They’re looking to adopt and are visiting our school to see them in action and ask us for feedback. I made a list of talking points for my recommendations:
- You must train your faculty first. MUST.
- You must have a companion network like MyBigCampus, Moodle, or Blackboard.
- If you can’t integrate all grades at once, don’t get rid of textbooks until all the kids have the iPad.
- Have a departmental sets of loaners to use on a class-only basis.
- The school needs to provide covers or else the damage is immediate and swift.
- eBooks are not all the same and may not be the most economical for an English class. If a kid can’t write or make notations in it, it’s useless (I’M LOOKING AT YOU, FOLGER SHAKESPEARE.)
- So I’m saying: it’s likely cheaper for your department to keep its paperback library and allow BOYB or BYOT for ebooks.
- If you’re going to put a protection client to watch for jailbreaking, put it on BEFORE you hand them out to the kids.
- The school should provide Pages, but do not expect the iPad to be a word processing device. It’s not.
- Be sure your school provides before and after school time and space for kids to use wifi. If you make Internet homework, the Internet-less are at a disadvantage.
I’d add that Edmodo is a great free alternative to Moodle/Blackboard/Etc. - they have an iOS/Android app and also work just fine in Safari.