Becoming an iPad User

Finally, after 15 months of debate, we jumped in and added an iPad to our family of technological gadgets. I say “we” because it was a collective family effort. Every family member received a Best Buy gift card and when we went there none of us found anything that we had to have. So we agreed to keep looking. I started thinking that maybe I needed to get an iPad so I can be more up on the various educational Apps, or this would make a nice alternative to lugging a laptop when I go to Europe this spring; allowing me stay connected to my online class. My kids were an easy sell – they thought it was great. My husband was the one I had to work over – because he wanted to know why this would be different from the laptops, desktop, kindle, iPods and smartphones that we already have. The selling point for him was how the iPad could interface with Direct TV he could take the game outside with him when he grilled and it could act as a remote if he can’t find where the kids left it.

Now that everyone was on board I just had to collect the gift cards and get the iPad. This was the one time that my son wanted to come shopping with me. We decided since it was going to be used by different people and for different purposes that we should go ahead and get the model with 64GB. And so far we haven’t been disappointed.

The past week has been all about exploration. My husband has been figuring out the device – having the kids show him all that it is capable for. The kids went right away to games- knowing the apps they wanted from other devices or friends. While I have spent my time exploring electronic resources regarding apps and how educators are using iPads in the classroom and their favorite apps. Of course I have had my share of hands on exploration but to me I am glad that I did some reading and research before getting started. Here are a few of the places where I went to get information:   

  • Teachers Engage Community – I am an active community member on this site- but there are great member discussions such as one on iPads and pre-K, and an interactive discussion regarding various apps and even one that was about the apps created in support for the holidays so I started here and revisited many of the discussions. 
  • Twitter – yes I am still using this resources and following the educational technologist that I do I found a lot of great resources and recommendations. A few of my favorite were:
    • The blog Apps in Education is one that I have found as a quick and insightful read, plus it is from an educator in Australia so it adds an international flair
    • I re-discovered Learning in Hand, Tony Vincent’s site with resources on using and teaching with all hand held devices
    • I visited one of my old school districts - Creighton Elementary and found that they had numerous resources with their i@chieve program
  • Tech & Learning – they are always sharing articles and resources, plus I love the fact that they send an email with their top stories – because if I miss something it is usually called out in that communication
  • Of course I had to go to Apple in Education to see resources and recommendations that they make

Now that we have had the iPad for a week I wonder how we lived without it for so long. I also find myself wishing for more hours in a day, so I can explore some more. If you have a favorite blog, resource or website on the iPad and educational resources let us know at as I know this is going to be a continual journey. 

In August 2017, Julia Fischer joined our extended network of alumni.