questionsmy students are getting ipads. what should i be…


Students are getting Ipads and teachers are getting a pay cut?

In my opinion you don't have to watch out for anything. That's an administrator's problem.


It's really not your problem, is it? The district decided to do it and the technology department will have to manage it.

It's the student's personal property for the duration of the school year much like a text book. How often do you check their textbooks?

They'll be able to set up their own iTunes account and put anything on there they want. Your only concern would be what shows up in the classroom and that would be no different than someone bringing an inappropriate magazine or visiting an inappropriate site on a school computer.

You'll have to be careful what you let them use during tests. They can quickly go from one task to another to get information on an app other than the one you've approved.


The IT department at the school should have the internet restrictions and firewalls already set. If they don't, the iPads are a HUGE mistake. Private school I assume?


@rlapid2112: Nope. Public school in Georgia. The iPads are funded by a special purpose local tax the voters approved, which (we're told) cannot be used for salaries. Admin's other talking point is that textbooks are so expensive that it's actually more cost-efficient to outfit the students with iPads. Plus iPads are lighter than textbooks (some of my kids seem to be carrying half their weight in books when they go home).

While "buying iPads for every student" seems extravagant, it does seem logical given where our society is headed. Kids these days are "wired" in more ways than one.

Thanks for the comments so far, everyone! Sounds like the consensus is "What, me worry?"


@rayray8822: So the problem is "textbooks are expensive" and the solution is to buy iPads, but then you still need to buy iTextbooks. And maintain $500 iPads that will probably be abused just like the books were.


There's an app on the Mac App Store that lets you program iDevices to limit what they can do. I'm assuming these will be the school's iPads, not the students'. Chances are it will go through this limitation software first, but you should suggest it to the administration just in case. If you make it so the iPads can only run a few apps, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

You do need a computer to jailbreak, so if they only have the iPads, they probably can't jailbreak. I'd just really be on the lookout for them abusing Safari and putting apps on that shouldn't be there, if they even have the ability.


Please tell me what school you are at, I will be the first 6 foot, 200 lb. fully-bearded "13 year old" that school has seen.

As for your Q, everyone else has it spot-on. Not your problem. Just lay down the ground rules for the kids as to when they are allowed to use the device and when they are expected to stick to pencil and pad. You also need to inform whatever genius decided to give every student an ipad that you teachers should be able to take away and lock up ipads for illicit and disruptive behavior during class hours.

At my college, one of my professors installed a wi-fi blocker/jammer for the classroom that he turns on and off depending on when he thinks people should be able to use their laptops/tablets (i.e. blocked during lecture time; allowed during discussion time). Another caveat is that he doesn't allow phones to be used in class. I doubt you'd be able to do this for your classroom, but keep it in mind if it's a problem.

Either way, good luck. You're going to need it.


@rayray8822: this sounds like a pie in the sky scenario that's destined to fail. the district will be obligated to troubleshoot problems with the damn things and replace busted devices that will undoubtedly crop up from at least 1/3rd of the students. i can maybe understand chromebooks for the extra durability (if not for the cost savings alone), but prepare for a deluge of issues that make this a large pain in the ass. "my ipad was broken" will soon be the new "dog ate my homework".


@thedogma: What's the app called? I need to score some "brownie points" with my principal. :)


Ban them from use in the classroom except during "We're reading the textbook out loud" time. College students seriously can't be trusted with smart phones or laptops in the classroom because they won't pay close attention, what makes you think a middle schooler will behave? They're there to learn, not play Angry Birds.


Sorry to hear about your pay cut. I recently received my education degree, but things like this are the reason why I'm going a different route right now...

I really do want to know how this pans out, please let us know how it goes after the kids get them. Is it going to kick in next fall?


I sell to school districts and have seen this kind of thing deployed multiple times. The main concern is actually for the IT resources like wifi in many cases a good size district 20+ schools will have spent 1 Million dollars on wireless equipment to make everything wireless.

However, there are many grants and federal programs that provide funding for the IPAD. On top of that it is the one place that apple does provide discounts. I actually find that it is the poorer schools that have more of the Apple technology because they have a rate based on fiscal need of the school district.

That combined with heavy customization for the education field that protects the "children" is actually pretty significant.

Now there will always be hackers and they will find ways around it but by and large I have found this to be way less ugly than you might assume it is. What does cause more problems is a district saying you can bring your own device providing a controlled device seems to work best


They will hide them in the classroom during breaks or overnight while recording video so that if you pick your nose or scratch your butt in what you think is an empty room you will become the next YouTube star.

They will use it for bullying purposes by taking/breaking the ones belonging to the bully target du jour.

They will use it as a modern way to "pass notes".

They will use it to ask other students for answers to questions on tests.

They will use it to send pictures of their genitals to each other. (Which they already do with their phones, but now it will be extra-cool because it will be done with school-supplied equipment for that extra thrill of misbehavior.)

They will store cheat sheets on it.

They will "accidentally" drop it as hard as they possibly can when they've failed to do important homework and then show it to you as an excuse.

In short, they will do everything they think they can get away with. Important class rule: No iPads out during tests and quizzes.


@samstag: I don't know what this particular school's curriculum requirements are, but there are lots of free digital textbooks out there. makes digital textbooks designed to fulfill curriculum requirements for various states. Plus, giving kids iPads allows teachers to use awesome resources like