8 iPads in the classroom

Here I’m going to cover ways of managing things in the classroom with 8 iPads …

  • capturing evidence of learning
  • traditional things,
  • revolutionary edgy things
  • things that go bump in your classroom and shake things up
  • connect the stuff that you do well e.g.. organising kids/managing learning to appropriate apps and workflows.
  • I’m going to do this in a simple, accessible ungeeky way
  • I’m aware of “info overload syndrome” so I’ll “underload” things just giving you the core stuff!

This will evolve this term supporting teachers who are planning stuff for next September.

1. Managing files and backing up copies on the iPad

OK! to begin with let’s look at saving work on 8 iPads. If you are using the Apple apps you can save within the app. But if the devices are shared and in our cases that is  

So to begin with we’ll look at the free but extremely well thought out Documents app by Readdle. I will be returning to this app on quite a few occasions. Then we’ll look at how you can back up copies assignments in Pages, Keynote and Numbers, saving within the app and also to iTunes (on the device). Of course we could have the iPads saving over iCloud if you create an account. However in most UK schools the network ports are blocked. The devices won’t sync with iCloud until you take them home and connect to your home wifi. A free account will give you 5GB of data.

However let’s keep it simple for the time being and look at saving to the device.

2. Printing student’s work in Progress from iPads to a folder on your laptop.

If your students are not writing into a virtual space from their iPads, for example a blog, wiki or shared app like Evernote, you will struggle to monitor their progress. So here is an awesomely nifty way of capturing evidence of “work in progress”.

The joy of this is that all the files neatly arrive in one folder on computer. If the learners label the files as you have them named in your mark book, you will have an instant overview of who has handed work in.

I’m showing 3 iPads simultaneously, not to show off, but to make it clear that the whole class can print as a PDF at the same time.

8 iPads printing to your laptop is a breeze, that’s a warm breeze not a cold chill of techno fear!….. enjoy.

You can get the software here and try it straight away…

Printopia (Mac only) – http://www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/

Fingerprint ( Mac and PC) – http://www.collobos.com/index.php

3. Harvesting projects at the end of an 8iPads session.

Here we are using the free Documents app. It  takes me about 40 seconds to access and move files per iPad. Ideally I’d do this at the end of the day. At St Stephens Primary, I went through the process at lunchtime ( this is what you see) and at the end of the day which wasn’t a good use of time, connecting twice and navigating twice. So a top tip: is to do this in one go at the end of the day. You could have a digital leader do this for you too!

It really is this easy.



4. 8iPads and Some Primary School Approaches.

Here we will look at apps that have interfaces are designed for more than one student. They are few and far between, but a good starting point is Operation Code Squad. This app allows for up to four learners to work on the iPad at the same time – yes even an iPad Mini. Headphones are recommended (one on/in ear and one out), so that they can hear you and each other! Operation Code Squad can be found here….

There are very few apps that offer this approach, Math Party offers the option of twi learners working  and sitting opposite each other. The Music app Rockmate is also designed to have multi users jam on the same iPad.

Rockmate app

Of course, I’m not saying this is the answer to using 8 iPads in the classroom, but in some situations it can be useful.

Here’s Operation Code Squad in action…

The other obvious strategy is to look at multi-user apps, that provide multiple log ins. These have their roots in games, for example, the developers that produce the  “Squeebles” apps have really got this sorted for schools. The Squeebles apps are Maths focused although there is a very nice Spelling app that is easily customised by the teacher  to meet the needs of the learners.

In all of theses apps, we can add 4 users and with 8 iPads cover the class and keep track of them. For example,

Where we have younger learners using apps, we often need them to stay locked into that app and of course Apple’s “Guided Access” will help with this.

In the example above, we are using Create a Car which is a great app for early years and beyond. If you have (probably boys) that are reluctant writers as they can design a car and write about it within the app!

Coming up Next for Secondary Showbie and Evernote…

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