Saturday, January 25, 2014

Week 1 of 5th Grade's iPad Bootcamp: Setup and Basics

This week, the 5th grade students received their new iPads!  After spending Day 1 learning about the District's Acceptable Use Policy and coming up with rules for using the iPads, students were finally able to use their devices.

Check out the looks on their faces as they started exploring their iPads for the first time:

For two full class periods, students set up their devices.  For the first part of iPad Setup, each instruction was connected to the Acceptable Use Policy in some way.  Students were asked to:
  1. Enroll their iPad with the district.  Students were told that this is the Number One thing to do on the iPad because these devices belong to the district.  The district manages restrictions (such as taking off iMessenger and disabling the App Store) on all student (and teacher) devices.  
  2. Create a lock-screen image.  We told the students that they were now responsible for the device, so they would get the chance to personalize it.  Each student used the Explain Everything app to create an image that includes their last names and the name of their homeroom teacher and school.  Then, students decorated the image however they pleased.  Those images were saved to the Camera Roll and set as the image to appear whenever the iPad turns on or "wakes up" from sleep mode.  This way, if an iPad is left somewhere and a teacher finds it, the teacher will know exactly who it belongs to just by "waking up" the iPad.
  3. Set a passcode for the iPad.  Students were given 4-digit codes to use as their iPad's passcode.  All teachers and several administrators have access to these codes. The iPads are set to lock after 2 minutes and, after that time period, the code must be entered in order to use the device.  We told the students that we were adding the passcodes because it helped them "keep their private information private," such as access to email or Google Drive under their account.
The next day of Setup was spent helping students add school-issued accounts (such as their school email and Edmodo classrooms) to their devices.  Surprisingly, this took quite a bit of time.  

On Thursday, we finally got to the good stuff!  Students learned the Basics of their device, from how to turn it completely off to how to submit an assignment via Edmodo.  Students worked with a partner and  went through a list of scenarios shared in their Google Drive.  Each pair acted out the solution to the scenarios on their iPads.  They used their Informational Text skills (like using Headings, Subheadings, and bold-faced text), to find answers on their iPad Cheat Sheets.  

Take a look at collaborative use of the iPad in action for this project:

Some of the most valuable tips learned were trouble-shooting tactics.  We want students to be as independent as possible when it comes to caring for their devices.  Check out these example scenarios: 
  • You are using ShowMe and the app starts acting glitchy.  It won’t let you record for some strange reason.  You decide to force quit the app.  Hint: Look on the Reference Card under Multitask where it says, “To close an app…”  How do you do it?
  • Oh no!  Your iPad seems to be frozen.  You decide to force restart your iPad.  Show how you do it.
The students became so good at tasks like this, they were able to teach each other how to do it. Check out their demos here:

    Ms. Balicki, Ms. Ndiaye, and Ms. Tresselt did an awesome job guiding their students through the Setup and Basics lessons.  And we were all really impressed with how engaged the students were in the whole process.  Nice work, 5th grade!  Keep checking back for more iLearn Bootcamp updates.

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