I’ve been asked lots lately about iPads and our kids. Mainly about how you stop kids dropping, throwing and breaking them!!!! Protecting kids’ iPads so they can use them as long as possible for learning is really important. I have a couple of (easy) tips for you!
First though, let me say that I actually don’t mind when kids are using iPads without kid gloves. To me, if they are tossing it (gently!) onto a table or chucking it on the couch then I think it’s actually become one of their tools in their learning toolkit, not something fancy or just for playing games on.
Of course I’m not saying I want them to damage it or break the screen. I just mean that when I first saw laptops in classrooms, kids (and teachers) were so conscious of using them ‘carefully’ that they weren’t used to full advantage. One teacher I saw had the laptops sitting on plastic bags and gave out hand wipes to clean the screen/keyboard after each lesson. I applaud her thoroughness (and shear ability to care that much) – but really???
iPads are everyday tools now. They should be used whenever necessary (just like pens and paper). I really think a bit of dirt on a screen or a scuff from where it’s been pulled in and out of its case is ok. More than ok. It’s doing it’s job as a learning tool.
Of course we don’t want to waste all that money on iPads or laptops. We want these tools to be used and be useful – for as long as possible!
So my 3 Tips for Protecting Kids’ iPads…
Buy a case that protects the corners of the iPad.
When you get a cracked screen, it’s usually due to impact from the corner. If you drop an iPad flat, it’s really hard to break the screen, although you will get a scratch or two (ah hem…I may know this from experience). So the corners need protection. Those beautiful, slimline cases that just cover the front of the iPad and flip back into a stand are lovely. But not tough enough for our kids. Get one with corner protection.
Insist that the iPad is always carried in a bag.
So much of the damage I see is from kids walking around, to or from school. They are chatting with their mates, pull out their iPad to show some video on youTube and bang. They get knocked and the iPad’s smashed on the floor. Put.It.In.Your.Bag. is my new mantra.
Your kids can go months without telling you about breakages. I saw one iPad that had a broken screen and home button – it was practically unusable – but the child didn’t tell their teacher or parent for weeks….Now the teacher should have noticed probably but the kid did a good job of hiding it! Screens can be fixed, so can buttons. If we know there’s a breakage or damage then we can get it fixed. The longer the kids use the iPad when it’s damaged the more things can go wrong. And I really believe it also means they are less likely to take good care of it. If we get these things fixed, then it shows that their iPad is important and valuable still!! There are shops in every mall these days with screen repair places. My advice is to get a quote from a couple to check you get the best deal – prices can vary greatly!
So that’s it. Get a case, use a bag, get it repaired when you need to. Not too hard. This high-end technology for children is a whole new world – and unique to our generation of parents.
It pays to remember that iPads have only been around for 5 years and this year is the first time I’ve heard schools start to talk about how their iPads are ‘old’ and need replacing. That’s a really good sign. Laptops only ever last 3 years in schools (even if schools hold on to them for longer, honestly, 3 years is about your max). So it looks like we are getting a few more years of learning for our money! Time to check what condition your kids’ iPad’s in – and to check they are looking after it :0)
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