My school's 20 iPads have been catalogued and will be issued via our library software. We are about to start an eReading trial with a mixed year5&6 class, and the iPads will be issued to students overnight. We have purchased a very small selection of eBooks so far, but I am looking at the eBook program offered by wheelers.co.nz
There's already been a small group taking home iPads for Maths work overnight (year 3/4 students) and so far it's been working fine.
What does Wheeler's ebook program entail? Is it available in the U.S.? (By the way, I did my student teaching in Whakatane, New Zealand, in 2004 at the high school. Kia Ora!
Kia ora John! Wheeler's program is only available in NZ and Australia, I think they might be interested in International Schools too in future possibly, but not the US as far as I know. I am waiting on pricing info from them at the moment. The deal they have allows schools to use the initial setup costs as a credit towards title purchases, which I think is fantastic. Sadly though, there are a lot of primary schools here without the funding to manage buying into a scheme like this, and of course there's always going to be issues with equity of access.
Our schools sound similar - mine is yr0-6 (K-5) with a current roll of 320 (will end the year a bit higher).
At my school the iPads are divided into 2 pods (15 & 5), which classes schedule time for during the school day, and our student "tech buddies" deliver them as needed. Today is the first day we've sent iPads home for reading. The kids can take them each night for probably a week, just as a trial. Then we'll have a session with them to assess how the experience has been. I will report back!!
Naku noa, na
Are any high schools using them? My IT coordinator is talking about buying five iPads for the library this year. Thanks.
Wow you have a great IT coordinator! We wrote a grant to get some in our 6-12 library but didn't get it. I think using them as an ereader would be a great way to start and then as a research tool.
We have 76 iPads available for teachers to check out. I'm currently in the process of updating, registering, syncing, and naming them now. Only teachers can check out the iPads (students can only use them once their teachers have checked them out), and they can keep them in their classroom until I need them back or another teachers needs them. Our biggest issue right now is getting all of the iPads registered under one Apple ID and getting our vpp code verified so we can start purchasing apps through the school account. I am assuming you all know this, but in case you don't: You can download one app from iTunes under a vpp (school) account and upload that app to 20 iPads. Once you hit 20 iPads, you can purchase the app again and upload it to 10 iPads. So, essentially, you only have to buy the app one time for groups of 20 and 10 at a time. Teachers are currently using their own Apple IDs to download free apps. But, once we get all the iPads under the school account, I will be the only person who can download apps (even if they're free) to the iPads. It seems very confusing right now, but I am hoping to get things straightened out very soon.
Our tech guy showed me yesterday how to set parental controls to the iPads, which has been another concern. I would highly encourage setting those controls if you haven't already! You can "hide" the App Store (so no "accidental" purchases from crafty students), hide Safari, hide apps you don't want them to use (like YouTube). You just go to "settings" and then to "restrictions".
My hope is to get the iPads fully up & running the way we want them (all registered and synced, etc.) and then start using them during library instruction. For instance, I'm working with 2nd graders on alphabetical order as a library skill unit. There are so many apps/games that concentrate on ABC order and I'd love for them to be able to use the iPads to practice that skill.