At Chase Elementary School, a third grade bilingual student
records her voice narration to pictures she created to
illustrate the book Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes.
App management. It was a challenge to figure out how to
best manage apps on the library iPads. Classroom teachers
often want a set of identically synced iPads, but this setup
typically doesn’t work for librarians, who serve many students across grade levels and subject matters. What’s more,
20 or more students might use the same iPad in the course
of a week, and it’s not economically feasible to purchase
identical apps for every iPad.
We have come up with three app management options
1. If a librarian serves a small grade band, it may work to
clone all of the iPads using the sync cart and MacBook.
2. If the librarian wants each iPad to be unique, it works
best to download apps directly to each device. This option may be desirable if the librarian plans to purchase
more costly apps that will reside on only one device.
It’s a more time-consuming process, but it allows for
greater customization of the iPads and the ability to
offer a wide range of apps.
3. The third sync option is a bit more complicated. The
librarian may want to create smaller sets of identically cloned devices to target specific grade levels or
purposes, such as content creation, research skills, or
e-readers. In this case, the librarian needs to create
i Tunes accounts that map to each set. Then, on the
MacBook, in systems preferences under System > Users
& Groups, she can create a different user login to associate with each i Tunes account. That way, the librarian can manage apps by smaller groups. As the use
of iPads proliferates and schools and districts deploy
various enterprise management strategies, network
administrators may handle grouping of devices, but for
now, this technique has worked for our solo librarians.
Volume purchasing. The Apple Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) has shown mixed results for librarians. Price
discounts apply only when you purchase 20 or more instances of an app, and in many cases, a librarian may not
want 20 copies of the same app. iBooks are also not part
of the VPP, which is unfortunate, as librarians may want
to curate collections of iBooks. Also, the cost of iBooks
and book apps is often not subject to the strategic source
discounts that districts may be able to negotiate for print
versions of books.
Did iPads make a difference in our libraries? As a matter
of fact, the results of this program far exceeded our expectations. We found that using the iPads for our library
instruction was a powerful way to engage students in a variety of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills that
address the NETS and the Common Core State Standards
in ways that are also motivational to the students.
As a result, CPS librarians were inspired to significantly
change their approach to teaching. They soon discovered that
the students were more engaged when they used the iPads
to shoot video, record their voices while reading, and create
digital drawings to express their learning. (See videos of librarians teaching at mobilary.wikispaces.com/ipadsvideo.)
At Kanoon Elementary Magnet School, librarian Elsa
Prieto sets up centers with iPads to support learning related to classroom research and literacy skills development.
At one center, a group of fourth grade bilingual students
acts out scenes from the book Three Billy Goats Gruff. One
student reads the book’s pages aloud while others act out
their parts. Another student uses the iPad to record the
skits. Students share that they frequently act out scenes
three or four times to get it right. Then they show these