George Lucas Educational Foundation

Shared and class sets of mobile devices

Shared and class sets of mobile devices

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I was leading a session about the use of iPad in classrooms at a school recently and they use class sets of iPads. I've seen the model in a number of other schools - in fact, my school did something similar before we went 1:1. It got me thinking: I know that the iPad is a personal device, and it works best in that capacity, but when you are using mobile devices in a shared setting, what kinds of tips and tricks have you worked out that allow them to be used efficiently?

Conversely, what are the real headaches when using them?

I was hoping that we could have a virtual 'unconference' here, and we could share ideas about the best way of doing this.

I'll kick it off:

1. Headaches:

Getting content off the devices. This drives me up the wall. Once a child has used the device and made, for example, a little movie, how can I get it to a point that I can assess/ comment/ mark/ display especially when it is a large file, like a movie?

2. Tips and Tricks:

I've found that there is a workaround that you can use with Google Drive, accessing it in the desktop mode, that lets you upload the movie. Bit of a pain, though.

Who's next?

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Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture
Heather Wolpert-Gawron
ELA Teacher, Middle School, Curriculum Coordinator TOSA

Hey Keith!
I tell you, I had real problems with my iPads this year, but Google Drive saved the day. My students collaborated on them (but not on Google Presentations since they aren't supported by iPads.) I always had them in desktop mode for collaboration purposes.

Also, I used an app called Paperport Notes for real quick "exit card"-like informal assessments. The kids could go into PPN, use a stylus or type a quick response, and upload it to Google from there. In my inbox or "shared with me" folder, it was a quick series of clicks to see who understood what.

Hope this little tip helps!

-Heather Wolpert-Gawron
Edutopia blogger

Dan Callahan's picture
Dan Callahan
Professional Learning Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

Google Drive (the app, not through the web browser) was an essential part of our workflow in 4th and 5th grades for moving all kinds of files between devices.

The biggest annoyance to me is how locked down iTunes is. It SHOULD be the Photos app of audio files, but it's a lockbox that you can only get stuff into by buying through iTunes or connecting to a computer (which you can't do if the iPad is Managed through Configurator).

Workaround: Documents by Readdle allows you to download an audio file from royalty-free sites (like and then export the audio file to iMovie.


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