iPad Setup for Individual Classrooms Managed by the Teacher

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So, these are a lot of words but not a lot of time. Having to spell out each touch makes this seem like a lot but it’s really not. Total time, minus the actual App installs, is maybe 10 minutes.

iPads in a classroom are the new boardgames, (educational of coarse), and as teachers, you want to have control over what is played in your classroom and not rely on the IT Guy every time you come across an App you would like for your classroom.

This guide is how I tell my teachers to setup iPads so they become living machines. Changing content when you want and not through a trouble ticket.

I am just copying and pasting the directions I sent out to our classrooms that got 5 iPads for their rooms, each. Your exact needs might not be here but you can adapt… Read everything first!

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Blocking Ads on Student iPads

While internet content filtering is important, it doesn’t necessarily block advertisements embedded in websites, Google searches, YouTube videos, or inside apps. Most advertisements are harmless (but annoying), but do kids really need to be exposed to an onslaught of commercialism while at school? Many ads can disrupt classwork or might conflict with the school’s mission, vision, or code of ethics.

So we want to block the ads, but Safari on iOS doesn’t let you just download an AdBlock plugin like you would for a PC or Mac web browser. A few alternative browser apps have adblocking, but they aren’t the default and we can’t force students to use them. But don’t worry: we have a solution.

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Using Your iPad As a Live Camera for Presentations

We have over 600 students in our school and every week we have an assembly in our enormous gymnasium. Sometimes we have students give presentations or win awards that are very hard for the rest of the student body to see from the bleachers in the back of the room. So I just wanted to write up a quick post showing a pretty obvious-once-you-see-it way to help the whole school see what is going on using an AppleTV.

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Creating Your Own Mobile iPad Cart / Lab / Charging Station

Our school has around 600 students. The middle school kids (grades 5 – 8) have individual iPads, but students in 4K, 5K, and 1st through 4th grades have to share a mobile iPad cart. The first cart we purchased was the “official” one provided by Apple, but it was not enough to provide access for 18+ lower school teachers.

We needed a second cart, but we didn’t want to pay a large sum of money for another official machine from Apple. So we made our own. Here is how we did it. Continue reading

Collecting iPads at the End of the Year

After a year of utilizing iPads in the classroom, exploring students’ potential using technology, discovering new apps and new assessments strategies, and marveling at the creativity of kids of all ages, the school was left with one final, tricky, and massive iPad challenge: collecting all ~300 student iPads.

This challenge was compounded by the fact that we had to collect them AFTER exams were over, but BEFORE the kids left for the summer. Add in the students that exempted, eighth grade graduation being the day before exam make-up day, and several teachers being unsure of some of the collection requirements, and you have quite a dilemma on your hands. Here is how we approached it…

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