I have all of the iPads on the cloud which is nice for me so that I am able to select new apps and all of the devices get updated. This is also helpful so I don't have to look at each devices pictures (they are all steamed together.)One of the fun things we have been doing with the iPads is taking class photos and important days of the year. For example, we had pictures with students who participated in red ribbon week. Something such as this allows me to continue to build the classroom environment which is inviting for the students and they see the community effect.
Academically, I have placed logic puzzle apps on the iPads. When students have earned free time, they are allowed to access the iPads. This way, students are still using problem solving. This allows students 'game time' but still is encouraging them to use logic. It was interesting how the students do not take to the netbooks the way that they do the iPads. The iPads are much faster to access because there is no sign in process. Even when all of the iPads have run out and there are still netbooks avaliable, the students will usually find something else to do rather than get on a netbook.
I am using one of the netbooks and the connector to the activboard instead of my main laptop so that I can allow students to change the slides when checking homework, etc. This helps the students communicate and self manage as a group so I can attend to more individual student questions. I can feel comfortable that students are not viewing my emails or that an email notification does not pop up during class which can be distracting.
To make sure students are taking care of the tools and technology, I stress the point that not every classroom in Houston has these items accessible to them. There was one day when one of my classes did not properly plug in the iPads and I did not allow them to use the iPads for the remainder of the week. I let the students know, and reminded them, that if they could not treat the materials with care, that they would not be able to use them which helped fix the problem of materials not being put away properly.