Friday, October 25, 2013

Android Apps And Grade Two, Part Two

Android Apps And Grade Two, Part Two

I was so excited to hear that my new school had tablets; I even did research over the summer. I do a lot of centres in class across the curriculum and I anticipated that tablets would enhance them. Then I started to look into how to use them and my excitement waned.

So, getting started with our tablets was not as smooth or as quick as I had hoped. It is almost November but we are finally going to start using them in classrooms.


Road Blocks

I know tablets are intended to be single user devices but I had seen iPads used successfully without too much headache in a kindergarten classroom. Being an Android user myself, I was pleased that we had Android tablets. However, Apple has somewhat of a way to help schools manage iPads and apps. It has not been as simple with the Android tablets. Here are some of the road blocks:

  • Logging onto the WIFI is not simple for younger students (and reminding users to log off WIFI when done).**
  • Paid apps are user specific.
  • By using the Google Play store, the tablet automatically connects to your Google account. You have to delete your account EACH time after using the Play store.
    • You have to go into Settings, then select Accounts, then select Google and then select the option "remove account".   
** We still wanted to be able to track individual users and that is why we still want to have students sign on to the WIFI with their own usernames and passwords.


Work Arounds

  • Like all technology, it is important to take the time to teach the skills to students and provide them opportunities for repetition so they can become proficient at logging in and out of WIFI.
  • NO paid apps (means many free apps have ads)
  • Plan ahead - get a list of all the apps you want to install on the tablets so the long process of signing into Google Play and then removing the account only happens a few times.

Resources