My third thought after "wow, how generous," and, "I hope I don't break it," was how to use one iPad in the classroom in an efficient, productive way.
So having had it for less than a week, I wanted to post my experiences with it so far. Keep in mind that I'm a novice when it comes to iProducts and exclusively touch screen devices (my cell phone is a slider because I like a keyboard). That way hopefully someone can learn by my trial and error what was easy, what requires a bit of a time investment to pull off, and what, as far as I know, is just not worth it!
1. Turning it on. Yeah, we're starting from scratch here, haha. The on button is not the front middle button, oddly. It's the top right. *shrug* Then it automatically wanted me to get on iTunes or the Cloud or whatever upon startup, but I didn't have wifi at home. Plus of course typing on the thing (like figuring out caps and numbers) was a new experience. For me the whole startup process was a slight hassle, but if you have wifi already and use a touch phone it's probably very easy. At least it connected automatically at school, where wifi is already set up. Difficulty: medium.
2. I took pictures with the camera. That was easy. Figuring out what to do with them after is what is difficult. I had to ask a student to show me how to delete them. And what I use them for is to put on our classroom blog, but the iPad is not set up like a PC...no file locations that I can see. I'm not sure exactly how to access them and transfer them to other programs. The kids suggested I Email them to myself just like I was doing with my (Android) phone. I suppose that will work, but the bottom line is, I'm not totally comfortable with pictures at this point. Difficulty level: medium.
3. I set up school Email and synched my calendar. The skins on these programs are slick looking and intuitive to navigate. Difficulty level: easy!
I already looked at Class Dojo before, and signed up, knowing I'd be getting an iPad. If you don't know about this classroom management system, check it out! It's got so many great features, and you don't even have to go to the effort of typing in your students' names!! You can just copy and paste your roster in if you've got it on your computer already. It is customizable in terms of you can add or delete positive and negative behaviors, and change each students' avatar, but all that stuff is fun for me so I don't even count it as time consuming. Finally, I was shocked how easy the parent notices were to print: they come up 2 per page with the student's name and a code for parents to enter when they log in. All I had to do to let parents know about their child's behavior for the rest of the year was to click print and cut the pile in half! Difficulty level: easy!
5. I created bookmarks of websites I need for school: our classroom blog, our school's website, and even Pinterest and Google Reader, since I honestly do use them exclusively for school ideas. Obviously I won't be using either for other purposes on the iPad. I figured this out by pressing the buttons up near the url window, so difficulty level: pretty easy.