Having had a class set of iPod Touches for the past three years, I am already familiar with a variety of Apps to use in the classroom. I also have a personal iPad, so I am somewhat familiar with the capabilities of this incredible device. We also required the AUP signed and returned prior to issuing a device to a student.
Since we have had a number of iTouches in the class, it was important to track the use of each device. As some of the devices were lost and/or broken, we had to rethink how we use and distribute the devices. I keep a spreadsheet with the serial number, asset tag number and the student names that use that device. Because of the PTL Grant, when we first received our devices, we had enough for each student to use, so the students could take them home. We no longer have enough to do this now, so the devices remain in the classroom.
When we use the devices as a station, it is a good idea to keep track of which devices the students use. I placed a sticker on the back of each iTouch, so I have students write the number in their journals (or on an index card) with their name so that I can discuss any problems that come up with the use of the device. For instance, we had a couple of boys that thought it would be funny to put a pass code on the devices and then they forgot what they entered. Ultimately this locked us out and we had to restore it. By knowing which students used the device, it was easier to track down the culprits.
We also have “Table Captains” who are responsible for getting and returning the iPod Touches to the charging cart. They also alert us to any problems that come up with the use of the devices. We also encourage students to bring their own earbuds. We have some, but during the last 3 years, many have not held up to the “abuse” of a middle school student. We can lend some to students, but then I feel the need to clean and sanitize them after each use. Alcohol wipes work well for this.