One of the things I love most about being an educator is the fact that I am surrounded by people like me, type A perfectionists. One of my favorite parts of any school year is right before the students visit because the room looks immaculate! Everything is in place, everything is new, and everything is clean! By mid year, my room needs dusting, the folders are ripped, but at least everything is somewhat organized. Now for the big question when integrating technology into your classroom; How do 27 students and one teacher stayed organized. Well IPads make organization easy!
Step One: Organizing all of your Apps!
When we were first handed IPads, I asked myself, “How am I going to organize all of the apps I have, and how can I maximize our Ipad usage?” The first thing you need to consider when incorporating technology into your classroom is how to organize the programs you will be using. You can create folders on your IPad by holding down one app until it “wiggles” then you can drag and drop it onto another app to create a file. You can rename the file whatever you would like. You can take an app out of the file by doing the same process, but by dragging it out of the file. Be careful! You don’t want to hit the red (x) button because this will delete the app from the IPad. At first, I organized my apps by subject, but then the folders were unable to hold all of the apps I wanted per folder. At this point I had over 25 apps for math and 10 of these were fractions, so I made a fractions file. I also wanted the apps that our class used the most easily accessible, so I put those apps on the Home Screen.
When I talked to teachers on my grade level about files, most of them wanted to create files for every students’ IPad without any help for their students. I decided to take 30 minutes out of our day and the students filed and organized all of their apps. I thought this would create a sense of responsibility for keeping the IPads organized. I used the files above to help students understand what apps should be grouped together and what the files should be named. As professional educators, we will always be searching for that next great app or program for our kids. When you get new apps, make sure you file the new apps into the appropriate files. This way your classroom will stay organized.
Step Two: Creating a Wiki.
“Ok everyone, go ahead and start saving everything from your classroom webpage ABCD County School District is getting a new web host.” This is the point in which most teachers feel the ultimate “stomach drop” feeling. I despise when I work for hours on end on something for it to be taken away from me. Plus, I am somewhat of a control freak, and I want to be the person in charge of my classroom website.
When our Edtech team introduced us to Wikispaces.com I was instantly hooked. One of our head technology teachers was already using this phenomenal website in her classroom daily. I started envisioning what my perfect classroom would look like if parents could print off spelling and vocabulary lists from home that I “didn’t give” their students, or how we could save HUNDREDS of my copies by working on things via the IPad. This is when my journey with wiki spaces started. Now, my class uses it from 7:40 until the end of the day. My students can download their morning work straight from my website into an app and write directly on the page via their IPad.
I have have also downloaded most of my power points, vocabulary sets, and study guides for each subject in my classroom. It is a miracle! My filing cabinet now houses tissue boxes instead of all of my paperwork! I NEVER have to worry about losing my LAST COPY of anything! The best thing is that this website is student friendly and they can access it from anywhere! Many teachers say they don’t have enough time to create a website like this, but once you upload all of your files you never have to do it again. I started uploading my files by unit. When I began to plan a new unit, I dropped all the files my students would need onto my wiki. You are welcome to look around our classroom’s wiki to gain ideas, or you can download the PDF file below to get started on your own class wiki today!
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