The TVS Version of the Genius Bar!

Our tech committee tried something new this year and we were thrilled with the response! Before school began, all faculty received an iPad. Of course, everyone was at a different skill level. Some needed just a little help with the “how to” aspect of various apps that were installed on their iPad. Others weren’t sure where to begin; not even knowing which questions to ask!

One of the members of our committee, Melissa Burkhead, suggested that we offer a “Genius Bar” based on the services offered at Apple Stores. Melissa bought shirts for us and someone scrambled around, searching for those Apple stickers that come in the iPad box. On the day of the event, we arrived in our “uniform” (thoroughly confusing students – “You work at the Apple store?”).

It was decided that we would have several “stations” set up in our library so that faculty and staff could go where they felt would serve them best. The stations were:

  1. Apps
  2. Pictures
  3. Video/Facetime/Skype
  4. Music
  5. Basic
  6. Basic
  7. Basic
  8. Intermediate
  9. Intermediate

We deliberately had several basic stations so that we could offer more individualized help. Although we had specific assignments, anyone could go to any station to receive help in whatever area they needed. We all answered all types of questions!

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I was in charge of the Apps Station and found a fabulous handout from a blog post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, There is More to iPads in the Classroom than Apps. Silvia has created collections of apps that fit into Bloom’s Taxonomy, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, 21st Century Skills and Literacies, and Alan November’s Digital Learning Farm. These are NOT the “drill” apps but are those that encourage higher-level thinking and creativity.

My group worked on adding events to the calendar, taking pictures, creating folders for photos, saving images from the internet, copying and pasting images, as well as discussing a few apps such as AudioBoo and QR Code Readers.

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The goal was to help each person feel more comfortable with their iPad and, by the responses of the participants, I think that was accomplished! We are by no means “Apple iPad Geniuses” but we were able to offer tips and tricks to the participants. We will definitely do this again.

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