Seven Great Ideas from Teachers on Managing Tablets in the Classroom

Check out these tips about classroom management and digital distraction.

September 27, 2013
Kelsey Herron
Common Sense Media
San Francisco, United States
CATEGORIES In the Classroom, Technology Integration

In many schools this fall, tablets are rapidly changing teachers’ jobs. And while the new devices bring a myriad of opportunities for new kinds of learning, they also bring challenges. Teachers are worried about classroom management, distraction, and how to share too few devices in a crowded classroom. Not to mention worries that the expensive devices will get lost, broken or stolen.

Thanks to Pinterest (we love Pinterest), help is on the way. Here are tips we’ve curated from educators like you about how to manage tablets in the classroom. And we want to hear from you. Share your own tips below.

  1. Don’t let tablets interfere with student collaboration. Have headphone splitters on hand for group activities.
  1. If you have too few devices sharing is integral -- especially for young users. Inexpensive sand timers can help ensure that all students get equal time to push the buttons.
  1. Add shortcuts, or "web clips," for commonly accessed websites on home screens, just make sure students can access those sites without the shortcut too.
  2. Instead of investing in pricy iPad stands, use old-fashioned textbook holders to keep tablets propped up on student’s desks and book boxes to keep tablets in a set place.
  1. Dish racks and file organizers can also double as a slotted storage unit for tablets and extra cords.
  1. Prepare for the worst-case scenario. Have students activate the “Find My iPhone” tracking app to help locate devices if they go missing. The latest iOS 7 software also includes an updated version of the app, which prompts users for a password if they try to disable the app or reactivate the device.
  1. Create standardized backgrounds for students’ tablets that include their names, ID numbers, or homerooms can also help to locate devices if they are misplaced.

This is just a short list of some of our favorites. Visit our Pinterest page for more. If tablets are the paradigm-shifting device that some say they are, it’s up to teachers to share the workarounds and nuggets of information that will make tablet implementation all the more intuitive. That way you can focus on teaching.