Mobile Learning Q&A

Heidi Paullus's picture
What are some classroom management strategies for mobile devices that you use?
Jennifer Gingerich's picture

To go along with the idea ...

To go along with the idea of numbering the ipads.  Make the home screen/lock screen a large picture of a number.  That way it is easy to identify the app.  Directions for doing this can be found at   Do this!

Although it makes sense to assign each student an ipad by number, that can also make things slow when distrbuting ipads and getting them in and out of the cart.  My suggestion is to assign the ipad to a student "desk" or your seating chart.  We put numbers (stickers) on each desk that correlate with the ipad number.  Then we distribute all of the ipads in the morning to the desks or table groups. We actually put them in a basket in the center of the table. This makes it easy to use the ipads during one part of the lesson or day, and then "put them away" in their baskets during another part of the day or lesson.  We also have a couple of cloths to clean the ipads in the baskets.


You can take this one step further by having different colored cases for each ipad in a group.  So 4 kids per group, 4 different colored cases.  Now if you want kids to work in pairs, just call out 2 colors or want one recorder, call out just one color. If they all are going for their ipad, then they know which one to grab by the color.

Paul Gouveia's picture

We have a 1:1 program with ...

We have a 1:1 program with iPads for about 320 Freshman and Sophomore students. 

We have multiple policies that help with iPad management, but I find that teachers that use best practices for classroom management in general, have the fewest problems with classroom management when it comes to the iPads.

One of the policies that we have in place is that if, during class, students have any game apps open in the dock (at the bottom of the screen), they lose their iPad privilages at the discreation of the teacher.  If this becomes a constant problem, the student's ipad is "locked down" so that they can no longer access games (or music, or video) on their iPad.  They don't like this.

I've also had students who couldn't manage to resist the temptation of being off-task on their iPads in my class. They get to use the old technology (paper and pencil) or, If the assignement requires newer technology, I have them work on a very old PC laptop on which I can more easily customize internet access.

Jolyn Collie's picture

We have a two year ...

We have a two year Criminal Justice Program and the second year students are in charge of the iPads and Chromebooks. They are the "supervisors" of a team of students and each team has been assigned to specific equipment and the supervisor "inspects" his/her team to make sure everyone is on task and also helps with the assignments for first year students. Though this technique is used for a high school vocational class, it might be adapted for use in elementary or middle school also with more advanced students.

Scott mcdonald's picture

Orientatiion of the pod or ...

Orientatiion of the pod or pad can be an issue.  A teacher I work with Jill Harrelson, says "button to button".  Meaning belly button and home button are closest together.  It really helps with younger students.

McKael Kenfield's picture

Sign up students to ...

Sign up students to numbered iPads. They always use that number.

ccontracts heck to ensure all devices are docked before students are released.

iPad-settings-accessibility-guided access (use for students in need)  Locks kids in one area and you need a code go anywhere else. When you set this up for a student in need- do not show steps to ssetup 

Use a dongle and project on smart board for students that cannot stay on task (need to have respect set up w student and consequences)

LOP (loss of privilege) & consequence matrix...Provide pencil and paper for students instead for a period of time. 



Amy Isackson's picture

Kind of simple and you ...

Kind of simple and you would think intuitive but know what apps look like or websites look like so at a glance you know what a student is on. Also, if a student closes their app as soon as you drift toward them, most likely they were on something they weren't supposed to be on. All you need to do is double click the home button and go to the first app you see on the left. It will take you exactly to where they left off.  The hope is you won't have to do this because they will be so engaged in the content they are learning or creating but we know this isn't always true. 

Annetta Evans's picture