When you first start using tablet computers in the classroom it can be a bit confusing. How do you make sure that the children get the most from them while ensuring that other standards don’t slip? That’s something we hear a lot of from teachers, so we thought we’d help you out and put together a few tips for managing the iPad in the classroom.

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Don’t Teach Your Kids To Suck Eggs

It’s fair to say that a lot of teachers fall into the trap of thinking that they need to teach the application that they are using with their children and they don’t. You are there to teach the subject. You don’t spend half a lesson every week teaching your kids to write do you? Of course not. iPad apps are, in fact, often more intuitive than writing. Focus on what you always teach and let the app play a support role. Of course, if someone gets stuck – help them out but until they get stuck, don’t spend any time on how to use an iPad.

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment

You don’t need to know an app forwards and backwards before you implement it in the classroom. Don’t be afraid to take a brand new and highly recommended app and let your students play with it. The worst that can happen is that you decide you won’t use it in future but most educational apps are pretty good and being experimental allows your kids to ride the cutting edge of technology rather than letting them flounder in its wake.

Do Read The Trial Specifications

On the back of the freedom to experiment, you do still need to make sure that the app will work in your classroom. Many trial versions, etc. have very limited conditions under which they can be used. Don’t roll out an app to discover only 5 students can get access to it. Well, not unless you have a very small class size.

Always Have A Save And Share Plan

Work created (or not created) in an app can only be validated if the work can be seen. If you neglect to have a clear and well-explained save and share plan then you’re missing out on much of the benefits from having technology in the classroom in the first place. Plus, you’re missing the chance to catch Jonny in Class 4B not doing anything at all.

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Always Have A Backup Plan For An App

You always ought to have a fall back plan for any particular app. If you start working on an app and it turns glitch or awkward to use – you don’t want to shelve the lesson content and come back another day, you want to turn to another app and start things moving forward there instead. This isn’t hard to do and once you’ve found a backup plan for each app – you can use the same plan over and over again when it’s needed.

Want some ideas on which apps to use in your classroom? Check out this recent blog post from us.

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