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Tips for Using iPads With Elementary-Age Students

EducationWorld is pleased to present this article on iDevice management. The piece originally appeared in TechEdge, a quarterly magazine published by Naylor LLC for Texas Computer Education Association members. To join or for more information, visit

Need help properly integrating the use of iPads at the elementary level? Below are six useful tips for ensuring success with younger students. Find more advice here.

Happy hands
Students raise their hands and wiggle their fingers like Jazz hands. This is especially useful when students become distracted and are not on task, or when the teacher needs to give students instructions for the next activity.

A screenshot allows the teacher to review student work at a later time, or can have the students check their own work as the teacher calls out the correct answers. Most apps do not collect the results of your work, and in a classroom setting, the teacher would not have time nor would the students have the patience to stop working on the iPad until the teacher reviewed the entire student’s work. To take a screenshot of whatever is visible on the desktop of the device, hold your finger over the home button and click the on/off button. Go to photos to find your screenshot.

Spotlight search
Search for an app by swiping left to right until you get to the Search screen. Type in the name of the app. The search result will display all the apps with your search keyword in it. Customize the search listing in Settings to eliminate mail, contacts, calendar, and notes from appearing as a search result. Help students find apps faster and avoid having to spend instructional time locating apps.

Sharing the iPad
The iPad should be placed between the two students who are sharing the device at all times. Share two pictures with the students: one of what sharing looks like and the other of what not sharing the iPad looks like. There will be times when students will have to share the device even in a 1:1 setting. It will be easier to manage this if “sharing” has been previously addressed.

Level of sound
When the volume on the iPad is on, a student should set it to no more than eight bars. If headsets are not present or even if they are, it is important to keep the volume at a manageable setting so the students can hear the teacher’s instructions. The teacher can determine how many bars is appropriate, but it is important to designate this at the beginning of class or the lesson as it will be easier to manage than having to address that after there is chaos.

Student jobs
Assign each student a job as needed when using the iPads. One student per table should be assigned to pick up and return the iPads to the cart.


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