Play, Create & Discover – iPad Deployment cont’d

What a whirlwind week! Not only returning to school and to teaching my lovely Year 6’s but the iPads were officially rolled out as of Wednesday! The excitement was palpable all week until deployment. Teachers were talking, students were talking, it was all very exciting and a neccessary part of drumming up support for the program.

Wednesday morning staff meeting began as usual but I had an opportunity along with the IT coordinator to discuss our vision and look through the application of the iPad in the classroom. I connected my iPad up to our Smartboard using the VGA adapter and began with a Keynote presentation using the Keynote Remote on my phone. Meanwhile, all the teachers were sitting there with their class iPad exploring the apps with me as I went through some of the ‘essentials’. The main message we were trying to push was to simply play, create and discover and I think that message was conveyed.

‘Essentials’ include: Pages, Keynote, Numbers, Splashtop, TeacherPal, Twitter, SMH, School A to Z, Dropbox, ShowMe and a few more.

One other great idea was moving a shared batch of iPads (7 to be exact) around to each class giving all classes an opportunity to plan for and use the devices in their classroom. By giving out a roster of shared iPad use, teachers could plan for integration in order to maximise their effectiveness.

A Window to Possibility

Discussions, chats, conversations, whatever you want to call them, they are INTEGRAL in moving forward. Collaborating with others (especially those with such brillant, visionary minds like we have at my school) is key in developing our school iPad program and after a discussion on Wednesday, further progress was made. We considered a few things:

  • How to manage spending and apps.
  • How to sync effectively so apps aren’t lost or replaced.
  • How iOS 5 will effect our planning.

A solution that we will most likely try starting Term 1 2012 is outlined below (then again, maybe we want to tease this out before the new school year):

Create 3 accounts: Teacher, Primary and Infant accounts.

Control through iTunes: Apps can be checked and unchecked according to each account so it can be managed fairly easily– every afternoon apps can be downloaded and checked or unchecked according to what the account requires. This will allow teachers to provide me with a list of apps they want on their device, I will be able to download it and apply it to all the respective devices.

When charged overnight, each account configuration will be synced as per the account on the device (I think?…)

iOS 5: Allows for wireless syncing while the devices are charging overnight – need for just a charging cart. Will there be enough storage space in iCloud to sync 3 accounts worth of data? It will mean we have essentially 15GB of space but will it be enough? We’ll have to see.

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