Addressing the needs of iOS 5 – iPad Deployment cont’d

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.

Digital Education


4 thoughts on “Addressing the needs of iOS 5 – iPad Deployment cont’d

  1. Hi Aiden,
    I’m very interested in how your iPad deployment is going.
    We have been grappling with many of the same issues.
    At the moment we have a class set of 24 iPads to share between 31 grades. Next year we hope to have lots more.
    At the moment I have been avoiding upgrading to ios5 at school although I have changed over my home devices.
    In the past we have cleaned up one iPad, backed it up and then restored it to all the other devices. This has the advantage of keeping the apps in their folders but it wipes out any work that is stored on the individual iPads. We use send to dropbox (only one account) to email work from the iPads to a folder on our shared network drive. This has worked really well.

    • iOS 5 has so far been great. I’m still unsure of what iCloud will do for us but at the moment we have upgraded all of the iPads and are dealing now with wireless syncing. This will enable us to sync all our iPads on their separate accounts overnight. It may mean that we lose data saved locally but we will endeavour to try and use Dropbox or google docs like you have.

      Looking forward to hearing more from you and sharing more with you!

  2. Hi Aiden,
    Are you worried about what rights you will have as administrator of the information stored on iCloud? I think there a greater concerns about storing things in the cloud at the moment legally for a school. Here are two articles I think you should read before enabling the iCloud.

    Also in your deployment I have read a few articles where offices have deployed ipads in place of notebooks and have had to deploy 3 times as many access points. Have you come across this?

    • Interesting articles! They’ll definitely impact the entertainment industry and I hope it doesn’t effect sharing resources and education.
      In regards to the access points, you are 100% right.. The more demands on our network the stronger it needs to be. In saying that, we have allocated budget to upgrading our network to stronger, newer and more access points. We currently have about 6/7 and will be increasing to 10 around the school. Your comments are so critical for collaboration and our process and are much appreciated! Thanks!

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