Digital Learning Tips and Tricks

Lessons Learned from 1:1 Teachers

Here are the summarized results from the survey given to 1:1 teachers asking for advice and lessons learned in the first year of the Digital Learning Initiative.

Top tools, Resources, and Lessons Used

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What Tips Do You Have For New 1:1 Teachers for Classroom Management with the iPads?

Establish Clear Expectations for Routines and Procedures

Extra time spent teaching routines and apps in the beginning pays off in the end.

Establish common language to be used throughout the building.
  • Apples Up language or Stop, Freeze, Focus, Hands Up, Screens Off, etc.
  • Parking spot for device when not in use
  • Routines for getting devices out, putting them away, handling them and caring for them.

Teach digital citizenship.

Establish procedures for downloading apps and expectations for what is downloaded. The device is a tool for LEARNING.

Establish Care and Management Routines

Create a "Care Center"
  • Include a fiber mitt to clean
  • 2-3 charging stations for when iPads come to school not charged

Help students organize their iPad: apps in folders, folders in Google Drive, etc.
  • Consistent routine and opportunities for organizing and naming files in Google Drive, photos, emails, etc.
  • Determine most used apps to live on the Dock: Google Drive, Notability, Settings, etc.

Start each day with students using the Do Not Disturb setting to quiet and mute messages and sounds.

What advice would you give about organization, distribution, and collection of student work via the iPad?

Consistent Use and Frequent Communication

Develop consistency.

  • Use Google Classroom
  • Use SeeSaw App: allows you to collect and share student work with parents.
  • Have students take screenshots of products and turn in via Google Classroom.
  • Use Google Drive: create a shared folder with each student and have them drop their work into the folder.
  • Be thoughtful about what you need to collect and ways for determining completion, mastery, and learning.

What Advice would you give about lesson planning and lesson activities with the iPad?

Baby Steps

  • Start small.
  • Make small technology integration goals for yourself.
  • Practice, Practice, Practice


Allow for more time in the beginning as teacher and students are learning the steps necessary to complete a lesson. Learning it well takes time.

Start with the Standards when Planning a Lesson.

Focus on curriculum and standards. Use it as a tool that may or may not be the most effective based on what students need to do and learn.

  • What do we want students to learn?
  • How will they learn it?
  • How will we know when they've got it?

Use the tool to be more efficient and effective to differentiate, personalize, and deepen the learning.

Be Willing to Step Back and Let Kids Guide and Teach Others

Use Student Tech Teams And/Or Buddies

  • Identify experts in your classroom.
  • Use the experts to help answer questions.
  • Teach the experts first and have them help teach the rest of the class.

Assign apps for students to "figure" out and have students share their discoveries.

Assign "come back and teach me the features of this app" homework. i.e. iMovie, Explain Everything, Keynote.

Take Risks! Don't Be Afraid to Get Started!

The best way to figure it out is to do it! Model for students the learning process by being the learner yourself.

Always Have a Plan B.

Sometimes the technology doesn't work as planned.

Develop a Personal Learning Network

  • Find critical friends to learn with you and support you.
  • Follow Blogs, Twitter Feeds, Pinterest, etc. for integration ideas.
  • Share ideas with colleagues.
  • Collaborate with other teachers.

Be Kind to Yourself: Accept Mistakes as Learning

How did you communicate technology use with parents, particularly in grades where the iPads did not go home?

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