Monday, March 2, 2015

Guest Blogger Donna Subotnik: Encourage and Measure What Matters When It Comes to Student iPad Care and Use


As educators in a 1:1 district, we need to continually teach our students the best practices for caring for their devices, backing up their data, and using their iPads appropriately for academic purposes.  This has to be intentional and some schools are coming up with creative ways to do exactly that.  Donna Subotnik, the lead technology aid at West High School, put on her thinking cap and developed a program that students find fun, engaging, and that encourages them to learn these critical skills! Donna is our guest blogger for this post!

Waukesha West iPad Patrol

by Donna Subotnik

Donna Subotnik developed a creative program to engage students
in the conversation about caring for their school issued iPads.
In the Fall of 2014, Waukesha West students received their iPads, and with that came expectations that students would self manage their devices.  Students received communication via emails about how to back up their files, and how and when to update their iOS.  It became apparent to me, as I processed broken iPads, that students were not updating their iOS and/or backing up their files on a regular basis.  When I asked students why they had not been updating and backing up, there were a variety of responses.  Some students said it took too long or they didn’t have space on their iPad to do it.  Some admitted to laziness, and others said they simply did not know it was important to do all the time.  It was only when their iPad was broken, that a student realized why self managing their device was important.
iPad Patrol was created to acknowledge and reward students who are actively managing their iPads.  A couple days a week, I find students in classrooms, the hallways, and in study halls.  They are informed that their iPads are being checked for a list of items that I have developed using the acronym: W.I.R.E.D.

Without cracks.
iOS up to date.
Remember to backup.
Equipped with a quality case.
Determine if audio jack is free of everything.

Bonus:  Notability is backed up to the cloud and drive.

If a student’s iPad meets the first five criteria, they get one entry into the drawing for prizes.  If they are missing one of the first five criteria, but have the bonus criteria, they will get one entry into the drawing.  If a student’s iPad meets all six criteria, they qualify for two entries into the drawing.  Prizes for the drawing were donated by area businesses.The time I spend with each student, gives me a chance to educate them why each item is important, and how it will save them in the event their iPad becomes broken.  As iPad Patrol continues, my observations will be recorded to determine and analyze the effectiveness of the program.