With multiple Ipads and so many uses for them in my classroom I had to think about how I would set them up to keep students focused and successful , here are some things I considered:
Keep the personal stuff off of it!- Unless it’s your personal Ipad (if that’s the case then you need to set boundaries if you let students use it!) I suggest not even google searching for personal reasons on any school Ipad. Students have the capability of stumbling across it at any moment even if they are not looking for it. Only use it for class purposes so you can breath easier about students finding anything about you that they shouldn’t know.
Folders are great- Separate by class, grade, project, what ever is easiest. I am using mine for a grant project and have a folder right on the dock labeled “project” in this folder are THE ONLY items the students are allowed to use when we work on the grant. I have others labeled for each class or occasion I need them for. Keep students focused on the task at hand and if they have to sift through hundreds of apps to find the one they need it will distract them and waste time. An Ipad needs to be organized in order for it to be effective.
No mail- Plain and simple, again unless it is your personal Ipad or have a specific email you need students to be using on them do not add any mail. You know if you accidentally do and hand it to a student you are going to get that one funny guy who decides to send something inappropriate from it while you are not looking and guess who gets in trouble for it? you do!
Hide the important stuff- I teach K-5 and know at least a handful of students who will see a pretty looking app and want to touch it some will mess up that Ipad for good. That settings app for example is kind of cool looking one student finds that they could passcode lock your Ipad to the point of reset. Hide that app in another folder, somewhere where they wouldn’t go. I have a folder labeled “tools”. I tell students nothing. They see the folder, are not interested and just keep going. I have yet to have a problem!
Minimal is better- Do not overload the Ipad with apps galore, it will overwhelm any student. Make things simple and easy to get to. Not only will they stay focused and on the task but they will also be less stressed about getting there and be independent technology users.
Passcode lock- It is your friend if you’re in a busy room or area. Students are less likely to touch if they can’t get in there. I always passcode my personal Ipad and sometimes have the passcode set on the school ones to only need the passcode when turned on or off. You can also passcode certain settings in the Settings app as well!.
Autofill- Turn it off, Turn it off, Turn it off. Causes headaches and unwanted questions (I sometimes yell at it too, and shows words that students might not need to see.
Clearing history- I try to do it at least once a week if the Ipads are heavily used. It’s just a good thing to do and prevents any trouble. You can do it once a week and just look over the history to make sure students only are going where needed then just clear it out afterward.
Set the rules- This is just an overall with the Ipads. My students know how to use them, where to use them, how to hold them, and what happens if those do not happen. I try to be active and facilitate when they are working independently with them or in small groups. They know I’m going to be checking in on them and they know what is going to happen if they are not focused on the task at hand.