Well, the iPad cart finally arrived in my room two weeks ago. Truth be told, the sight of it produced a mixed bag of emotions ranging from happiness to trepidation. I can only liken it to anticipating Christmas day; wanting it to arrive so badly, yet being afraid it will not live up to expectations. Yet, there it was, being rolled into my classroom and the moment finally arrived when all the planning, talking and thinking about these iPads had to be put into action!
Assigning and organizing was first and foremost for me. As I’ve written before, I wanted to name each iPad after a famous author in addition to numbering them in order to assign each to a student. A colleague gave me a chart which had a space for numbers, names and serial numbers, so I had one class fill out the serial numbers on the chart since that would have taken a million years to do on my own! Then I typed the authors’ names and the corresponding numbers on paper, printed and laminated them and taped them on the tables; each iPad then had a ‘resting place’ on the tables. This allows me to do a quick visual to make sure all iPads are there before dismissing the students each period. This has worked really well, but has since been replaced by pictures of iPads with the author’s book cover within the frame of the iPad. Hard to explain, so see picture below.
(Love this! Thanks V and B, my former students who did this for me as well as the matching bulletin board. I’ve included that picture as well.)
Since the organizing is now done, we’ve (my classes and I) been stumbling through the first few weeks with many challenges and frustrations. For example, the iPads would kick the wireless off, the cookies needed turned on, Google was fussy and not cooperating, kids forgot passwords and a myriad of other roadblocks have gotten in our way. But today-today everything went without a hitch! We looked up articles on Ebsco and cited them in Noodletools. We explored an online study guide about ‘The Great Gatsby’ and discussed the symbolism within the first two chapters. We took a quiz using a Google form. And everything worked! I can honestly say it was one of those days I’d like to run through the copy machine. Now I realize this will probably not be the norm, but today gave me hope that getting involved in this iPad pilot program is worth all the blood, sweat and tears which have gone into it!