Supt. Deasy's early and avid support of iPads under intense scrutiny - LA Times
Why does this sound so familiar, management goes off to talk to Apple people and come back thinking Apple is the only answer, an 'impartial' procurement is launched to get iPads then the whole thing falls apart as the back end stuff has been poorly considered.
This article raises a bunch of really concerning stuff such as the guy in charge making promo videos for iPads in education before the project even started along with trips to see both Apple and Pearsons CEOs beforehand.
Stuff this article glosses over are the infrastructure issues, this is the same place where there were leaks about the iPads crushing the internet links with their ridiculous phone home behaviour and noisy network protocols. There was also the issue of the filtering being defeated by two clicks on the iPads leading these 1:1 devices use to be banned outside of school.
Currently the whole thing is being investigated and the project has been put on hold standing at several hundred million over budget already with further purchases of USD$768 iPads suspended.
I'm glad our little run in with iPads was on a much smaller scale even if it did follow a very similar pattern.
Last edited by SYNACK; 4th September 2014 at 04:41 PM.
Do any of you have iPads and like them?
We only ever seem to hear "We have iPads... I hate them... they're a nightmare... the kids hardly use them... the head made me" etc.
VeryPC_Colin_M (5th September 2014)
I bought them, no one knew then (or knows now) what to do with them. They have to stay in one room in one block, because we don't have school-wide WiFi. We don't have, nor do we intend to have, a Volume Purchase Plan with Apple for apps, so I was given a £25 iTunes voucher to buy some apps, if we couldn't find free ones to do the things that we didn't know we wanted to do.
I've given up trying to keep them secure and in some sort of order. The staff all have access to the cabinet, so they help themselves to an iPad 'for the weekend', and then, of course, have to be chased up-hill and down-dale to return them after the 'weekend'.
Ipads work best as a 1:1 device with no restrictions.
I really don't get why people are trying to shoe horn them into anything else.
EDIT: Also have they ever heard of transparent proxies??
Last edited by zag; 4th September 2014 at 05:41 PM.
Your average transparent proxy would need many cpus and stacks of ram along with multiple NICs to deal with that kind of traffic in a timely fashion along with causing trouble with https, the main source of the troublesome traffic.
Last edited by SYNACK; 4th September 2014 at 06:09 PM.
zag (5th September 2014)
We've only got about 35 iPads in our small school at the moment and both I (and the teachers) love them and will probably continue purchasing more. They're truly set and forget from my point of view, using Meraki MDM. I have them on their own SSID and VLAN to use a transparent proxy and let the teachers manage the applications on them (I just manage the credit on the account etc).
These aren't on a 1:1 basis, they're just handed out willy nilly to classes. They understand that work is stored on the device and is only accessible from that one device, so I think they tend to get the kids to pick up the same number (on the asset tag) each time. If they want to get work off the device I've set generic email addresses up for each iPad with transport rules to only allow emails sent internally.
From an educational standpoint, they're taking them outside into our pond areas and all sorts to capture/edit photos and videos using storyboard apps and probably more I don't know about. We're using Griffin Survivor cases on iPad Minis which have stood up to even the reception class!
I'm looking into a couple of Apple TVs for our projectors now for easy presenting, which (surprisingly) was an idea the teachers came up with.
Last edited by Blue_Cookeh; 4th September 2014 at 06:28 PM.
Everything to do with Apple is a nightmare in terms of networking. If it works its ok, but I can't see the point in education. More money, more time, more hassle. Why have one mac room, when you can have two standard room. If I had my way they would be ripped out of my place, but the people above want them because they look nice in pictures.
Last edited by Alkaline; 4th September 2014 at 07:29 PM.
We have 3 class room sets of iPads that are booked out and used all day everyday and managed by a resource department who make sure they are back each day and charged.
We handle all app requests and updates, we restrict as best we can and re image to fix issues.
Staff have lots of education/department specific apps on them, I'm happy with them and so are staff.
We also have a scheme for staff to get a cheap iPad if they sign up to bringing it in each day, 80% ish of teachers now own one. We actively monitor then using meraki and provide and support a number of services to support them in classroom use, emerge, foldr, mobile print, air server, email, one drive, Remote Desktop etc
They seen to find these very useful and a good service and I am happy with supporting it, the school spent a Lot of time looking at one to one and we are not Planning to introduce, but we are looking at introducing byod to support student devices for those that wish to bring them in to support their studies - the tech is ready but everything else is going to take a lot
Overall, I'm happy with where we are, the school has listened to our advice and invested making a part time tech post a full time technician role so that they largely handle all mobile device / service issues as well as our other mac kit for the media dept, they have provided some funds to also improve on infrastructure and services, origins of these schemes have developed over 2 years, but i still think things are developing all the time but that we are working hard in trying to introduce and support this stuff to enhance the it services available to teachers and students, which is what my job is supposed to be about I think
So In answer to the does anyone actually like this stuff, err yes, I do actually - spent time looking at android, windows, chrome and for us ios/ iPads seems to work okay.
Sure there's stuff I don't think is great, quirks, learning curves etc but by and large it mostly works most of the time, like most of my other windows stuff.
Students at three LAUSD high schools access unauthorized sites on new iPads
It's easy to see why students wanted to remove the restrictions...Ron Chandler, the district’s Chief Information Officer, said tech-savvy students used their programming skills to alter settings and delete files, giving them access to sites like Facebook and YouTube. However, software embedded in the iPads immediately locked down the devices and alerted officials that they’d been tampered with.
“We knew immediately what had happened,” Chandler said.
Chandler said some of the students told administrators they had bypassed the security measures because they were unable to access websites they needed for their studies. The district is testing various “filtering systems,” and one apparently had such narrow parameters that even the most innocuous sites were blocked.
Those are the types of glitches that will be worked out as the district moves forward with its technology project, Chandler said.
... an iPad that's locked down to Pearson curriculum content is probably the saddest of all iPads. The very act of giving out an iPad for "education only" purposes generates exactly the pressures that lead to breaches like this.
Imagine you're 14 and, one summer, you hear on the news that you're getting iPads when you go back to school. You go back, are handed an iPad, and then they tell you that you can't browse the web, can't use it for personal projects and all you can do with it is look at Pearson apps.
If that was me, I think I would prefer that I had never had my hopes raised at all than to be presented with an iPad that, in the words of LA students quoted in the news "you can't do anything with them".
We have three in our school (small school) used for year groups, One has been kept in a teachers cupboard and the other two will not work on the MDM we had set up through our support company.
Even replaced Ipads do not seem to work.
We have 3 cabinets of 15 and a set of 15 out for teachers use - locked down as much as we can.
As far as I can see:
Teachers take home - very rarely seen again on site.
Students use in classroom to take pictures of themselves on and play little games / internet use
Teachers like using them as a "go on the web and do research" lesson
I havent seen a massive educational improvement since introducing them 2 years ago. As internet use in areas without machines that is a big improvement (but not due to the fact its an IPad) but havent seen anything to convince me that the investment was worthwhile, especially as we could have provided alternatives.
We - like many schools - were pulled into it by the old Head who basically had to bring IPads in without any idea or strategic plan of how they were to be used. "Basically heres the solution - now go and find the problem"
I've heard of some inadvisable finance packages in schools in the past - even cleaned up the mess afterwards - but that's pretty phenomenally short sighted, to still be paying for iPads in 2027 (the discussion mentioned above was Nov. 2012). By that point I expect us to have passed the singularity and to live our lives as free-floating webs of electrons coursing throughout a networked world, freed from the shackles of our corporeal bodies. Except in LA, where kids would be sat on an iPad looking only at Pearson apps still. No singularity for you, peasant!...Deasy presented his technology plan to an independent panel that reviews how voter-approved school bonds are spent. He wanted the group's endorsement because he planned to pay for the devices with school construction bonds.
But the panel members expressed concerns. Should the district use bonds paid back over 25 years to purchase devices with an expected life span of about three years?
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