The 'iPad journey' began approximately a year ago, back in March 2011. I attended an Apple educational event, during which I got to use an iPad 1 and an iPod touch. The iPad 2 hadn't been released in the UK and at this stage I was unsure about how either of these handheld devices were really going to make an impact on the learning at school - they were faster and easier to use for sure, but they didn't seem to offer any more than the software we already had on laptops and PCs. A couple of months passed and I decided to buy my own iPad 2... I was hooked! My then 3 year old, was showing an interest (she had her own folder of games on my iPhone), and wanted to have a go. I reluctantly downloaded her a few games and soon she had her own folder of apps, but this time on my iPad. It was at this point that I was beginning to see the huge potential that this device could have back at school. She was learning to count, do simple subtraction and addition problems, recognise different shapes, listen to stories, learn her alphabet, beginning to spell out words and learn how to write letters, all this with very little guidance or support - she was having fun learning!
|My daughters (2 & 4 years old) sharing an iPad|
iPads for Teachers
I aimed to start the teacher training session with the basics, then move onto the functionality of some of the apps. The basics on an iPad are fairly easy to master (hey, my 2 year old daughter can switch between apps) but some of the features of the device can take some time to get used to. Some apps are easy to get to grips whilst other are more challenging and not equal in terms of functionality.
- Turning the iPad on and off
- Smart Cover
- Passcodes (teachers should be in complete control of their iPad and keep the password to themselves and never share it with the children).
- Home button
- Volume buttons and mute button
- Viewing in Portrait and Landscape
- Multi-touch gestures
- Zooming in and out
- Adjusting the brightness
- Keyboard and split keyboard
- Connecting iPad to a computer
- Re-arranging apps and organising with folders (adding and removing icons, closing, renaming and deleting apps).
- Customising the home screen: Wallpaper HD to personalise each iPad.
- Safari - add to bookmarks, add to reading lists, add to home screen, open a new page, reader, zoom in and out, copy and paste.
- Camera - still and videos. Viewing, sharing and printing.
- Photos - viewing photos and videos
- VGA Cables
- Contacts - Contacts are synced between devices
- Apple TV
- Mail - Setting up email accounts is the primary way to get information off the iPad onto the computer at school. Although during the session we ran into a few issues setting up a POP mail account, especially our outgoing mail server which wouldn't work on our wireless network - to be investigated by our technician.