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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Auto Play & Transition Keynote for iPad Video Slides Longer Than 60 Seconds.

Keynote for iPad is a staple in schools with iPad programs. Students are presenting to the class more and more with projects created all from an iPad. One great feature of keynote is its ability to embed video in a slide and at the end of the video, transition to the next slide. It just makes your presentation so much smoother and can make the whole thing play without any interaction. This is useful for getting everything in with a given amount of time or looping the presentation at your baking soda volcano exhibit. On keynote for mac you get 600 seconds to allow for this, on an iPad you get just 60.

Well with a little creative thinking, you can make this much longer.

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Lock iPad to an App Natively from Settings

Wether you have a youngster who can't help hitting the Home button or just a child with a little ADD, this little tip can help you keep em on task. This can be done on a large scale via Meraki MDM but it can be a little time consuming and may be a little more than you need. For a small class to a single student this is a quick setup you can do to lock their iPad to a specific App.

Lets open up Settings – General – Accessibility. Scroll to the bottom to Guided Access.

Flip on Guided Access and enter a passcode only you know.

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Apps In The Classroom – Evernote. Absolutely Essential.

Why use Evernote? Because even if your iPad is sacrificed to the molten lava of Pelé, you will never lose your notes. Open Evernote and your presented with all your notes sorted by latest entry or modification. Pull down on the little elephant tab to get the big picture.

Pull down on the elephant to open the tabs menu.

You now see a whole plethora of options and areas to explore. Continue reading

Apps Outside the Classroom – AppsGoneFree – A Great Place of Discovery for Teachers.

There are thousands of apps that go on sale or free every day and there are plenty of apps that will tell you so. One app that puts that in to perspective a little bit is Apps Gone Free (free in the App Store). Everyday, you are presented with a short list of apps that have reduced their price to Free. Now that's not amazing or anything except for the fact that they have been tested and found to actually have some real value before being blindly added to the list.

Not everyday is there an educational app but its pretty close. I have found countless apps from here that I then share with the teachers that I think might benefit.

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Apps in the Classroom – neu.Annotate+

I mentioned neu.Annotate+ ($1.99) briefly in my post about Dropbox, but I wanted to give it a little more attention all by itself. It is one of the most frequently used apps in my fifth grade classroom and probably throughout our entire middle school.

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iOn iOff Daily enabling and disabling iMessage for students with Meraki MDM.

I have requested an automated way to do this from Meraki, like, every M-F between 8-3, disable iMessage but nothing yet. That would also introduce problems with holidays and summers. So, I have a reminder set to tell me to turn it on and off every weekday and using the Mercury Browser on my iPad a Bookmark Bar link to quickly get in and out. (Mercury is good at saving passwords).

Opening the right set of settings.

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