‘App’-ropriate Questions – iPad Deployment cont’d…

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.

Breakthrough!

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.

‘C3PO’

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.

  1. Should teachers download their own apps?
  2. How can teachers download their own apps if we are all on the same account?
  3. What credit card do we use or do we give each grade an iTunes gift card to limit spending?
  4. Will there be an issue of overlapping?
  5. Will wi-fi syncing mess with a charging cart?
  6. Will apps get lost when all devices are synced in the charging cart?
  7. How can I manage the new apps that all staff and students need?
  8. 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…

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8 thoughts on “‘App’-ropriate Questions – iPad Deployment cont’d…

  1. Oh to answer some of your questions about how we do it.
    1. Generally teachers do not download apps unless through their own itunes account and those apps may be lost in syncing. If you need an app you just put an application in for it stating reasons why you need it in terms of the school buying it then it is eventually synced on to all the iPads.
    3. The school buys itunes gift cards and loads it onto a school account.
    4. There will be an issue overlapping if you don’t do it all through one account. What has happened with this is that some stages did some research and decided on a huge list of apps these were all loaded on and are being used. For me if there is something I want immediately I generally buy it or download it free with my account onto my 4 iPads. If it is not too expensive and very specific to my teaching topic however if it is something I feel can be used by everyone I just ask the school to buy it.
    5. no idea about the charging cart we all charge our own iPads in class and put them to be synced every term or so as specific apps can be logged into the school account and downloaded separately once they are bought.
    7. Again we have a master list of all the apps. Then an application is put in if you want new apps. I think you have to leave it up to the staff to apply for the apps after a time (once you have loaded on ones that you think will be useful as organiser and to get them going).
    8. It can be personalised it just cant be permanently personalised. Some apps may need to be redownloaded after syncing because I think the reminder needs to be that these aren’t personal iPads they are school iPads.

    With regards to ours the idea is that you can borrow from other classrooms across the school and all iPads will have all the apps on them no matter what the stage.

    Sorry this turned out to be an essay just thought I’d share some of my experiences.

    • Stacey thank you so much for the in depth comment! It’s great collaborating with others who are going through or have gone through the same experience. I’ll be using your advice for sure..I like the idea of the gift cards..maybe $20 itunes card per grade or class?

  2. thanks for the great sharing – I will be re-reading these posts and comments over and over when I start deploying iPads next school year

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