Is iPad Teacher Training a Necessity?

The following excerpt was taken from a recent article on Edudemic, by Adam Webster (@cagelessthink).

If you give a child a device they will sit and play with it until you ask them to stop and perhaps even after that they’ll still keep playing. If you give one to a teacher, they’ll do what they can when they can, but it might well sit in a drawer for a long while before they get the opportunity to really test drive it. Beyond the constraints of time, it is also worth remembering that there are plenty of teachers who learnt their trade in schools where technology simply didn’t exist and many who don’t see it’s value.

I completely agree with this. Kids will learn by themselves if you give them the time. Teachers are so busy with prep work that they don't have time to play and discover the same amount that a child would. Even for myself, this summer, I haven't put too much thought into learning new developments for education in the iPad realm. When school comes again in about a month, this will undoubtedly change.

Not Just Apps

Further in the article, Adam says that “it's not just about about apps.” Teachers are going to appreciate being taught how to maneuver their way around an iPad, instead of just looking for new apps all the time. Teachers will need to be able to troubleshoot in their own classrooms when kids have problems with their devices. I would argue that teachers need to be better equipped in doing this. Apps are great, but, as a common thread from, don't just find an app to help you in teaching a certain topic or subject. Instead, use your own knowledge in the subject to create presentations using your iPad, using content-creation apps. Has there been a saturation of apps? How can one even keep up with all the new apps out there? Take a step back and focus on being an expert in a few core apps and go from there. Learn and be confident in knowing how to export files, upload them, and share them with students/colleagues and parents.

Quality teacher training does take a lot of work to prepare for, and does require that teachers are willing to learn and spend the time on their own. Carving out a few hours to develop an aptitude for iPad teaching is necessary. Don't always rely on the one tech-savvy person on staff. Be pro-active in finding a course or workshop to attend. Once a high level of knowledge is achieved, you should then share with your teaching network, both internally at your school campus, and also on a more global platform. Join the iPadEd community on Google+ and impart your knowledge. Give out workshops for your district. Contribute to blogs such as

iPad Fatigue

For most, the allure of the iPad has faded. It has been around a few years now. Those who have learned to teach with it already do. Those who fear it probably won't (But hopefully we can change that). Time well-spent is important. Seek out iPad training. Ask around.

How about at your school? Are you the tech expert? How do the “non-techie” teachers spend time learning how to use the iPad? Are there some teachers in your school who are forced to use the iPad but would rather not? Most likely.

Thoughts? I would love to hear some!




14 Comments Add yours

  1. mracalvert says:

    We are a fully iPad school now and have been for two years, and I have to say the journey has been an incredible ride. The question you ask about training staff is an interesting one, because I don’t think it ever stops. I am very technologically proficient but I never stop learning and that’s the fun of edutech. If you embrace the constant state of change you can cope, if you try and conquer it, you will fall. And I think that is the scary part for teaching staff the knowledge that the students have more/better knowledge than we do. But use the students as a resource, get them to teach you about new apps/work flows/ideas using the iPad.

  2. I recall when teachers (and some parents) had to take an 8-10 hr. course when the first iMac desktops got introduced to the classroom back in the 90’s. Today we’re asking them to undergo tablet training. I think it’s not only easier for this generation of teachers, but it’s totally worth it for the benefits it gives to the students and teachers alike. Let’s keep progressing if it’s for the betterment and innovation of education!

    1. Thanks for your addition!

  3. Jamie Hall says:

    Great post! I agree that teachers need training on how to integrate iPads into their classes. Two years ago I came up with a seminar called Help! They Gave Me an iPad and I Don’t Know What To Do With It! It was very popular and I traveled to 42 different cities in the US over a year and a half and trained thousand of teachers. The feedback I got was amazing! The teachers were pumped to take the things they learned back to their schools. It gave them strategies they could use right away and gave them direction that wasn’t provided when they were handed the device.

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