I see the iPad as a powerful creation tool. Unfortunately, too often iPads in schools fill up fast with lots of apps and limit the space for creative projects.

My school has twenty-eight iPads and over six hundred students. Since each iPad has all of the apps wanted by staff, they get full fast. Students and teachers do not have room for creating projects. My thought is we should divide up the iPads by grade-levels or their use and choose apps based on that criteria. Classrooms can use them in teams or use them in a station-rotation model. Each student does not need to have an iPad.

For example, we could have seven iPads for K-1. The apps on those iPads would be useful for those grade-levels and should have room for photos, videos, and other creations. That leaves seven different iPads for 2-3 and seven more for 4-5. Each set would have apps useful for those grade-levels. We would have seven iPads left, we could use those seven for the heavy tasks and storage needs like iMovie. You could also use one or two from that set for “reward” iPads. ( I am not a fan of using them in this manner. iPads are tools and not toys. )

Schools also should rotate through some different apps from time to time. It does take management time, but if you have apps that your students are actually using, you should get more space for projects, etc.

So if you are a school with limited iPads and want to use them for creation, these ideas may work for you. What ideas do you have or how has your school shared a set of iPads effectively?


I have just upgraded my phone from a iPhone 4 to the 5s. The camera is much improved so I am looking to do even more with video and photos for my school.

I have my new Joby Gorrilla tripod and will be looking to add a wireless mic.

Stay tuned for which solution I find.

I use my iPhone with Keynote Remote app to control my Keynote presentation on my Mac so I can roam the space and see my notes. However, yesterday the wireless connection was almost non-existent. So I could not use my iPhone, and therefore, could not see my notes easily!

This morning I remembered that I can set up an ad hoc connection! So the plan today is to use the ad hoc until I need to go to the internet.

With the increase in blended learning opportunities and more concern with using materials legally, creating your own images, videos and resources is one solution.

Today we have many resources in our pockets with our smart phones. Use your phone and media creation apps to make your own media resources.

This cool little app is free and allows you to have one smaller video playing inside a larger one. Great for making short little instructional videos on the fly. See my Posterous for an example.

I seem to always get pictures that are slanted. Image Straightener is 99¢ in the app store and easily straightens those images. Remember we do want to use the best images possible for our teaching so if you also tend to take pictures that slant, check out this app!

People today expect multi-media. It isn’t just a frill or unexpected surprise; we expect it. We expect it everywhere. Even within digital books, we want more than words and pictures.

Our students especially spend hours a day immersed in media. But then they come to school where they may not have access to media or are not involved in lessons that use multi-media. They may become disengaged and sneak out their cell phones or iPods to get their media fix. Research has shown that there are benefits to using multi-media well in the classroom.

Of course, it would not be good pedagogy to use media for the sake of using media. Teachers need to match the media to the lesson objective. It is important to select or create multi-media that engages students, but doesn’t overwhelm the lesson. In other words, the lesson needs to hold its own with the media.

Media can also be used to better communicate to community and parents what is going on inside the classroom. Teachers can include photos, videos, sounds, audio to better illustrate their classrooms. Imagine for a moment the difference of understanding of a parent reading, “The students were amazed at what they learned at the museum today.” with viewing a video clip showing the students and their reactions to the museum experience? Which would give them a better appreciation for the benefit of museum visits?

Today most of us have our iPhones with us. Our iPhone gives us the capability to create and share media quickly and easily. As educators, we should be using this tool as a major part of our teaching arsenal.