In order to ensure that technical equipment is being used well and kept in good working order, it may be beneficial to appoint someone as an iPad/tablet Coordinator. They should understand how to get support from either Apple or a third-party provider and be responsible for the distribution of the iPads.
Safety of the equipment should be checked on a weekly basis, e.g. that correct charger plugs are being used and there are no frayed wires or damaged iPads. Faults also need to be monitored and maintenance/ repairs kept up to date. A centrally held file of fault notification sheets should be made available.
The coordinator would be responsible for the app purchasing and budget, including the ongoing and extra costs of iPad ownership. They would also offer technical support, such as installing apps and transferring files between iPads and PCs/Macs.
They would also organise staff training in the following:
- iPad safety and the implications for damage and theft
- Fitting of appropriate iPad covers and access devices
- How, when and where to charge the iPads
- Cleaning protocol for iPads
- How to connect an iPad to Wi-Fi when appropriate
- How to access options on the iPad
- How to connect an iPad to a computer/interactive plasma screen or projector
The iPad Coordinator will need to have an understanding of the needs and requirements of students with MLD, SLD, autism and PMLD. They will liaise with teachers and assistants to ensure the correct use and implementation of ‘education apps’, as well as therapists, teachers and assistants to ensure the correct use of ‘communication apps. They should understand the communication methods used by the students, especially pre-intentional and emerging intentional communication, and should offer training to therapists, teachers and assistance on new apps and accessories in the school for iPads.
It may be necessary to write, update and make staff aware of a comprehensive sensory curriculum policy.
The coordinator should be able to offer knowledge about apps for different areas such as:
- The curriculum
- Sensory stimulation
- Fun apps
They should also provide general written information outlining the principles of using iPads in the curriculum for all staff. The coordinator will also need to be involved with new staff as part of their induction package. They will schedule meetings with staff members to discuss/advise on iPad principles, differentiation and practical activities.
They will liaise with parents and guardians on current protocols for the security of all iPads taken home, as well as those iPads personally owned by students and brought into school. Also, on the work children/students are doing with their iPads.