Life of a 1-1 iPad classroom teacher

Photo Credit: Daniel Bogan via Compfight

6.30am Wake up. Check notifications on iPad while eating breakfast. Received an email late last night from a student asking for clarification on a homework task. Answer e-mail. Cross fingers that the student gets the task done before the first session, which is when it is due.

7.45am Arrive at school. Check Twitter feed while walking to classroom. Find a really awesome warm up activity for writing. Thank the teacher for the idea, decide to use it today.

8am Check school email account, respond to class and personal teaching blog comments.

8.15am Edit the class site to include the learning intentions and instructions for the day ahead. Upload the summative assessment task for Humanities to the class site, and Edmodo.

8.45am Students check class site, organise themselves for the day, knowing what they will be learning. Look on Edmodo to see who has already downloaded the summative assessment.

8.50am Teaching begins. Students already on the class site, others playing Clash of Clans. Remind students the bell has gone, they turn off the game and go onto the class site.

9.30am Students respond to comments on class blog about the drama activity they did last week. Did not know where ‘Budd Lake’ was when students asked (because a person who commented was from there), so looked it up on Google Maps.

9.50am Students begin rich assessment task. Shy student posts a question about it on Edmodo, which you answer straight away. Some students creating a video for the task using iMovie, others prefer to write reports, while others are creating a blog to take action on the topic.

10am Have no idea how to create a specific effect in iMovie. Students see the trouble and help you fix the problem. Ask how they knew to do it, they answer they watched it on YouTube so they could use the effect on their last assignment.

10.30am Five students suddenly don’t have Internet access. Run through the turn WiFi on and off, force quit Safari, turn iPad on and off routine. Students have access again.

11.30am Use the writing warm up found on Twitter – the task is to create their own 4 Pics, 1 Word game. Students absolutely love the game, using much harder vocabulary than expected. Students begin writing task, using these words. Write a few observational notes using Google Drive, to help with reports later in the year.

12pm Students at Art, so mark their homework that was submitted using Edmodo. Upload their rubrics and leave personalised feedback for each student on what they did well and how they can improve next time. Takes 45 minutes, leaving 15 minutes to write a quick class blog post about the summative assessment.

1pm Student cannot find their iPad. Log on with their Apple ID with my iPad and use ‘Find my iPad’ hear a ringing behind the bookshelf. Student realises she put it their when she went to the bathroom, and forgot.

1.30pm Students go to their buddy class and create a ‘silly story’ using PicCollage. Younger students love drawing the images for the stories, and want iPads of their own.

2pm Use the website for the newspaper The Age to use to teach students summarising. Article is about the struggle for leadership in federal politics. Students begin debating the pros and cons of each potential Prime Minister. Push back the planned lesson to create a class debate, and film it for the class blog.

2.55pm Make sure that the two students who do not have Internet access have saved all of the documents they need to complete the assessment.

3pm Students go home, I receive an email from a parent saying that their child loved using drama in the classroom last week, and that they actually wanted to talk about Australian history and justice in the court system over dinner. Smile, and email the parent a video that is linked to the lesson, that their child may like.

4pm Plan with your team using Google Drive. With four people writing on the same document, the unit planner is completed very quickly. Share the resources for the unit using DropBox, so we can save our photocopying budget.

4.30pm Receive late homework through Edmodo from the student who emailed me this morning. Upload their rubric and comment that they need to organise their time more effectively, and that I will help them come up with a timetable for their summative assessment tomorrow.

5pm Notice three students have not downloaded the summative assessment. Send a post on Edmodo reminding all students to download the task. Two hours later, all students have downloaded the task.

6pm Go for a run and keep track of the distance using Nike+. Remember to stop it connecting to Twitter, so any curious students don’t know how long (or rather, short) your run was.

7pm Use Feedly to check other educator’s blog posts. Find a post you want to respond to, so send it to Instapaper for reading in detail tomorrow.

8pm Use FaceTime to contact a teacher in Japan about having our classes Skype each other over the coming year.

10pm Go to bed, and turn off notifications so that any late questions don’t disturb sleep – they can be answered tomorrow morning, with breakfast.


Rebecca Davies


  1. If this is a regular ‘in the life of’ day, I think some work/life balance is in order!

    • Hi Wayne,
      I would say that it is not necessarily an ‘every day’ (I certainly am not Skyping someone every night, for example), but it is definitely a common day. Like all teaching, some people spend longer on it than others, and some days are busier than others. It is always hard to show the ‘average’ day of teaching when each day is so different, but it is an attempt to show how a 1:1 iPad teacher’s day differs from a non-iPad classroom teacher’s day.


  2. Thanks for sharing this! My class is a trial class for a potential 1:1 ipad program happening across my school. We are trialling it in term 3 this year so I only have a few weeks to get ready. Very excited!
    I am in a special school so my day will be quite different, but I look forward to being able to compare our days to see how we can maybe better improve our student outcomes here too. Thanks again!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for commenting! It would be great to hear about your experience using iPads 1:1 in a special school once you start.

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    Kudo’s to you! You sound very dedicated and I can only imagine the students love coming to class with you. From a Mother/School staff member (not a teacher though) it’s all about engaging the kids in my eyes. 🙂
    Just curious from an ICT perspective as to who administers the ipads? Do the kids take them home and have full access and control or are they set with a certain level of security? Would appreciate any info. We have a pod in our secondary campus and are looking in to purchasing more for our Primary campus but unsure of how best to roll them out.
    Thanks in advance.
    Kind Regards,
    Sam Baird

    • Hi Sam,
      Thanks for commenting! My school is BYOD, so all devices are student owned and student managed. This makes it a LOT easier from a school perspective. Their parents can then put in any parental controls that they feel are appropriate. It does mean, though, that there are a couple of students who do not have the required apps. Hope that helps,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *