Managing iPads in the classroom

Vicki Cole

Vicki Cole is an Innovate My School expert and writes regular articles on laptop security and charging solutions for charging mobile ICT en masse.

Vicki works at mobile ICT security, charging and storage expert LapSafe® Products, the company behind the UK’s first ever laptop trolley. LapSafe® Products has been a trusted brand within the education sector for more than a decade, providing superior solutions to track, manage, store and charge laptops, netbooks and tablets since 2000. LapSafe® Products pioneered the industry it now leads and manufactures the most comprehensive range of charging products on the market. Recent products include: the UnoCart™ sync and charge for iPads, the ClassBuddy™ quality low-cost laptop trolley and the RFID Diplomat™ laptop locker.

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ICT has changed a lot during the last decade. From laptops to netbooks, MP3 players to games consoles and mobile phones, educational technology is constantly evolving. Although each development has brought considerable advantages to schools, surely none has been as heavily debated as the iPad. Small, light and interactive, the iPad has been hailed by many as a perfect tool for education.

Using iPads in the classroom can be both fun and educational, but these extra resources can pose problems for teachers in terms of resource management. With this in mind, I thought I’d run through a few ways that could help you ensure that your new tablets are ready to be used when they are needed.

Unless you are lucky enough to be able to invest in an iPad for every pupil within your school, you will need to find a way to effectively share your limited resources between classrooms. It is a good idea to create a rota or booking form to ensure that each class has a fair opportunity to use the tablets and share this with your colleagues. However, I would advise against posting this rota on your school website; although an online rota can be easily accessed by staff, it is also readily available to thieves looking to cash-in on tech-savvy schools.

In addition to planning when pupils will be able to use tablets, you’ll also need to consider how to make sure that the iPads are actually ready for them to use. How are you going to store the devices to keep them secure and prevent them from being damaged? How will they be charged? How are you going to download apps? You could do this by investing in an iPad trolley, carry case or desktop synchronisation solution specifically designed to manage the popular tablets.

Although desktop solutions may appeal to some, selected charging trolleys provide the added advantage of securing, charging and synchronising your iPads all in one handy storage unit. Purchasing iPads can involve considerable investment, which can make the devices very attractive to thieves, but storing iPads in a purpose made trolley can provide added security to keep the valuable tablets safe in addition to effective management. However, you should carefully consider the features of any trolley before you purchase, as not all cabinets offer the same functionality.

If managed effectively, iPads can be great tools for the classroom. I hope that the above helps you out when deciding how to organise these revolutionary resources.

Photo credit: Tatsuo Yamashita -

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