A while ago I shared some thoughts about my iPad workflow (singular). Maybe you read it? A non-descript tall man did and then it got retweeted to the moon and back.

I didn't touch on the logistics much. It is not a 1:1 environment. The classes that used these the most had 36, 35, and 34 kids in them. Sharing was required.

Here are the ingredients of the tasks:

  • iPad/iPhone sitting on the same wireless network as my teaching computer
  • Desmos
  • Pages
  • Brother HL-3170CDW
  • handyPrint ($5), makes USB connected printers visible to iOS devices

Printing wasn't always involved, but in the case where the kids were designing something, the idea was the print it out and add some details. Any sort of like on high mandated Chromebook thing would need to answer the printing question for me. Desmos is exponentially better than spending time graphing things by hand. The Pages portion isn't totally necessary, but if you want to be efficient with toner and paper, Pages lets you place multiple photos on a page. Printing from the iOS Photos app gets you just one.

The sharing thing went better than I had hoped. For graph matching tasks like the one in this photo, usually two per kid was fine and I wouldn't pass out all the devices. Some kids elected to use their phone, which is totally cool with me. Sharing in this context offered a chance for more discussion. I've done this in academic and it lead to a lot of one kid just waiting for the other to figure it out. My PreAP group seems to be more eager and less likely to let that happen.

In instances where a printout was required, I would pass out all 25 and there was less sharing, but it still happened. Students working together were allowed to design whatever it was together and share output, so long as they printed two copies and annotated whatever additional information was required. Each kid had to hand in something. Often they'd sit there and share the device but create enough unique work so that they were NOT the same, which was cool.

I never felt constrained by having fewer devices than students. And I'm having a hard time convincing myself it's time to purchase more. I had several pairs who preferred sharing to working on their own. I dare say this is almost the perfect ratio. As always, I will continue to see if there's something better, but this was hard to beat.

AuthorJonathan Claydon