I have iPads in the Classroom! Now What?

It sounds so cool to say “We have/use iPad in our school/classroom”.  Parents, community members and stakeholders might equal hearing such a statement with the assurance that the teacher/school is on the cutting edge of technology and their students are being prepared for a new world.  iPads (just as Smartboards used to) are a visual, easily counted and recognizable icon for such assurance.  Many schools around the globe are jumping on that proverbial “iPad bandwagon”

  • iPads are being handed out to faculty.
  • a small number of devices or a class iPad cart is made available for classrooms to checkout.
  • students might be asked to bring, lease or use school owned devices to create a 1:1 environment

You might be one of the teachers who is excited about the possibilities or apprehensive and fearful of the seemingly overwhelming task in front of you how to manage your classroom, students and the devices AND at the same time use them to improve student learning.

You might be thinking…



Having the device in the classroom is NOT EVEN half the battle (not even close…).Understanding how the device will serve as a tool to help create a new learning environment for your students is the real objective.

Chris Crouch, as a guest blogger on Scott McLeod’s Dangerously Irrelevant blog in a post titled We Have a BYOD porgram, but now what? expresses his concerns

I’m concerned that educators are trying to adapt 20th century practices and experiences to the future we can’t even define yet. This phenomenon manifests itself typically by the rapid and ill-advised adoption of any and all technological products […]  the instructional shift that must happen to fully capture the power of this movement is grossly behind the crest.

As Chris points out the instructional shift in BYOD classrooms in general, I am trying to define and chisel around the concept of fluency/ workflow/learnflow as it pertains to iPads.

It is about pedagogy, the art and science of education, that we must keep in the forefront of minds, not the apps, not a substitution of the way we have done things for years and decades.

What are the considerations that must be present as we plan, explore and implement?  How does the “instructional shift” that Chris mentions above manifests itself in teachers’ lesson plans, “delivery” and assessment?

Take a look at my slidedeck below, where I try to point to

  • educational models that support an instructional shift
  • classroom management considerations
  • find a balance when to use the device and when to close it
  • going beyond the bells and whistles
  • at different constellations of iPads in the classroom
  • examples from the classroom that try to model beyond the substitution of paper and pencil

I don’t have the answers, but am willing to SHARE my thoughts and explorations. What can you contribute to the conversation?