5 critical iPad mistakes to avoid

Here are five reasons why school iPad initiatives tend to stall

ETT-iPadTablets, including iPads, are all the rage in today’s classrooms. But how many iPad initiatives fail due to common mistakes that could be avoided with proper planning?

During a jam-packed ISTE 2014 session, EdTechTeacher director and co-founder Tom Daccord gave an overview of what he said are five common mistakes schools across the country seem to make when it comes to iPad implementations.

“It struck me that there were ways in which schools were making common mistakes with iPads,” Daccord said.…Read More

How much freedom to give kids with school-issued iPads?

Parents pack into a gym at Cahuilla Desert Academy, a middle school in the southern California city of Thermal, Mind/Shift reports. The near triple-digit daytime heat of the Coachella Valley, southeast of Palm Springs, has given way to a cool evening. It’s iPad information night. Before addressing the crowd, Principal Encarnacion Becerra talks up the district’s ambitious new iPads-for-all initiative with the fervor of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. “It’s truly a revolution, what’s happening,” he says. “Technology has finally caught up to where truly you hold the Internet in the palm of your hands. The power of the mobile devices that exist now — we have to have to leverage that capacity and to evolve as educators to address those needs.”

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Three student successes with iPads

The last time I wrote about iPads in the classroom, it was about a school district doing almost everything wrong, Digital/Edu reports. Today I talked to a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools who has a 180 degree view. When the iPad first came out in 2010,  Jennie Magiera made fun of her friends for buying them: “Nice job–you got a giant iPhone that can’t make phone calls!!”  But when a grant bought iPads for her fourth and fifth grade class, the teacher quickly found a path to transforming her teaching and learning practice. While tests are only one measurement of success, she went from having just one student out of 15 “exceed” on state tests in fourth grade, to having 10 “exceed” the next year…

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5 steps to maximize iPads for students with autism

Expert explains that there’s a lot more to an iPad than its apps

iPad-autismClassrooms across the country are dotted with iPads on desks, in students’ hands, and in hallways. Recently, a special education expert offered five insights into how the iPad can be used more effectively in classrooms–not just for students with autism, but for all students.

Anthony Gerke, a special education expert and vice president of professional services for Monarch Teaching Technologies, shared tips and advice on integrating iPads into the classroom during a recent edWeb webinar.

“I want to approach this differently than the usual ‘list a bunch of apps’ session,” he said. “I’d like to start with a definition of technology from dictionary.com, which defines technology as ‘the specific methods, materials, and devices we use to solve practical problems.’ Notice it doesn’t just say, ‘devices.’”…Read More

Houston-area school district ends $16M iPad plan

A Houston-area school district has abandoned a $16 million initiative to incorporate thousands of iPads into classroom curriculums after a consultant found widespread problems, the Associated Press reports. A review of the program, called iAchieve, found it had unrealistic goals when unveiled last year in the Fort Bend school district southwest of Houston. The Houston Chronicle reports use of the iPads was limited, managers had inadequate skills and a vendor hired to develop the learning platform was a startup with no curriculum experience. Administrators had hoped to improve science scores by providing an interactive curriculum. The initiative was eventually expanded to 14 schools…

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L.A. school board to review $1-billion iPad project

The Los Angeles Board of Education has scheduled a special Oct. 29 meeting to review efforts to provide iPads to every student and teacher in the nation’s second-largest school system, the L.A. Times reports. The meeting was proposed by board member Monica Ratliff, who chairs a district committee that is overseeing technology in L.A. Unified, including major elements of the $1-billion iPad project. The next phase of the iPad project “will cost a quarter of a billion dollars or more,” Ratliff told The Times. “Clearly, the board and the district should have answers to the many questions that have arisen.” The iPad rollout — at about two dozen schools so far — has encountered some high-profile problems, including a security breach that involved more than 300 students who deleted a security filter so they could reach unauthorized websites…

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10 school solutions for mobile device management

Bring Your Own Device initiatives just got a whole lot easier for schools

school-device

Schools usually never do anything on a small scale, and that includes the recent boom in “bring your own device” (BYOD) initiatives. From smartphones to tablets and iPads, mobile device management (MDM) has never been more vital for a successful school BYOD program. However, choosing a mobile device management solution can be a daunting task, especially in light of already-strained school IT resources and limited administrator knowledge beyond what device to implement.

That’s why the editors of eSchool News have hand-picked 10 school solutions for mobile device management, based on scope of the solution, how well the vendor incorporates school-specific needs, and industry reputation.…Read More