Wednesday, March 14, 2012

iPad Lab User Forms

There have been some requests for the iPad User Agreement Form that we use in Media Center as well as the iPad Lab Student Sign-out Sheet.  Both these forms are linked in this blog entry as well as under the eReader and iPad Resources List.

The iPad User Agreement Form has been used by our teachers to check out an iPad from the iPad lab over a weekend or a school holiday, so they can become familiar with the capabilities of the iPad as well as research various apps that might complement their classroom curriculum.  Those who have used the iPad on their own have been more successful in implementing the iPad into their instruction and student learning because the teacher becomes aware of the strengths of the iPad but also its limitations (hopefully more about this in a future blog).  The user agreement requires teachers to take responsibility for the iPad while it is in their possession. 

The iPad Lab Student Sign-out Sheet is mandatory.  When the iPad lab is used in the Media Center or in the classroom, the form is filled out by the teacher with the teacher name and mod (or period) that the lab is being used.  Each of the iPads are numbered and correspond to the numbers on the sign-out sheet.  The students must sign out and be responsible for the number of iPad they select (or are given).  At the end of the period, they need to replace the iPad in the correct slot and  initial they they have returned their iPads with teacher or student assigned supervision.  In the several months that we have been using the iPad lab, there have only been two occasions when students used the iPad inappropriately.  Both times, students thought it was humorous to add a passcode, so that others would be locked out of using the iPad.  Both times, the student sign-out sheet directed us to the exact student who last used the iPad.  Works great...student reprimanded...problem solved :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Google Docs Not Working on iPad? Try OnLive Desktop

The OnLive Desktop app was recommended by a couple of teachers that I spoke with at the Ohio eTech conference this past week.  Since we have one iPad lab to share with multiple classrooms, it's often difficult for students to create content since they are unable to save their work unless they use Notes and email it to their school account since our network is locked.  We have tried Google Docs with limited success and have been met with frustration on the teacher and student ends.  The OnLive desktop app seems to meet many of our needs:

1) Multiple users can use any of the iPads in the lab
2) Students can create and edit Word, Powerpoint, and Excel documents
3) Utilizes unique student log-in and cloud-based storage
4) Documents can be accessed on any Internet accessible device (desktop or mobile)

I have used the app, and it was a little cumbersome to get used to (mostly due to the smaller touch keyboard that it utilizes), but it looks and operates exactly like a PC desktop.  I'm hoping to try it with a group of students in the next several days and report its success and limitations.