NEW GROUP! Includes discussions from the Administrators and Professional Development groups. What will it take to move our schools into the 21st century? Please share your thoughts and leadership strategies here.

iPads, Droid Tablets, Kindles & Nooks

Jim Peiffer Principal, Douglas J. Regan Intermediate School, Starpoint CSD

I'm curious as to whether or not any of your districts/schools are using these devices and, if so, how? Are they strictly being used like mobile computer labs, or are students allowed to take them home? Does your AUP reflect the implementation of these devices and, if so, how?

Any and all input is greatly appreciated!

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Tech. Coordinator at Sacred Heart School

Considering ipads or ipod

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Considering ipads or ipod touch to upgrade wireless cart and lab. Really could use some input from other schools, tooo.

We use Touches and iPads

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We use Touches and iPads throughout our district. They are used in stations at the elementary more than anywhere. Kids do not take them home, but many kids bring their own to school. Our AUP covers any electronic device used on our network whether we buy it or they bring it. Same rules apply: do the right thing.

We are in the middle of writing a grant to go 1:1 with the iPad2 at the middle school level while implementing PBL concurrently. With the cameras, iMovie, Garageband, and more apps than ever, it seems like a great fit. We already utilize Google Apps and Wordpress blogs with staff and students, so it will be a good fit with those tools as well.

iPad, iTouch, iPhone, Android Phones in middle school and HS

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Our school does not have any of these objects, but I use them by asking the students to bring in either of the items (iPad, iTouch or iPhone, or android phone) to class. If they don't have one, I tell them to ask a nice friend if they can borrow it for my class only.

So far what I have been doing with these is downloading free apps that they can use to learn and practice. For example, I am a language teacher, so for our Japanese lesson, I had them download a free app that helps them learn key strokes of the characters and helps practice pronunciation. They can hear the sound over and over, until they feel they can say it correctly.

For my Spanish classes, I had students download a free translating app (if we can't beat them join them-we often discourage translating in foreign languages but they do it anyway, so might as well teach them how to look up words correctly). After they download the wordreference.com app they complete a vocabulary activity. Those that do not have their electronic devices can use the good old dictionary from our in class library.

I have also had them use these devices for completing polls, surveys, mini quizzes and I am working on planning a tagging activity where they can take pictures, describe it and tag their friends, post it on our class Facebook, etc.

I'm hoping to do more activities. I would love to have a full set of these devices to make things easier, but sometimes they just have to share one device.

We use ipods, ipod touches

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We use ipods, ipod touches and ipads in elementary classrooms - especially title I and special ed. There are so many apps now that the students use to practice skills or to read and do research at their desks. We find the students are very engaged and will stick with the assignment when using these devices. School owned devices stay at school. We have one of the new ipad carts and it works great.

PK-8 Technology Coach & Coordinator for Stevenson School, Carmel

We're looking to retire some

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We're looking to retire some 'dinosaur' desktops with iPads for centers in Kinder and First. At that age, it's natural for them to control something with touch, and the rich education apps are growing and growing.

I would love to talk with anyone using or contemplating them for primary grades, so we can share a list of apps, and notes on usage. Please reply to this comment or visit my website so we can chat

We have macbooks in 2-5 and a laptop program in 6-12. In my opinion, any tool/app used on a tablet can be found and used on a laptop in the classroom, but the convenience and mobility of a tablet will force us to eventually allow them instead of bringing laptops. My concern is the great amount of writing grade 6-8 does - it's just not reasonable on a tablet.

For your consideration: Is keyboarding going by the wayside with the popularity of mobile devices, specifically tablets?

Ipads, kindles, etc.

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You need to have filters placed on any devices that go home...you can do that with the Ipads/Ipods (Child Internet Protection Act). You can also install Kindle or Nook apps on the Ipads. The problem with letting them go home? The cost. Think back a couple of hundred years ago when someone first loaned a precious library book...or book (books at one time were only given to the very rich--royalty).

I'm coming up with an application for my school and have a committee to approve who gets to take home the devices over the summer. We're going to look at discipline, lost library books, lost textbooks and whether the parents will sign the form. I also believe we (schools) should be talking to insurance companies....

I do believe Ipads are a great investment!

Tablets for Administrators

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Does anyone have any experience using tablets for their administrative team? I was thinking about getting tablets so that our admins have easier access to school/student data. They're a lot easier to carry around and access. Even more so than laptops or netbooks.

iPads, Nook, Laptops

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We use laptops in a lab for PK-4 through 4th for instruction and classroom use, iPads PK-3 through 1st for classroom Centers, 5 Laptop Carts for grades 2-8, Classroom set of Nooks for grade 5 (students can take them home to read assignments). There is also a Lab for grades 5-8. Only problem is teachers want more time with devices.

High School English Teacher from New Jersey, studying to be an administrato

Working to acquire Nooks

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Hi all,

I have written a grant for the purchase of ~30 Nooks for my high school English classroom. Thanks to our very supportive Education Foundation, the grant was approved!

My reasons to purchasing the Nooks are
(1) students may be more willing to read if presented with technology;
(2) the Nooks allow readers to alter the font size for readability (think special needs students);
(3) long-term cost reduction: titles are cheaper (public domain titles are free) and there are no problems with pagination, rebinds, etc;
(4) the Nook allows me to upload research for my students to read.

For my purposes, Nooks are better than iPads because I don't want students on the Internet with them (less cheating, more reading!). Kindles were not an option because Amazon does not deal with purchase orders. In addition, Barnes & Noble offered us a phenomenal price of $100 per Nook if we buy more than 25.

I am planning to allow students to bring them home. We are electronically tagging each device, and students will be signing a contract holding them responsible for loss or damage.

We were almost done with the deal about 2 weeks ago, when we realized that we are unable to shut off the Wi-Fi access on the devices. Thus, if a student takes it to Dunkin Donuts and hooks into their Wi-Fi, they have access to an unfiltered Internet on a school-owned device. For us, that is a liability, so the brakes are on the grant until we can resolve this either by applying a filter to the devices (which is expensive) or by Barnes and Noble figuring out a way to lock the device in "airplane mode" (no wi-fi).

I have put a lot of time and effort into this grant, and I am still hopeful that it will come to fruition. My B&N rep told me that she has 2 other schools who have them, and do not let them go home. She has also shared with me her opinion that the Nook people are not quite ready for schools yet (they haven't caught up to our needs), but that they are getting more and more inquiries everyday. I truly believe that this is the way to go!

Julie

Edutopia Consulting Online Editor

Students and Internet Access

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Hi Julie,

I'm hopeful for you as well! I am guessing when kids are online at your school site there is a filter. Perhaps one option to consider is not locking or removing Wi-Fi access on the Nooks, but rather having each student sign a conduct contract regarding linking to the Internet off-school site?

School2Home is an organization that is providing 1:1 education (each student having a laptop to use at school and use it at home). You may consider contacting them and inquiring how they manage students accessing the Internet off site. Currently, they have placed laptops in the hands of nearly every student at two California public schools, both located in low-income communities.

Good luck! : )

Rebecca Alber
Edutopia

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