Manually updating all the new iPads (45 of them) hasn’t been as bad as I thought. Throughout the week I have been updating all the staff iPads and it came time to update the student devices so we split it into 3 groups and took them home to do them. What we didn’t take into consideration was that each computer we were using to update and sync the iPads with had to have the most current back-up of the iPad we wanted to emulate i.e. have all the settings and apps we required. This was just a minor hiccup as we simply waited until we saw each other, backed up one completed iPad and proceeded to complete the updates.
So, this week the students will finally have their time… the iPads are ready to go with 100 apps and newly updated software. Fingers crossed all goes well.
Albeit the excitement of finally rolling out all the devices, I still have a few thoughts on some logistics. Sam Gliksman’s blog on ‘iPads in Education’ has been extremely helpful in really analyzing the finer elements of our iPad deployment, however, it doesn’t address the needs of the new iOS 5. Here are some questions I’d like to add:
- I am a bit uneasy about activating the iCloud on all the devices because of my fear of the unknown. What will happen?
- Will all the photos, music and data be pushed to every device since they are all on the one account?
- Should we be trialling a 3 account setup before the end of the year?
- Where will students store their own content? Google Docs? Dropbox? and will every student need an account?
- Do we need periodic deletion of content that’s stored locally?
- When charging, will I need to back up the most current iPad before it syncs wirelessly?
That’s where we are up to in our iPad deployment. The staff have had an exciting 2 weeks getting familiar with their class iPad and since the message was to play, create and discover, I believe many teachers have stretched themselves in terms of becoming familiar with the device.
One thing I do ask myself is what do the stakeholders of our community think of the iPad deployment? I mean, the staff are stoked as they get an iPad for the class which is essentially theirs to personalize and utilize as they wish. The students are most ecstatic to be receiving iPads to use in the classroom. But where do the parents fit in? Where does our school board fit in? And how do they view the use of iPads in the classroom? My guess is that it’s up to us to convince them that this path is necessary in order to stay at the forefront of educational technology in schools and to be honest, I don’t think it’ll take that much convincing.
Click below to see how I’ve already integrated the iPads in my classroom.