Sharing devices: What this means for teachers and students

Sharing devices: What this means for teachers and students

set of iPads

We all know that tablets are best suited for personal use. But, let’s face it. Tablets are expensive and schools are on tight budgets. It’s also an enormous feat to roll out a 1:1 iPad program successfully (think LAUSD). Thus, the majority of schools (75% in fact) have students share devices.

This sounds like a great solution. Spend less money, have kids share.


But here’s the problem. The overwhelming majority of apps save kids’ progress locally on whatever device they are using and don’t have logins. These apps do not have a way to keep track of individual student’s progress (aka personalize learning) on shared devices. Now this may not be a problem for creativity apps, like Explain Everything or iBook creator, but for content apps this is a real problem, especially considering that a class of 25 first graders may have some kids who struggle to count correctly while others are ready for multi-digit subtraction. It means that when Malik plays a math app and gets to level 4 and he passes the iPad to Shania, she either has to start playing where Malik last left off (even if she should be on level 2) or she has to reset the game and start from the beginning again. All this talk about personalized learning goes right out the window when you’re dealing with shared devices.


So what are we doing to help?

At Teachley, we’ve heard from so many of you about the frustrations of having iPad carts or a station/center model where kids share devices but can’t save their progress. So, we developed classroom features, like the teacher login, that let’s you create a class list to let students continue playing right where they last left off, no matter what iPad they use.


Here’s how it works:

Teachers create a free Teachley account on our website: www.teachley.comWhen you create this account, you add your class list.


Center/Station Model (A set of shared iPads that lives in a classroom, but not enough for every student in the class)IMG_0060-2

The classroom teacher logs into each classroom iPad with her email and password. She only has to do this one time, for each of our apps. When a student presses the play button, he simply taps on his picture to keep playing where he left off.


Cart Model (A set of iPads that travels from classroom to classroom. Usually there are enough tablets for each child to have her own iPad, but not always.)

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The tech coordinator (or the teacher in charge of the cart) logs into the devices with a cart ID and password (Teachley connects all the classrooms together to create a cart ID for schools). The coordinator then logs into each iPad on the cart (Rest assured, this only happens one time). When a kid presses the play button on our apps, she first taps her teacher’s picture and then her own picture to start playing.


1:1 iPad Model:

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With a 1:1 iPad program, apps may save your students’  work, but if something happens to one of your devices or students need to switch tablets mid-year, they’ll lose all of their hard-earned progress. With Teachley, teachers with 1:1 iPads login to each classroom device once with their teachley account. Once logged in, a student simply finds her picture and the device automatically remembers it’s her iPad, even after the app is closed. (It’s easy to reassign the iPad if a child moves away or switches classrooms. Learn how here).


And, there’s more.

Because Teachley saves students’ progress, we’re able to give rich data to teachers about how students are doing and where they’re struggling. Check out a free trial of Teachley Analytics here.



We always want to hear from our teachers. Send us an email at: and we’ll get back to you right away.