News

The when, why and how of PD for iPads

By Stephanie Tow
January 7th, 2015

One teacher explains that collaboration is key to finding time, and resources, for teaching with iPads

ipad-pdType “professional development for teachers” into any search engine and numerous results fill the computer screen. Type in “professional development for iPads” and the results are more narrow and, in my search anyway, not at all what I need. So how do educators find what they need when it comes to teaching with iPads, apps, and all that conjures up?

In my case, I did what we all do. I turned to my peers for ideas and relied on my own experiences. We as teachers are each other’s greatest resource and as the old teacher saying goes, “beg, borrow, and steal.”

I’m very thankful that my students have iPads, and I love watching them become completely absorbed in learning while using them. But I’ll be honest. I need and want professional development for them. My time is valuable and my learning should be held at the same importance as my students. So, what do we do? We collaborate and find what’s best for us. Just like our students we learn differently, so we need to seek professional development that best fits our learning.

I believe the general consensus among teachers is that if we had meaningful professional development for iPads we would be more comfortable using them in our classrooms. Some great advice that was given to me at a technology conference is that we will never be proficient on every app or every device. Each day something bigger and better is being developed.

Pick one or two things and become proficient using those. Please understand that the experiences that I’m drawing from is mine and my peers. By no means are the following ideas the only and most effective ways. And of course, if anyone has any suggestions don’t be afraid to share!

(Next page: the when, why, and how)