The First Day, or What I Learned About the Cart.

Having a class set of iPads in my room is a little nervewracking. I have an intense phobia of people stealing computers from me. I come by it honestly, lest you think me paranoid.

So this morning, the first thing I did was check the iPads. I counted them.

I was missing one.

I panicked. I sent messages to Mrs. Carlson and Mrs. K to see if either of them had accidentally acquired an extra iPad. No luck. I retraced steps. I tried closing my eyes to think where the students had been using them (in my classroom) and looked in many ridiculous places they could have been. No luck.

I felt awful. Here I’d been asked to do this amazing pilot, and I had already really screwed up! I couldn’t eat, I was distracted all morning, I kept composing emails in my head as to how I was going to explain that after one day, I had already lost an iPad.

I’m only using the iPads with one class right now, so all I could do was wait until they arrived and see what they knew.

When I told them we were already missing an iPad, the air seemed to leave the room. I don’t think any of them felt accused–this is a great class with students I trust and adore–but it did seem to cast a pall on the day.

When it was time to lock up the iPads for the day, I said again how I had no idea where this iPad could be. And then, the mystery unfolded.

1. Two students SWORE they had iPad 1. (Turns out, I have two iPads named “iPad 1.”)

2. Both students SWORE they placed the iPad back in the cart under the slot labeled #1. (How could this happen? There’s only one slot with that label!)

3. I thought, “Maybe the iPad fell in the back!” and I grabbed my iPhone, fired up the flashlight app and looked in the back. No luck.

4. Another student then noticed, “Could it have been placed on the other side of the “#1″ slot?”

See, the way the cart is designed to hold the iPads, if a person places the iPad to the left of where it says “1,” the iPad would not stay put–it would fall inside the cart and to the side. I looked, and sighed with relief: the iPad was there, safely tucked away deep inside the cart.

I expect to learn many lessons in the next 18 weeks. For example: adjusting time for students to adapt to the iPad, figuring out which apps rock and which apps are epic failures, adapting quizzes and other assignments to be completed on the iPad.

But today’s lesson was rather unexpected: make sure when putting away the iPads, there is a white plastic holder on both sides of the iPad.

Or in other words, assume nothing–this is going to teach me so many things I never even dreamed of needing to know.

 

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