Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Using first gen iPads in the classroom

I received a note today from a teacher who wound up with a classroom set of iPad 1's for her classroom, and she was looking for lesson ideas that would work with that "older" device. Of course, many of the lesson ideas, tips, and tricks that are on the Web for any generation of the iPad will provide a good starting point for planning, like those I have on this site, but there are some specific things to consider when using the older iPad.

There were some limitations on the first gen iPad-- it had no camera and only projected certain things through the VGA connection. Back in 2010, I asked people to add apps that would project with an iPad to a Google form. I have no idea if this is of any use now, but here is the link

The iPad first generation can run up to iOS 5.1.1, so, when looking at current lessons that use iPad apps that require a newer operating system, and doing a search for comparable apps in the iTunes App Store, look for the operating system requirements listed on the app page. It will probably take a bit of searching to find those that will work, but it will be worth it! For instance, one of my favorite iPad apps, Sock Puppets, only requires iOS 4.3. And I am sure there are plenty of good creation apps that still work with the older operating systems.

Sock Puppets only needs iOS 4.3

I also figured out if you do a Google search on "iPads in the Classroom" or "iPad in the Classroom", and limit the date span of the search from the day the iPad 1 was announced to the day when the iPad 2 was launched, the resulting series of hits will provide lots of great ideas on the use of the original iPad to support teaching and learning.

Here is how to conduct that search. Do a search in Google, pick the SEARCH TOOLS drop-down menu, pick the date area and pick a "custom date". I searched Web pages that were put up from January 27, 2010-March 2, 2011. (Of course, this does not mean there were no useful Web pages put up after that time.) I did the limited date search to find pages that could only have included ideas and successful practices for the iPad first generation.

Of course, even though the iPad first gen cannot take pictures, students can still download images and edit them using certain photo-editing apps. And there are collage apps, like CollageIt Free, that only require iOS 5.0. It takes a bit of work to find apps that will run on the older iPad, but it is not impossible. And don't forget to search for iPhone apps, which will run nicely on the iPad, too.

I came across this PC World article from 2013 that states you might be presented with the ability to download an older version of an app that will work on your older iPad device. (I don't usually have an "older" device, so do not know if this is still happening.) If it is, it would allow installation of older versions of popular education iPad apps to be installed on the first generation iPad. 

Anyone have any additional ideas for those with the first generation iPads? Are you using one or more of this generation of iPad in your classroom and would like to share the list of creation and editing apps you have on the devices? It would be appreciated and save others a lot of App Store searching time!