared device.
  • Sam: She also had a “5 minute warning kid” that helped manage the time so they had time to save.

Question: How do you manage the “iPad is not a toy”?

  • Audience Member: Need to keep the focus on learning. If taking pictures, it has to be evidence of work
  • Sam: I don’t let them take pictures of faces because of our school policy. So we had lots of pictures of hands working.
  • JoAnn: We changed the language even though

First I thought iPads were going to be_____ and now they are______

JoAnn: First I thought iPads were going to be used for reading now we are the creators of knowledge.

Kristen: First I thought iPads were going to be a great review tool and now we only use for content creation. 

Karen: First I thought iPads were going to be this is going to be a fun way to do work  now I realize my kids can create anything they want. 

Reshan: First I thought iPads were going to replace using things I did on a desktop more efficiently now I think the mobility has created it to be something new.

Sam: First I thought iPads were going to be a replacement for computer now I realize it a personalized extension of my students.

Holly: First I thought iPads were going to be I would have to do the redefinition but now students do the redefinition.


Thanks for coming to first day of the iPad Summit. See everyone tomorrow!