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?