Thursday, October 15, 2015

Kindergarten iPads - Our Equal Access Plan

We are outfitting kindergarten classes in our district with a minimum of 8 iPads each. The goal is to provide equal access in all classroom and facilitate collaboration and professional learning among teachers about how to effectively integrate this technology. Previously, there were some classrooms that were 1:1, many with small sets of 5-7 and others with no iPads.

Supporting teachers in developing ways to use iPads to create more student centered, collaborative and creative classrooms is difficult when some classes have one teacher iPad and others are 1:1. To achieve equity with devices we gathered up previously deployed iPads and re-distributed them to the Kindergarten teachers. This is difficult to do, because someone is losing iPads, but it is important to allow us to move towards a baseline of tech in all rooms. It also lets us provide focused professional learning that all Kindergarten teachers can implement and we can measure the effect on skills and practices. We have an iPad Bootcamp planned for January 2016 and will plan more events just for our Kindergarten teachers.

A list of iPad apps was created that is being pushed out to all Kindergarten iPads. We are removing the frequent "games" folder and trying to provide more creativity based and critical thinking apps. We also kept some of the old favorites for teaching handwriting, and math.

The total cost of all these apps purchased through Apple's Volume Purchase Program is $9.50 which is about $237.50 for a class set of 25 iPads.  We are also providing each classroom with Black Box storage and security lockers.

The apps we are starting with include: (App store price/VPP store price)

ELA Apps
Magnetic ABC (1.99/.99)
Handwriting Without Tears:Wet-Dry for Capitals, Numbers & Lowercase (4.99/2.50)

Math Apps
Subitize Tree (.99/.49)
Front Row (free)

Creativity Apps
Explain Everything (3.99/1.50)
Pic Collage (free)
Doodle Buddy (free)
Skitch (free)

Coding Apps
The Foos (free)
Scratch Jr (free)
Kodable (free)

Thinking/Physics Based App
Thinkrolls (2.99/1.49)

QR Reader
Scan (1.99/.99)