This year we have piloted a program with iPads in the hands of each seventh grader. First let me say that it is NOT the same a full one-to-one laptop program. But it has given me flexibility and the chance to try some projects and ways into thinking that I have not had the opportunity to explore. There are some good things here.
Roll out was relatively painless – with the exception of some issues about account management, and we are still trying to solve some of those things. Games are a bit of a burden. I really want the students to embrace the iPad as something that they always have with them, but that means I do have to figure out how to handle the before and after school epic golf/driving/angry birds sessions that drive some people crazy. As long as I don’t have to fight with Facebook for classroom airtime, I’m good.
But we are tinkering – trying new stuff. I’ve used the availability of email to push out pdfs to students, get them all blogging (whoa, did html tags confuse them), create stories with pictures, write, comment on friend’s blogs, create Prezis. And we don’t always have them open all class. Sometimes they just have to email a classmate or check the homework calendar.
But how often do you have a 5 foot-9 inch 7th grade boy tell you that he thinks the homework is going to be “fun” and then have him come to class with a wordless story depicting an epic battle between a stapler and a staple puller? I don’t want to spoil the ending, but just know that a pencil meets a bad end (and not at the hands – as it were – of the pencil sharpener).
Teaching is so much fun sometimes.
Image by Beau B