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Workflow Considerations for a iPad Classroom

To manage iPads in your classroom, you must design workflow options that cover how students will use those iPads on a daily basis. How do you plan to deliver content to student iPads? How do you want students to direct their iPad assignments back to you?

When you think of managing iPads in schools, the focus is generally on how to set up and use the device itself. What is sometimes forgotten is that school is essentially about communication and the exchange of information. Enabling simple and effective exchange of information is critical to the process of education. That type of information exchange is typically called a workflow.

When you go to an architect, you don’t just ask him to design a house. You begin by discussing your needs and desires. What sort of house do you want? The same logic applies to the design of information workflows. Here are some workflows you might implement in your 21st-century classroom:

  • Delivering information: Content delivery was the staple of education in the 20th century, and even though everyone strives for a more student-centered approach to learning, there are still times when teachers need to deliver content. This is best served by a web-based service; teachers can drop the information in a folder, and students can easily pick it up.

  • Submitting information: Students need to be able to easily submit work to teachers. One important distinction today is that information is multifaceted. It’s no longer just text. Information may be images, videos, or links to the web, and the workflow often has to deal with files that can be quite large.

  • Communicating anywhere, anytime: Key elements of 21st-century learning are access and communication. Students need to be able to work in class and edit and share that work outside class. Using secure cloud storage can enable anywhere, anytime access.

  • Annotating, marking up, and returning documents: Receiving constructive feedback is critical to learning. Many teachers require workflows that enable them to mark up and annotate documents, create digital copies, and then return those copies to students in a secure location.

  • Providing continuous student narrative: A blog is an ongoing narrative owned and edited by a single student. What distinguishes it from a regular journal is that it can be shared privately with a single person such as a teacher, shared within a group, or shared with the general public.

  • Enabling collaborative work: Students often need a secure location to share information and work together on projects securely.

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