If You Give a Teacher an iPad….

You need to provide ongoing support!

In our school district, teachers have all received iPads at different times. We, the EdTechs in the district, have been working with the teachers to help with understanding ways they can use their iPads for personal productivity and as a digital tool for learning.

It is after the fact, now that all of the teachers have iPads, that we have discovered a bit of a sequence for iPad support. These ideas have evolved over the course of the year as we have lived this. It’s not the only way, I’m sure other districts have ways they have discovered, which I would love to learn about.

Stage 1:
 When initially distributing iPads, we have an overview that we do with them. It’s in the form of a keynote (that Carl Hooker created) and done on the projector with our iPads, or a new empty iPad, demonstrating the features of the iPad. We go over the physical set up of the iPad, connecting the wifi, setting up gmail, setting up iBooks, using their Self Serve app, and setting up  Web Dav.  This is always exciting and challenging because we are in a room full of anywhere from 10 to 30 people (see above photo). In the excitement of getting their iPads they may or may not be paying attention to what we are showing them, and there is always a lot of talking. We often have to use  “group management tricks ” to redirect attention in these initial sessions.

Our Tech Support Specialist helping at our iPad Support Fair

Stage 2:
We do a support follow up. This includes re-teaching anything from the introduction that any teacher needs. Tech support is also given for those who had trouble with Gmail, Web Dav Nav, Self Serve, Wifi, Belkin Switches and dongles, etc. We also dive into personal productivity tools like Keynote, Pages, and some personal productivity apps. This stage has been done a few different ways on different campuses and sometimes not in one session. Some campuses have what they call Tech Bytes, in which the Ed Tech meets with every grade level and department during their planning periods for one or two sessions to provide this stage of support.

The Belkin Switch

Recently I hosted an after school iPad Support Fair for the purposes of support for teachers who had received their iPads about 2 weeks before. I sent out a Google Form survey to see what kinds of help they needed.  In order to differentiate and meet everyone’s needs in the short time we had, I set up 3 stations. A Tech Support station in which teachers could get help with technical things like wi fi, gmail, etc. A productivity station in which teachers could learn more about Gradebook, Keynote, Pages and the Belkin Switches and dongles that would enable quick switching back and forth between computer, iPad and document camera projecting.  The third, and by far the most popular, station was an Apps and Idea sharing station.

The Apps and Idea Sharing station at our after school iPad Support Fair

Stage 3:This stage is more of an informal sharing time. We often call them Appy Hours or Ice Cream N iPad Appy Hours. At these sessions teachers come and sit around tables with others sharing apps, eating ice cream, and writing down apps that were shared. The wrap up for the session is a sharing time or an App Smack Down. The apps shared at these sessions are published as “Appy  Hour Menus”

Students practicing Math facts with a Augmented Reality app by PBS called Fetch!Lunch Rush.

Stage 4: This stage is the ongoing one-to-one, small group, and large group work we do with teachers. We model lessons in which iPads are integrated, we co-teach these types of lessons also, and we provide warm-body support as teachers teach their own lessons integrating iPads. We also gather and share resources on what these lessons look like, and how to move this technology from a replacement tool to a transformative tool. Important note: We are at the beginning of Stage 4..Check back later for more concrete posts on how this is evolving.






Post by Margie Brown Eanes ISD EdTech



One response

  1. Do you have the presentation you could share with me? Our school is receiving iPads on 9/18.

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