Tips for a 2 or 1 iPad classroom


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I am a year 3 teacher with 28 students. I have an interactive TV and I take my 2 iPads to school daily. Teachers often ask me how I optimise use of my iPads with my class. I thought I would share a few tips.

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Tips for a 2 or 1 iPad classroom

  1. 1. Tips for a Two iPad Classroom By Joanne Villis INTER-TECH EDUCATION Ideas for a Two iPad Classroom Joanne VIllis is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
  2. 2. Hi, My name is Joanne Villis and I am a Year 3 Teacher. My school doesn’t currently supply us with iPads. I have two of my own which I take to school everyday. Teachers often ask me, how do I use my iPads on a daily basis so I thought I would share some ideas. Please note that I teach at an all girls private college and my students are very trustworthy with my devices. This leads me to tip number 1. Tip 1: Teach your students how to respect your device Students need to be shown how to carry and handle iPads. I told my students that I bought the iPads with my own money for them to use. You know your students, if you aren’t 100% confident that a student will respect your device, don’t let them walk around with it. Place the iPad on a table yourself and then invite students to use it. Be very clear with your expectations.
  3. 3. Tip 2: Place your iPads on your desk each morning This sounds like a simple thing to do but if you don’t, daily classroom distractions can cause you to forget about your iPad which results it in not being used.
  4. 4. Tip 3: Make your iPad part of your morning routine I open my classroom at 8:30 each morning. Students enter and peer test each other with their spelling words. They then bring their spelling test to me to check and their homework book. I mark homework every morning rather than collecting books at the end of the week. During this time, I have two students who use my iPads for sight word practice (see tip 4). They collect an iPad from my desk, practice their sight words and then return the iPad to my desk. Students who have then completed their spelling and have had their homework marked, ask to practice numeracy or literacy skills through certain apps on the iPads. They work in pairs.
  5. 5. Tip 4: Support individual students through drill and practice apps Two of my students need to practice their sight words. When they arrive at school, they ask permission to take an iPad and then practice their sight words. Their favourite sight word apps are pictured below. They are hyperlinked to the app store. I also use drill and practice apps for maths. This is explained on the next page.
  6. 6. I also have three students who require drill and practice style apps for basic number facts. I will often invite these students to practice their number facts on my iPad during the morning session, when they have completed work throughout the day or I frequently allocate the last ten minutes of a maths lesson for them to work on an iPad. However, I have noticed over the past year and a half that students who require additional practice with number facts frequently opt for the guessing option. That is, they will randomly select an answer until the correct number is chose. To reduce the occurrence of this happening, I always make sure that students work in pairs and take turns on one iPad. If one student chooses to randomly guess, the other is more than willing to inform me.
  7. 7. Students’ favourite drill and practice apps for basic number facts are pictured below. Again, the images are hyperlinked. I also have two students who are on an extended math program. Whilst the rest of the class are doing Math Mental two students take an iPad from my desk and with a range of different apps. Although there are two iPads to use, they often choose to work together on the one iPad. Below are some of the apps they use.
  8. 8. Tip 4: Use the camera function on your iPad I use the camera function on my iPad each day in order to capture images of students’ work samples. Some of the images I will then email to myself so that I can upload them onto our class website after school and others are kept for students’ digital portfolios. Keeping track of whose work belongs to who is easy. For example, if students have used pattern blocks to create a tessellating pattern, they write their name on a piece of paper and place it next to their pattern before I take a photo. If I am taking an image of work in a students’ book, they simply write their name on the page.
  9. 9. Tip 5: Allow students to search on the Internet During writing students, will have a go at word if they are unsure of the spelling and then use an iPad to check the correct spelling. It is a quick way to access the Internet. My students use Safari. Tip 6: Don’t set up your mail on your iPad As I let my students use my iPad all of the time, I have not set up my school email on my iPad. This eliminates students accidently or intentionally sending an email on my behalf. To access my emails I go onto the Internet and log in that way.
  10. 10. Tip 7: Create your own QR codes and use a QR code reader You can use your iPads for Math or Literacy rotations with the use of QR codes. You can create your own QR codes and print them off. Then students simply scan the QR code with an iPad and play the game or watch the video tutorial. I create my own QR codes online at .
  11. 11. Tip 8: Take your iPad to meetings The more you play with your iPad, the more familiar you will become with it. I like to use One Note because I can create tabs at the top of the page for each meeting which I attend. You can sync your document with your online One Note account and then access your notes on any device. However, as a Year 3 teacher, I don’t find this necessary and I frequently take minimal notes!
  12. 12. Tip 9: Display your iPad through your Smartboard/Data Projector/TV There are a few ways to do this but it depends how your school network is set up. You may be able to display your iPad through your smartboard or TV wirelessly using Reflector, Splashtop or something similar.
  13. 13. I can’t display my iPad wirelessly through my TV at school at this stage, so I have to use a VGA to iPad cable. You will notice that the two smaller ends of each cable are different. This is because the one on the left is for an iPad 2 and the one on the right is for an iPad 4. You will also need to connect your iPad to some sort of speakers, I use a $20 desk top set of speakers.
  14. 14. Tip 10: Share books with your class Once you are able to display your iPad through your data projector/smart board or TV, share stories with your students. There are many available in the app story and many are also free. If I share a text using my iPads I let the students run the sessions. A student will interact with one page and then another student gets to do the next page. This increases the number of students who actually get to use the iPads.
  15. 15. Tip 11: Create class books iPads are ideal tools for creativity but when you only have one or two in your classroom this can be challenging. Creating class books is rewarding for all students. Below are some of the apps that I use.
  16. 16. Tip 12: Allow students to present on their own iPads When I give assignments I always offer multiple ways for students to present their learning to the class. I even include an iPad option. If students have their own iPad at home, they can create and then bring their iPad to school to present to the class. For students who don’t have an iPad at home, I usually allow two students per assignment to create a presentation on one of my iPads. However, the planning needs to be completed before the creating.
  17. 17. Tip 12: Create your own screencasts Use a screen casting app to record video tutorials for students or even invite students to create video tutorials for the rest of the class. Explain Everything is my favourite because it has many sharing options (ie camera roll, YouTube, drop box etc) and it is easy to use. INTER-TECH EDUCATION Tips for a 2 iPad Class by Joanne VIllis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.