It’s been a few days since my last reflection but so much has happened, so much has been discussed and thought about, I thought it’d be essential to update you.
The cheaper option…
As a result of not going with a mobile device manager (MDM) we have had to go about things the long way. It’s as if we were going to buy a remote control car to play with but we’ve had to put the car together, figure out if it works, adjust as we go, build the remote control too and then retest it. My assumption about an MDM is that it will allow us to create and set up profiles, manage app downloads, filters, setup, syncing and configuration all through a crafted piece of software however, my school hasn’t gone for that option and trusts that for what we want to do for the time being, it’s enough. In some ways I agree but I think that as soon as our volume of devices increases (we currently have 45) we’ll have to employ an MDM.
Our network filter hadn’t been looked at in years. I couldn’t believe it! It was good to tease out some of the issues we had with it.
When configuring our first iPad, we had to decide whether to put the devices through the network proxy, configure Safari’s settings or set up a filter on the search engine. What was surprising to me was that there was no filters for Safari which actually left my dirty websites and swear words in the Safari history and the Google history. We had a look at the school’s network filter and decided that the only way to secure and protect the students from illicit material was to put it through the proxy like this: Settings>Wi-Fi>Choose a Network (the arrow)>HTTP Proxy –Manual and then enter the server details and port number.
This didn’t mean the teachers had to, they could adjust the settings so it only used the school’s network and so, another hurdle cleared.
I have set everyone up using one template iPad. This template iPad labelled ‘C3PO’ was backed up and every other iPad has been restored from the back up of C3PO. Let me tell you, it takes agggggeessss to restore 5Gb of apps for 45 devices! I haven’t even bothered with the students devices yet because we are contemplating the functionality of iOS5 and what it means for our devices. I’m hoping the new iOS will solve some of our cloud and syncing questions. Some more pertinent questions that have been raised are that of the management of staff and student apps.
- Should teachers download their own apps?
- How can teachers download their own apps if we are all on the same account?
- What credit card do we use or do we give each grade an iTunes gift card to limit spending?
- Will there be an issue of overlapping?
- Will wi-fi syncing mess with a charging cart?
- Will apps get lost when all devices are synced in the charging cart?
- How can I manage the new apps that all staff and students need?
- Will this change the role of the iPad in the classroom if the device is not able to be personalised?
I know we’re asking the right questions. A solution is imminent, I can feel it…