Now that I have the iPad, I am constantly searching for ways to integrate its use into my daily routine. Most mornings when I arrive to work I usually use it to access my mail on the school’s internal website and to review the Daily Blast (morning memo).
As a tool for working with students, that is still a work in progress. The students I see for counseling all have many different presenting issues and different mandates. Some students are seen in a group setting while others are seen individually. Giving students access to the iPad in an individual session is much easier than say giving access to a group of 3 or 4. During group sessions, the students are all vying for time with the ipad. An app that allows you to engage multiple students is Uno. Students love playing Uno whether you are using a real deck or virtual one. Another app that is good for group setting is Say It. Say It is very similar to the game Taboo.
In an individual session, I have had students navigate to the school’s Incident Report log to review posted write-ups regarding their conduct and use this information as a starting point for our session. For students who are struggling with behavioral issues, it is a way to monitor their progress or lack or progress by looking at the number of write- ups they receive daily, weekly or monthly. There really is a marked difference in students’ reaction to the information when presented via this new format. They are not hearing about the write-ups from the Social Worker, instead they are accessing the information themselves, scrolling down the log and reviewing their write-ups. It is as if seeing the information in this format makes it somehow more believable.
One aspect of the ipad that I initially found limiting was the fact that it didn’t come with a word processing app. An easy fix for this is the application Pages that is available at the app store. I have used Pages to take notes at IEP meetings, grade meetings, staff meetings and for student observations.
One other really useful app that I have on the ipad is Dropbox. I have used this application to share a Teacher Resource folder with teachers. This folder has information on building/improving teacher-student relationship, modules on bullying and classroom management, and behavior management tools.
In addition to the aforementioned apps, I also have a host of other apps that I use at times when I meet with students. Using the iPad as a counseling tool is a work in progress and I am looking forward to where the process takes me.