Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 19 - What would I do without my iPad?

Today's #AprilBlogADay question asks "Tech in the classroom - How? Why? Should we?"

I may not have a classroom, but I could not do my job as effectively as I do now if it wasn't for technology. My teaching life is on my iPad. 

As an itinerant teacher, I travel to several schools daily serving students from preschool through high school. My role is to work individually with each student on their specific IEP goals. These range from reading, writing, and listening to self advocacy and language development. I have 8 different lesson plans that I have to create each week and 8 different sets of materials I have to manage.

When I first started this position three years ago, I was faced with an organizational nightmare: my trunk was becoming my mobile office. Everything I needed to teach all my students had to fit in my minivan trunk: lesson plans, students' IEPs and monitoring sheets, books, worksheets, paper, pens, tape, glue, crayons, everything. That doesn't even count all my special supplies I needed to maintain and troubleshoot hearing aids and other amplification equipment. Luckily I got some great tips from fellow itinerant teachers in organizing the important supplies I needed.

Then one day I experienced an "AH HA" moment. 

I was given an iPad by my district, but I wasn't using it that much. I realized that I could probably eliminate the bulk of paper lesson plans, attendance sheets, IEP monitoring sheets, flashcards, worksheets etc by using my iPad instead. I started researching Apps that covered my students' IEP goals and couldn't believe that I found Apps that addressed every area that I needed to target. I started creating PowerPoints of my students' vocabulary words, making instructional videos, creating spreadsheets to collect data, modifying another teacher's iPad IEP monitoring sheet...

In a few weeks time I went from lugging a laptop, books, folders, papers and pens into each school to carrying my iPad and a binder. I love technology!


  1. Nice plug. It can be hard to take the plunge into tech, but it really can enhance our work.

  2. Hi Heidi !!!
    I also have been given an iPad by my school system, and at this point, have only my FRY words on it.
    The students enjoy using the ipad and I really need to learn how to use it more!!
    What apps do you use for advocacy goals and objectives?
    My Blog for both teachers and parents -
    I love sharing Ideas!!!
    Suzan VandeVelde
    D/HH Special Ed. Itinerant Teacher

  3. Hi Susan! Sorry I am just now getting around to responding. I wasn't paying attention to the commenting feature on my blog!!!!

    Right now I don't have apps for advocacy. I try to find YouTube videos or websites that I can just pull up on my iPad. I do have listening apps that I use for students to practice some advocacy skills. For example, I have a few listening comprehension apps. While the students are using it, I lower the volume until they can't hear it, then have them practice telling me that they can't hear and asking me to either repeat it or raise the volume.
    Thank you for sharing your contact information. I look forward to reading your blog!