Posted in iPads, Technology

Being challenged is a good thing!

At the end of Term 3 last year, all of our staff got their own iPads. When I type ‘got’, I mean that they were required to purchase an iPad, most through a salary sacrifice option. Some, like myself, already had their own. There was some whinging and complaining, but it fell on deaf ears. Our school was progressing, and this was a required step in the process.

One of my roles and challenges was up-skilling the staff to befriend this brand new device that they now owned. There was a wide variety in the interest, current skills and dedication to learning about their iPad. Some staff took their two weeks’ holiday as a learning opportunity and familiarised themselves with the iPad and it’s capabilities. Others left it in the box and hoped that they would be given PD in Term 4. It was the plan, however some self-directed learning was also required!

We presented our staff with their own iPad Handbook (which I don’t actually have a soft copy of – sorry!) and I provided them with a crash-course in iBooks and iTunes with a take home list of QR code links to various iBooks which I thought they may find helpful. I provided them with the resources and basic skills – whether they used it or not was up to them.

It was only a few weeks later that I realised that there were staff asking me really simple questions, like “How do I type using capitals?” and “Can I email a photo to someone?”. I used the Bingo Baker website to create 2 different iPad Bingo Challenge Cards – Level 1, and Level 2. I used the web address of each Challenge Card to create a QR to place on our IT wall in the staffroom and asked staff to scan (and take a screenshot of) both of them during a full staff meeting. 

Level 1 was for staff who needed the basic skills – the capital letters, screenshots, searching the iPad, forcing apps to quit, etc.

Level 2 was for staff who had basic knowledge of their iPad and needed some motivation to create resources for their classes, edit files in their Dropbox, or utilise Guided Access.

Feel free to download the links above and use them at your own school!

There was no extra PD provided about any of the challenges – no extra ‘how to’ or ‘what does that mean?’ – I told the staff to do what I would do – ‘Google it’.

I felt it was important to let staff work through these at their own pace – there was no deadline to meet all of the challenges…until this term! They’ve had at least 6 months to familiarise themselves with these tasks and when we hold our next IT Professional Learning PD afternoon, there will be prizes for those who can prove their skills!

Posted in iPads, Technology, Web 2.0

App of the Week#4: Dropbox

What is it?

Dropbox is a storage program, available online or as an iOS app. 

Why should I download it?

Dropbox creates an easy link between documents on your iPad and your computer. It is essentially one big folder that you can access online, from any internet-connected device in the world, as long as you log in using your username and password.

What do I use it for?

I use Dropbox to access files that I create on my laptop on my iPad and vice versa. I have ‘drag and dropped’ my entire school folder, so that any forms or resources can be accessed at school, at home, on any device, at any time. It is easy to share files from your Dropbox by sending someone a ‘link’ to a file in your Dropbox. Alternatively you can use the ‘Public’ folder within your Dropbox, where students can upload files or submit assessments. For a basic guide, check out How to Use Dropbox on iPad by Ed Ahead on Snapguide. To transfer files to and from your iPad, have a look at iPad+Dropbox by Marlene Hielema.

How do I get it?

Click here to be directed to Dropbox in the App Store.


This post is the fourth in a series, highlighting apps which can be helpful in the education ‘game’.