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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Starting from scratch in Technical; We have just purchased about 30 iPadís for the school I work at so hopefully I can share some problems ...
  1. #16
    Shadow_Walker's Avatar
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    We have just purchased about 30 iPadís for the school I work at so hopefully I can share some problems we have come across. So you have the initial up front cost of the iPads which is a lot of money. If you are looking to buy iPad's then I would recommend KRCS https://www.krcs.co.uk/ and try to speak to Glyn as he was very helpful. You will need to also look at investing in an iPad trolley to keep them charged and locked away safely.

    However after you have bought everything you start to run into problems, you need to buy apps from the Apple education store but these apps are not cheap even when you start buying in bulk. The school will also need a credit card to purchase apps from the app store which can cause more problems. To get the ilife and iwork apps you will need to fill in this form Volume Purchase Program: Requesting free iLife and iWork apps and send it off to get these apps for free as they donít come preinstalled on the iPad. You need to supervise the iPadís which we do using apple configurator and using lightspeed mdm to manage them wirelessly however you can use Maraki which is an alternative https://meraki.cisco.com/products/systems-manager.

    Then you have the problem of the pupils saving work, if a pupil does work on iPad 1 it means that the work is saved onto that iPad alone and any other pupil could delete that work or modify it. You have ways round this e.g. dropbox and onedrive but at the place I work at we didnít want to go down these paths mainly as we didnít want pupils work saved away from our internal server. There are two alternatives which I know of which save work back to the server but it adds more money onto the already high bill. The two options are foldr Foldr | Remote File Access From Any Device & Workflow Solution For iOS from Minnow IT and aircatch AirCatch, both work very well in my opinion but foldr works slightly better as it uses the pupils usernames and password to log them into the software to save work.

    I donít know if this will help but these are the problems we have come across over the last month.

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  3. #17
    SovietRussia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMrB View Post
    Secure access to users home folders
    Making sure that students can't install their own apps (Pretty sure that's covered by management software, and
    making sure I can manage and configure, on a larger scale, via our already installed Meru solution.
    There is no native support for SMB, theres not really native support for WebDav so accessing User Home Folders has to be done via the web browser using something like HAP+, but then Safari has further restrictions on what files it can download to the iPad (iPads have no file system, its all per app sandboxing). And uploading to Safari is even worse, you can ONLY upload a picture or a video, so any work done in Pages etc has to be pushed via WebDav which is now, coming to the end of its life as its so insecure - but then, all apps may not support WebDav so you begin juggling ways to store files.

    You can disable the App Store which is all good, disable removal of apps, disable installation of profiles from another source, disable Facetime and Siri etc

    To be managing and configuring on a large scale, you need to have definetly a OTA MDM solution, its all well and fine Supervising the devices using Configurator but for the day to day management of App Pushes, restriction changes etc its much easier to be done OTA. Recommend Meraki really as its free, but it isn't perfect, I have not yet found one MDM solution that is 100% perfect and will do everything you ask of it, this is partly down to Apple and the restrictions it places on 3rd party MDM solutions (You can get much more management features with Profile Manager, but it lacks basic features that Meraki has - so its a balancing act)

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  5. #18
    TheMrB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow_Walker View Post
    I donít know if this will help but these are the problems we have come across over the last month.
    Really cool of you to share this, thanks mate.


    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    .....
    Thanks mate.
    Plenty of answers, awesome.

    Seriously, I've been looking at this for 3 hours, my head is ready to explode already!

    Just.... Wow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    There is no native support for SMB, theres not really native support for WebDav so accessing User Home Folders has to be done via the web browser using something like HAP+, but then Safari has further restrictions on what files it can download to the iPad (iPads have no file system, its all per app sandboxing). And uploading to Safari is even worse, you can ONLY upload a picture or a video, so any work done in Pages etc has to be pushed via WebDav which is now, coming to the end of its life as its so insecure - but then, all apps may not support WebDav so you begin juggling ways to store files.
    I have had one student here whose managed to work very well using Google Apps to transfer between a PC and the iPad.

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    Issues, which I can't see mentioned yet and I believe still cause problems - if there are solutions, I'm interested:
    Students able to set passcodes preventing following student from using device.
    Students able to change a range of setting causing device to not work in various ways for following student.
    Lack of ability to use flash websites - alternative to use photon browser (for example) which has its own issues.
    Likely damage inheritant to handheld devices
    Not just initial cost, but replacement cost when devices are no longer usable - might be 50% of the longevity of a laptop, therefore replacement cost double a laptop.
    Meldrew

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  9. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meldrew View Post
    Issues, which I can't see mentioned yet and I believe still cause problems - if there are solutions, I'm interested:
    Students able to set passcodes preventing following student from using device.
    Students able to change a range of setting causing device to not work in various ways for following student.
    Would these not be prevented, or at least be quickly fixable through the Configuration Manager?

    Lack of ability to use flash websites - alternative to use photon browser (for example) which has its own issues.
    Yeah, it's a concern for me, but the teachers that have mentioned the devices are more likely to use apps than the web. I think as time goes on, HTML5 sites (and mobile sites as a whole) will cover most needs here. But we are a simple bunch here. if they can use youtube apps, they are happy!

    Likely damage inheritant to handheld devices
    Not just initial cost, but replacement cost when devices are no longer usable - might be 50% of the longevity of a laptop, therefore replacement cost double a laptop.
    Meldrew
    This concerns me a lot. It's been a concern since I started where I am and spent tonnes replacing Wireless PCMCIA cards because the cheaper laptops didn't have Wireless cards onboard (I've been here a while!) I just make sure that I mentions possible replacement and upgrade costs when it comes to budget proposal time and hope someone listens!

    I think the best I can do is to warn of replacement (and upgrade) cost and advise that the cheapest alternative isn't always the best one.
    Those manly looking shock proof cases look like they would protect it from a small nuclear explosion too, a worthwhile investment me thinks!

    the balancing act of getting good stuff with forewarning of future costs, at least where I am, is an impossible one. I honestly stopped trying when my NM said that the kids wouldn't bother stealing the keyboards from surfaces because they are useless anywhere else(we've had 3 stolen in 4 months!) If I can't convince my NM, I just stopped trying!

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    Shadow_Walker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meldrew View Post
    Students able to set passcodes preventing following student from using device.
    Didn't even relise that was possible until you said that. I just tested on the iPad and that has to be another major flaw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Meldrew View Post
    Likely damage inheritant to handheld devices. Not just initial cost, but replacement cost when devices are no longer usable - might be 50% of the longevity of a laptop, therefore replacement cost double a laptop
    If I remember correctly we have a 3 year warranty on all the devices and KRCS just swap the device out no questions asked.

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  13. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMrB View Post
    Would these not be prevented, or at least be quickly fixable through the Configuration Manager?
    Not prevented as far as I understand. Fixable, perhaps but imagine the disruption to lessons and your time, plugging half a dozen into config manager every lesson to fix the stuff that's been changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMrB View Post
    Yeah, it's a concern for me, but the teachers that have mentioned the devices are more likely to use apps than the web. I think as time goes on, HTML5 sites (and mobile sites as a whole) will cover most needs here. But we are a simple bunch here. if they can use youtube apps, they are happy!
    Agreed, but it would be worth teachers checking out all the websites they want to use beforehand to ensure they work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meldrew View Post
    Not prevented as far as I understand. Fixable, perhaps but imagine the disruption to lessons and your time, plugging half a dozen into config manager every lesson to fix the stuff that's been changed.
    Good to know. I had no idea, hence this topic. Seems like a massive oversight on Apple's part to allow that.
    Is there no instant, OTA fix? Wow, I don't much like that!


    Agreed, but it would be worth teachers checking out all the websites they want to use beforehand to ensure they work.
    Yep, I 100% agree.
    But trying to get teachers to do preparation and planning is far FAR out of my skill set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMrB View Post
    Good to know. I had no idea, hence this topic. Seems like a massive oversight on Apple's part to allow that.
    Is there no instant, OTA fix? Wow, I don't much like that!
    Nope, to restore and fix the issues, have to use Apple Configurator which is a waste of time. Apple have been pushing this stuff in Schools for ages but we still don't have the proper school grade MDM policies that we need to properly implement them. But the entire iPad deployment model that Apple see is 1:1 iPads for each child, meaning that if a child puts a passcode they will know what it is as it is their device.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    Nope, to restore and fix the issues, have to use Apple Configurator which is a waste of time. Apple have been pushing this stuff in Schools for ages but we still don't have the proper school grade MDM policies that we need to properly implement them. But the entire iPad deployment model that Apple see is 1:1 iPads for each child, meaning that if a child puts a passcode they will know what it is as it is their device.
    That seems disturbingly short sighted on Apple's part.
    Maybe I need to look at alternatives to suggest as well as iPads then. 1700 kids? I aint asking for the money to do 1:1 PENCILS let alone tablets!

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