I offered, last school year, an opportunity for third grade teachers to really get hands-on with how to incorporate iPads into their classroom. The grade level leader asked if I could create, with her, a half day training for her fellow teachers. She already approached her principal and received approval for all the teachers in that grade level to work with me one afternoon. Now imagine this, there are ten third grade teachers in this particular building and the principal agreed to get the required subs for this. Here is a leader who knows and understands the importance of professional development for new tools.
The grade level leader and I sat down and looked at the curricular units coming up. My focus was on having the iPads integrated for direct instruction or creation. I wanted to avoid using apps for drill and practice or game purposes. The afternoon started with some basic operational functions and settings, for those teachers new to iPads. We created a few, hands-on examples of using apps like: TinyTap, Nearpod, and Frolyc for direct instruction. We then tried ChatterPix Kids and YAKit Kids for quick thirty second recordings. Educreations in combination with Star Chart for a video tutorial and finally ThingLink for creating interactive images. While demonstrations of each of these engaging ways of incorporating iPads happened I also had an interactive wall of apps. Taped to one of the walls of the room were thirty QR Codes each one to a different app with a description of the app and a practical way it could be used in the classroom. When the QR Code was scanned it would install the app on the iPad for the teacher to try. I wanted to make sure that all the teachers were engaged in iPad examples that fit what they needed.