How can we encourage our young learners to care for our iPads?

This is a question I’ve been pondering as I contemplate how a school wide digital overview might look. 

If we want students who grow and develop with a positive attitude towards caring for shared resources, digital or not, within our classrooms, we need to promote this thinking right from the start.

And so Sparkle and Flicker came to be - a story about two iPads and how they were cared for, or not, by students in a local classroom.

I asked to write a story for me about two iPads where one was cared for properly by the young students in the class that used it and the other one wasn’t looked after well at all. I asked it to create a fiction story with a moral at the end.

I then used Bard to edit it for me. Having copied the story from MagicSchool to a Google Doc it was super easy to use the ‘Refine the selected text’ option by highlighting certain phrases and choosing the option I wanted.

Finally I reread the story, making my own changes to words and phrases to personalise the story a bit more and use local contexts.

This whole process took me less than 30 minutes.

I then transferred the story across to a new book in Book Creator and used the element tools within Canva to create the images. I chose Book Creator as it allows anyone to be able to read the story, whether they have an account or not - and with the option to add audio it makes the story accessible to even our youngest learners.

So what does this all have to do with encouraging our younger learners to think more consciously about how they look after digital devices in our classrooms today?

Within our school wide digital overview this story can now become a learning opportunity and be used to open up discussions about caring for our resources.

The story can be read together, followed by a discussion about how Sparkle and Flicker felt when they were being treated differently. Questions can be asked about how iPads are cared for in our own classroom and maybe even used as a catalyst for creating a set of expectations that could then be displayed.

Students could be asked to draw a picture showing how they care for iPads in their classroom with a short statement underneath phrased as a personal reflection, e.g. “ I  look after the iPads in our class by making sure I always carry them with 2 hands.”

You could recreate your own version of the story and use the students' own images for the illustrations. 

It could also provide an authentic opportunity to practise their photography skills. They could pair up with a buddy and take a photo of each other showing how they are looking after their ipads properly. A brainstorm could be created from the discussion following reading of the story and then they could reenact the ideas they all came up with to capture visual reflections. 

Students could even name their own class pads and give them a persona, drawing or creating their own iPad characters. They might even become authors and write their own stories.

If you are keen to explore the story of Sparkle and Flicker you can find it here

Have fun with it and enjoy encouraging your students to think about how they care for resources within your learning environment.


All Replies

Posted on June 03, 2024

This is such a thoughtful approach to encouraging students to care for their digital devices! The story of Sparkle and Flicker is a fantastic way to engage young minds and instill a sense of responsibility early on.

In my experience, integrating these kinds of stories into classroom discussions can be very impactful. It not only makes the learning process fun but also embeds important values in a relatable way.

On a related note, I’ve found that tools like Brisk Teaching, a free Chrome extension, can really streamline lesson planning and make it easier to integrate such innovative ideas. It might be worth checking out if you’re looking to save some time on the administrative side of things so you can focus more on creative teaching methods like this one. Just a thought! 😊

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