Thursday, November 22, 2012

iPads in Kindergarten

At Dunluce Elementary, Shanon, Dana, and Raelene along with their Principal, Bryan Evans, are excitedly preparing to introduce iPads to their Kindergarten classes. They have all had their own iPads for a few weeks to get comfortable with them and now they are getting ready to roll the cart out to their students. Wisely, they bought five for each Kindergarten class first, with the potential to expand to other grades when the need/demand presents itself.

When asked how they hoped to use the iPads, they were mostly saw it as a consumption device in Division I, or in UDL terms, to be used for multiple means of representation. After we went app hunting and playing, we discovered that the most of the content apps were either expensive, limited in scope, or not very good. However, we did find a lot of cool content creation apps that we thought had a lot of potential applications and began to realize how powerful iPads can be for multiple means of expression and engagement.

Here is our discussion guide and the advice sent to us from Lisa Henderson at Pollard Meadows:


What I came away with from our discussions:

Have Configurator installed before starting the conversation and looking at the apps. It would be best if the lead teacher(s) had a working knowledge of Configurator (and the Volume Purchasing Program) before iPads are introduced to the teachers. It would have helped me a great deal if I knew and understood Configurator.

One idea that we came across was to set the lock screen with a picture of the class iPad rules. Originally, we used an image of rules we found on the internet. It wouldn't be hard to make a graphic set of rules that would be closer to our context once we see the iPads in action.

Please share any advice you can share with us about your experience using iPads in Kindergarten.