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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Getting Started

My iPads arrived and boy am I excited.  I need to say here that I do not have my own and have never used one before except to play Bejewled Blitz on my friend's iPad.  I've used iPods a lot last school year so I just thought these were bigger  and probably pretty much the same.  So, when the 20 arrived I took one home and started to "play" with it.  I set up an iTunes account under my own name and began downloading apps on to it.  It has been so much fun trying out apps and seeing which ones I could come up with valuable instructional activities to use them with.  This was hard only because my brain was going a mile a minute and I wasn't writing down all of my ideas.  I took a step back and decided that I needed to work out the organization of how the iPads were going to be housed and charged.  Part of my grant was for 2 sinking/charging trays but they have not arrived yet.  I let the iPads sit in the boxes for a week (bad idea) and then decided to work something out so they could get into the kids hands.  Below are pictures of the process I went thorough.  It's working out pretty well.  The only problem is that the iPads need to be charged during the school day and then that keeps them out of the kids hands. The reason I can't charge them at night is because they need to be housed in my closet so they can be locked up when I am not in the room.  They can't be charged in there, it just won't work.  Not a very good thing, but thank goodness the iPads hold a charge for pretty long.

The boxes of 20 new iPads!!!!

I decided that since we are a First Grade classroom, the iPads would need to be protected, so I bought 20 covers from Solidmate for about $8.00 apiece.  They are really good for the money and pretty solid without being too heavy.  Then I numbered each iPad both on the device itself and on the cover.  My intention is to have each kid use the same one each time so they can keep any of their work or projects housed on their "own" iPad.

I needed to figure out how to store them while I wait for the sinking trays to arrive.  The boxes that they were sent in from Apple had these slotted trays that each iPad fit in.  I took these trays, numbered them and then cleaned off my shelf in the classroom closet so they would fit.

The final thing to figure out was how to charge the iPads.  I couldn't charge them in the closet because there isn't any power in there and it would get really hot for them anyway.  I went out and found some power strips and bought a heavy duty extension cord.  I set up several stations that allowed space for the iPads to charge and not have them be in our way.

So, we are off and running!  The kids are very excited to see the iPads and can't wait to use them.  As soon as they are charged we will be ready to go.

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