Thursday, January 30, 2014

Teaching Students How to Care for Their iPads

In our first week of iPad Bootcamp, we taught the students how to care for their iPads.  We gathered all the 5th graders together for this important discussion.

First, we asked the students what kinds of "precious things" they've taken care of in the past.  Students listed home electronics like handheld computer games and iPod touches.  They also listed pets and even their little brothers and sisters!  Clearly, they had quite a bit of experience taking care of precious things.

Next, the teachers demonstrated 4 key things to remember when taking care of the iPads.  

Ms. Tresselt showed students the right way and the wrong way to touch the iPad (students erupted in "Oh no!" when she tapped too hard on the iPad screen).  Then she asked what the students noticed about the right way and wrong way.  Students explained that it was important to "be gentle" and "press lightly" when touching the screen.

I demonstrated the ways to carry the iPad.  We always tell students (and, sometimes, even teachers) to make sure they are carrying the iPad close to their bodies with the screen facing towards them.  Students described this as "holding it like a baby."  I also showed them the wrong way to hold the iPad: doing work on it as you walk, holding it carelessly in two fingers, and then swinging it around.  Students, again, were shocked at their teacher's carelessness with the iPad.  Of course, it's almost second nature to walk around and view webpages, snap a photo, or even type a quick email when using the iPad, but our goal with the student iPad minis is to reduce the possibility of damage as much as possible.  

Ms. Balicki demonstrated how to clean the iPad screen.  In our classrooms, we ask students to use the Flents Wipe N Clear Lens Cleaning Cloths to clean their iPad screens.   Ms. Balicki explained that students should not use water, cleaning spray, or a shirt corner to clean their screens.  Students should only use the cloths provided in the classroom for cleaning.  

Finally, Ms. Ndiaye showed the students that their iPads should always be stored in the locked iPad cart during lunch, recess, and before going home.  

After watching the teachers act out proper care for the iPads, it was time for the students to demonstrate their understanding.  Students used an app called Popplet Lite to draw pictures, add photos, and write text relating to care for the iPad.  All of these photos, pictures, and text were laid out into a concept map made easy through Popplet's simple interface.  Check out another example of student work:

I was really amazed with how quickly students were able to start using Popplet.  After a very quick tutorial, the students were taking photos, sketching pictures, and moving "popples" around the screen like pros!  

Overall, another great day of iPad Bootcamp down!

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