After I got all of the organization down (for now!), put some apps onto the iPads, it was time for the kids to begin using them. They were so excited and many of them had experience using their parents iPads but I found that this was not really a benefit. Let me explain. These are first graders and they all want to show what they know and they want to show it now! They are very impulsive and their listening ability shuts off. Add to this that I have many kids that had never seen an iPad and they decided that their friends were the ones to listen to and not me. I didn't expect the chaos that resulted from this and knew I had to get them all focused or there could be dropped and broken iPads.
I told them that we needed to go over a few safety rules that would help us protect ourselves and protect the iPads and they needed to close the iPads and look up at the big screen. I have a dongle that allows me to project my iPad for the kids to watch and follow along. I've read a bit about Apple TV and would LOVE!!!!! to have this in my room, but I'm happy with what I have. At this point I decided to have them work in pairs on one iPad between the two. This really did help cut down on the crazies I had earlier that day. We talked about how to handle and walk with the iPads and then we practiced this. I told them they needed to have the 2 hand hold and that I want to see their thumbs on the top of the iPad. They also practiced how to put them gently down on the tables and how to open up the covers and close them. The covers I have are pretty cool and when they close there is a clicking sound, so we practiced to make sure we heard the click. So as you can see, I took them slowly, modeling all of the way each step in the handling of the iPads.
The other thing that I found from the kids that use their parents iPads is that they use them totally different than how I want to use them. With their parents iPad, it's a toy and they play games all of the time. I want them to be product oriented and I don't plan on having any games put on if possible. The good side was that they already knew about swiping and sliding and pinching. I went through all of the iPad terminology with the kids and we practiced all of them taking turns in their pairs.
The final thing I wanted to go over and really emphasize with the kids was that the only iPad they can touch is their own. No one can touch or swipe, etc any one else's iPad. This has proven to be a hard one to learn. Again, the impulsiveness of the age group. This is a really important rule, especially when we are working on a project, they need to respect each others work.
We then made iPad rules together and here is what we came up with so far. We decided that the rules can change if we need to.
1. Make sure your hands are clean
2. Hold the iPad with 2 hands, thumbs up when getting it from a teacher
3. Walk slowly and carefully back to your seat
4. Place the iPad gently down on the table and away from the edge
5. Use gentle taps when opening up apps and using your iPad
6. Raise your hand for help
7. Do not walk around with your iPad
8. Only touch your own iPad, do not touch your friends iPads
9. Save your work, ask for help if needed
10. Tap the "Home Key" when finished and close the cover: listen for the click
This was an eye opening start for me, but it was a very fun time watching the excitement from the all of the kids. Our next step is practicing taking pictures!