July 14, 2017

So You Want iPads in Your Classroom?

Are you dreaming of a class where each of your students has a mobile device? Are you a frequent user of Donors Choose and want to consider writing a grant or request?

Let's begin with a story...
One year after attending a conference, I began to see more teachers using iPads in their classroom and I knew I wanted them too! I started looking at grants and donations as my main source to build a class set. I learned two things through this process. First, donations of one or two devices at a time was not going to get me to a class set. Second, I was only looking at devices and not the learning environment. 

Devices do not make a classroom innovative or cutting edge. We must make our environment innovative. One way this can be achieved is through flexible learning spaces. When you start to write a grants/request, especially from Donors Choose, consider your environment and what you need to make it innovative and to meet the needs of your students. Edutopia has a great article to read when considering flexible seating in your classroom.

If you truly want to build a 1:1 classroom, receiving one or two devices at a time will not get you there. A better, more efficient way to achieve a 1:1 classroom is to work with your principal to order a cart of twenty-five to thirty devices at a time. This will ensure a true 1:1 environment where each student has a device and the device is not shared. 

So what do I need to do next?
Our awesome IT department has OKCPS Technology Purchasing Guide, with all the important information about purchasing/requesting mobile devices. This site is utilized by campus principals when they start considering the purchase of mobile devices for their campus. Below is information from the OKCPS-IT department to consider when discussing mobile devices:

If you are writing a grant for mobile devices, follow the guidelines listed above to ensure the devices work on our district network.  Most importantly, contact the district's Grant Management department for assistance!

For more information on Donors Choose please check out the ETS FAQ page. 

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