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iPads: 10 great ways to screw it up

A couple of days ago, I shared Greg Kulowiec’s great post on the Why of iPads. Many districts are jumping on the mobile learning bandwagon without really giving it a lot of thought. Greg provides a nice foundation for anyone who’s thinking about implementing iPads as part of learning.

But even if your district has done the work to understand the Why of iPads, it’s often the How that trips people up. The How requires a shift in how we think about control and classroom management and time and content delivery and content creation and student work and . . . well, just about everything.

Today we start the How by discussing non-examples. Carl Hooker is currently the Director for Instructional Technology for a Texas school district and has a great list of what not to do when deploying iPads as learning tools. You’ll want to read the entire post but here’s the Cliff Notes version of a few of Carl’s suggestions:

  1. Do NOT wait until the last minute to give them to staff.
    In a perfect world, teachers would have them a year to a semester ahead of time.
  2. Do NOT expect it to go perfectly on the first day students get them.
    Plan the launch day as best that you can but things will go wrong. Carl experienced Casper server crashes and a lack of iPad cases, so will you.
  3. Do NOT roll out all your apps at the same time on the same day.
    If you are doing a 1:1 model, where the end-user gets the apps, you don’t want to force-feed all your apps down on the same day. This is especially true with larger apps.
  4. Do NOT try and control everything about the iPad.
    The beauty and educational relevance of these devices is the personalization of learning that can happen. That is null and void the second you turn this into just another “system” to manage through your technology department. These are NOT PC’s. Do NOT try and manage them as such.

My favorite?

Number 4. iPads are not computers. They are designed to be single use devices with control in the hands of the end-user. Trying to control them with the same mentality of laptops and other computers is a recipe for failure.

Your favorite?

Later this week, positive examples of the How.

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