Recently I submitted an requisition to order five iPads to be used in our library. Now mind you I’ve had serious reservations about the use or usefulness of an iPad in a school setting at all if they were not going to be implemented as a one-to-one program. In my mind, the device is meant to be a personalized device. So how can it function as a class by class “loaner?”
Well, I’m about to find out. Instead of allowing me to purchase the five I requisitioned, I was given five from another department. I am to use them from now until the end of January to gauge how they can be used. I am to collect stats showing their use as well as try to show they can enhance the library program. If it goes well, we will revisit the idea of a library purchase at the end of January.
The App store is “closed.”
I do have some ideas for how to use them, and I can’t wait to let kids know they can check them out for “in-library” use. I expect a lot of kids will want to use them before school and during their lunch. We will allow student to check them out during class, but again they will have to stay in the library for now. This is not a huge problem as the library is the only place in the building that has wifi. Our wifi is secure for JUST school owned devices. I wonder if this will change in the coming school year? We also cannot freely allow students to download their favorite Apps, but instead will have to do the “app” shopping for them.
What limitations will we have? I expect limitations. I already know students will not be able to personalize the devices so much, beyond changing the wall paper and taking photos or recording videos. So we as librarians will be the “controllers,” the “gatekeepers” of apps added to the devices. It seems silly, but right now that is the way it is.
What free Apps can we get — ones that don’t require personalization? I really want to make them work for my situation so I can show how they can be used. Right now all I can think to do is put website shortcuts on them for things like Dropbox, Evernote, and others, etc.
Management and Use?
What management techniques will help? Do you have any ideas for managing them? Anything from circulating to updating to general care in terms of tips will be much appreciated.