When introducing iPads into a school, you can be sure that there will be a lot of concerned teachers. Many worry that they will not understand the technology, or they are afraid that the students will “outsmart them” or make them look silly or ignorant. Others are more traditional and are simply not excited abut having to adapt to this new technology.
But the fact is that this technology is here to stay. This sort of stuff is the future and even if the teachers or older generations don’t care for it, current students will need to know how to utilize this technology for their eventual careers. It would be a travesty for schools not to do their best to teach with these tools to help prepare kids for a tech-heavy future.
That means it is particularly important for a school to make good use of the first few teacher training sessions to boost confidence, morale, and skill. Here is a list of tips for early training (before you get into the heavy-duty apps or advanced features):
- Start simple: how to turn it on, how to set and enter a passcode, volume control, how to go between screens, and how to open apps (such as email). Don’t underestimate how little some teachers will know.
- Help teachers set up their email accounts. If your school uses something like eChalk, do a Google search to find the appropriate settings for the iPad. If you want your teachers to use Gmail, it will be much easier.
- A list of ideal settings can be found at this post. A summary: make the switch lock rotation instead of mute, turn off notifications, and set screen to turn off after 15 minutes instead of 2.
- Try to keep the passwords for all the teachers’ different accounts the same so they don’t get confused. They’ll have trouble remembering them if they are all different. Then make them KEEP TRACK OF USER NAMES AND PASSWORDS IN “NOTES”.
- Turn on iCloud. Then show them how to find their iPad from a computer. Even if they don’t lose their iPad, they will probably have to help students find theirs.
- Show them how to log out of the app store and then log back in under a different Apple ID. They might need to do this to access the school’s account.
- Show them how to mirror if you have Apple TV or AirServer.
- Show them how to delete apps, move apps from screen to screen, and close apps that are currently running.
- Show them how to iMessage each other and the tech support person at your school. Then they can easily ask questions without hunting him or her down (between classes, of course).
- Remind them to charge the iPad every night, but not to completely power down the iPad. Unless there is a problem, in which case their first response should be to reboot before asking for help.
In a future post, I’ll give advice for more advanced professional development topics you might want to focus on to maximize training time efficiency.