Apps / classroom management / iPad

Ramp up Your iPad Use

Too often, iPads end up like a babysitter–students love them, can get lost in their fun, but forget inquiry. My efriend, David over at, and I got in a long conversation about that. Turns out, he’s put a lot of thought to that very question and has some innovative solutions. He wrote a wonderful article addressing those concerns and how to fix them, with a video that shows more details. Here’s the gyst of it, as well as a link back to the original:

Layering Apps on an iPad

I have just written an article for Interface Magazine about how to best use an iPad in the classroom.  I wrote the article in response to my own observations about how iPads are being used and also in response to a blog post  written by Tom Whitby, who did the Emporer’s New Clothes task of stating that a worksheet is still a worksheet, even when it is on an iPad.  This echoes my own observations with teachers who use an iPad in their classroom.  They tend to use this high tech device to deliver low level learning.  The trouble is to the casual observer, it looks great to see engaged students working enthusiastically on their shiny new iPads in a classroom, but what learning is happening? I have also been part of a conversation with Jacqui Murray who was sharing her thoughts on the best apps for a classroom.  I shared my thoughts on formative assessment and publishing, points which she agreed on.

When I work with teachers who are using iPads in their classroom, I get them to audit their apps and to ask so what? questions of the apps.  I need for them to know the learning and formative assessment potential of each of their apps.  If the apps is unjustified busy work, it is scrapped.  I then introduce this concept I have developed called layering, where the best features of one app are used to create content that can be enhanced in another app.  I get the teachers to base the learning intention outputs around the workflow of several apps.

You can see what I mean in the video below.  If you are struggling to get the best out of your iPad or are having trouble creating a sustainable blended elearning environment in your school, please contact me for a free initial consultation meeting.

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, presentation reviewer for CSTA, Cisco guest blogger, a monthly contributor to TeachHUB, columnist for, featured blogger for Technology in Education, and IMS tech expert. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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9 thoughts on “Ramp up Your iPad Use

  1. Pingback: Ramp up Your iPad Use | iPads in Education |

  2. Pingback: Ramp up Your iPad Use | 1:1 iPad Program in Primary School |

  3. Jacqui great post! 😉

    This week I have been working with teachers and getting them to think about workflow. Getting them to identify what hinders their integration of elearning into their existing practice. It is amazing to see teachers gain in confidence when simple strategies are implemented that maximise production or learning time and minimise admin time. It is amazing to see how much curriculum time can be consumed by students struggling to complete, what we think as the simplest of tasks.

    Have you ever watched a 5 year old working with a standard mouse for example? How can that be productive or efficient? Giving them laptop or mini mice increases their productivity dramatically. Layering apps is just one strategy in this workflow approach I have to integration, I have dubbed it identifying roadblocks and reducing them to trip hazards.

    • You are a star, David. There was lots of interest in this topic on my blog, and you got Scooped more than once. Thanks for your pithy thoughts.

      Any chance we could repeat your starring role with this topic–how to find time for tech integration? I love that. Let me know if this interests you.

  4. Pingback: Ramp up Your iPad Use | technology in primary schools |

  5. Pingback: Ramp up Your iPad Use | Chisholm iPads |

  6. Pingback: Ramp up Your iPad Use | iPads in education k-6 |

  7. Pingback: Ramp up Your iPad Use | iPads at CVHS |

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