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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Anyone using ipads for students. Maybe in a trolley or storage unit? in Technical; Hmm, Yesterday we were told by our head that there may be some money for new projects and I thought ...
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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Anyone using ipads for students. Maybe in a trolley or storage unit?

    Hmm, Yesterday we were told by our head that there may be some money for new projects and I thought that maybe IT should get some.
    We have plenty of laptops, too many, and thought that we should look at something like a trolley of ipads.
    Does anyone out there actually have something like this and do you think they were a good investment?

    Thanks

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    X-13's Avatar
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    What sort of network are you running?

    Do you have experience with supporting Apple hardware/software?

    Does it HAVE to be iPads? Can it be another type of tablet?


    IIRC, there are a few 'geeks here that have iPad suites.

    TBH, I've heard mixed reviews on iPads in education.

    Personally, I'd go for something Windows based. [Not saying they're better.] Just because we use a windows based network, so integration should be easier.

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    reggiep's Avatar
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    I'm open to all suggestions but ipad 2s can are reasonably cheap now. We have a suite of macs which I detest but that's another story!

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    Millgate's Avatar
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    A few of my schools use iPads and iPods and they keep them in these which i supply

    Specialising in IT related products / Home / Paratec

    Really good units

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    Make sure you cover all aspects of iPad ownership (including support) in your plan. It is far too easy for the 'powers that be' to assume because it's easy to take one iPad out of the box & use it at home that it automatically follows that you can do the same with 30 or more in a typical Windows-based school network & expect 1000 kids to use them in the same way as you can with a trolley of 30 Windows laptops.

    The school needs to accept that you will never be able to secure or lock down an iPad in the same way as you can a Windows client device, so teaching staff have to assume a greater responsibility for how they are used. Then there are the issues of purchasing & downloading apps too.

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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Managing them is obviously a concern.
    This is one of the reasons I have asked the question here as I hoped somebody had already experienced this and could share it with us!

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    Make sure you cover all aspects of iPad ownership (including support) in your plan. It is far too easy for the 'powers that be' to assume because it's easy to take one iPad out of the box & use it at home that it automatically follows that you can do the same with 30 or more in a typical Windows-based school network & expect 1000 kids to use them in the same way as you can with a trolley of 30 Windows laptops.

    The school needs to accept that you will never be able to secure or lock down an iPad in the same way as you can a Windows client device, so teaching staff have to assume a greater responsibility for how they are used. Then there are the issues of purchasing & downloading apps too.
    ^This... Is why I'd say go for a Windows tablet.


    Le EDIT: You could use something like OnLive, to port Win7. But MickRoeSoft say it isn't licenced properly.

    There WAS another one, that [IIRC] was web-based. But,I can't find it.

    Le EDIT MKII: VMWare HTML5 based virtual desktop.
    Last edited by X-13; 28th March 2012 at 11:39 AM.

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    I'm creating a larger-than-expected reply to this, suffice to say I have 30 iPads here and will post up my experiences so far - post to come soon!

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    reggiep (28th March 2012)

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    I have a school which has 16 with the intention of buying more. I haven't looked at them once. The teacher manages the apps that are on there and the kids just use them for internet mainly. If there is a teacher who is willing to manage them, go for it!

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    I work in a special school and we have bought Ipads recently and are now working out exactly how to use them within the school (slightly cart before horse I know...). I've recently been using Ipod touches which I bought to teach an entry level unit on mobile devices so I've been getting my head around the issues.

    A question - It's easy to buy an app in one iTunes account, and sync it to multiple devices. Apple seem to actively encourage that in the way itunes works, and there doesn't seem to be a limit to the number of devices - I've synced 10 ipod touches to one account fine. Is this legal however? I cannot find anything to suggest it's not, but we obviously don't want to be breaking any copyright rules.

    An important point - Ipads are designed as personal devices, and cannot be used with different logins. Schools need to make a decision about whether they are teacher devices (to access email, plan, plug into a projector to show pupils content etc) or pupil devices (for pupils to use educational apps). I cannot see any way for an Ipad to do both at the moment. I imagine Apple will be addressing this in the future (home users have similar issues in giving their ipads to their children, and then finding that their children are replying to their emails!). There are some basic restrictions you can put on an ipad, but as far as I can tell they're completely inadequate to enable both staff/pupil use.

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    Bezwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoanneH View Post
    If there is a teacher who is willing to manage them, go for it!
    Try and make sure there is more than one teacher willing to manage them, because if they leave the resposibility will end up back on you.

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    I have been looking into the idea of iPads here for a while now. Personally I think that you would need to have developed the infrastructure to get the best out of these devices. Not just network-wise. How does your VLE cater for devices such as these? etc.

    We (did) have a VLE (StudyWiz) which is pro-apple and as such have released apps to support their platform, such as mobile elockers. This allows individual users to be able to use the device and upload to their own area on the VLE, thus getting round the single user per device debate. Obviously you can do this with something else but you would need to think about how you can develop this side of things to see the benefits of what the device has to offer. You could also map the E-Lockers to each home dir so uploaded data would appear on the servers immediately.

    Of course as others have said you can look at windows-based devices but does their app store provide as good a range of educational and other software?

    Maybe the locking down of these types of devices may not be necessary if used in an environment enhanced to support the devices in the first place.

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    We have a few iPads within circulation at the moment, but they're strictly for use by SMT, their PA's and all those within IT Services.
    It's our intention in the coming months to look beyond this, and provide an iPad for all Teaching staff, with the prospect of student devices too in the near future.

    I came across this recently, and think it could come in very handy with mass deployment and configuration.
    Mac App Store - Apple Configurator

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    We have 30 iPads here, had them for about a month. Reactions are mixed, but here's what I can tell you so far.

    Storage & Security
    The first set of 10 we got were stored in a trolley, but it was decided that a large trolley for such small devices was overkill, so now each set of 10 are just stored inside one of those cheap plastic storage crates with a lid (which are then stored inside my locked server room each night, for security!). Easy to carry around the school, cheap, and for charging I just put an extension cable in each box, hook the iPads up to it, and plug it ito one wall socket. Easy.

    I have each iPad labelled threefold for security. Each one has a simple sticker on the back that says "iPad number XX". It also has our "Property of X School" assest tag label (the metallic ones, if you know what I mean?) and lastly I have marked each one with the school's details using a pen that only shows up under UV light. As part of my Hardware Audt I have a log of all the serial numbes & corresponding asset tag numbers for them all.

    Of course this doesn't stop anyone from actually taking one - that is a classroom management issue and a site security one. When they are in classrooms each teacher knows they have to count the iPads out to pupils, and back in again - if any are missing, no-one leave the room until it is found! As said above when they are not in use they are in storage crates inside my server room which either a) I am sitting in personally or b) is locked when I am not in there.


    Initial setup
    iTunes accounts - I set up 3 email addresses with GMAIL and 3 iTunes accounts, 1 for each set of 10 iPads we have (10 is the most you can assign to one iTunes account). ONLY buy Apps by redeeming vouchers, don't put a card on the account, it only takes one smartarse to crack the password and your school could get a bill for £hundreds! (To set up an account without putting in card details, open iTunes, go to Store, buy something that is FREE, then when promted to sign in/sign up do so, as the item is free it will not ask you for card details, then just add vouchers when you need to purchase things that cost).

    You will have to buy each App for every iPad you want it on. You can contact the seller of the app directly, sometimes they will do you a deal for multiple purchases. If you like I can post up a list of all the Apps we put on ours to begin with, it cost around £280 to outfit 30 iPads with what we have.

    A note about iCloud - if you use it, be aware that the kids will fill up your free storage space FAST. Ours ran out with the first 2 weeks thanks to all the pictures they have taken + the iCloud backup of the iPads. Someone will need to be responsible for erasing stuff from the iCloud once it is no longer needed; this will mean talking to staff about how long their topic runs for, if they plan to pick-up the work again next week, and so on. Also, remember than the iCloud will only share things between the 10 iPads on the same iTunes account - you can't get it to share with other iDevices not on that account!

    Further Apps - for now, I have told everyone that what is on there is all they are getting this year (as I said I've spent close to £300 on Apps sp far so they are not left wanting). Even if something is free I am not installing it, otherwise you'll end up with 30 iPads and all have different setups on them - not good. Keep things consistent, even if it means slightly limiting the free-use of them.



    Introduction to staff
    This is key - you really need to allow adults time to get used to using them, they won't want to hand them out to 30 kids when they don't know how to operate the devices themselves. We ran several training sessions to allow hands-on time with the iPads, and until after Easter every morning I have only allowed them to be borrowed by individuals who want to spend some further time getting to grips with the apps that are on the device, with afternoons reserved for class use by those are feel up to it.


    Introduction to pupils
    We all know it, but I'll say it anyway, the kids will pick up something like an iPad and within minutes will be happier using it than most of the adult will after hours of 'practice' with it. So make sure the teachers know to educate the children about the proper use of them (ie one person at a time, not a group of 4 kids all prodding at the screen trying to ue it together - it's meant for one person to use, end of) BEFORE it is put in their hands. I have seen it myself just this morning, unless your classroom control is out of this world, you will NOT get the kids to listen to you properly if they have an iPad in their hands.


    Usefulness in lessons
    As with any other ICT device, don't force it's use - use it when it will AID in learning, not just because you need some form of ICT in there somewhere. Video editing with iMovie, book creation with BookCreator, music lessons with GarageBand - these are things I have seen done well so far. Apps like these let the children have fun and learn skills at the same time (though the ratio of those two things could be debated for hours, I'm sure).

    Internet research is perfect for iPads - pick one up, do your research, make your notes, put it away again. Treat it like a textbook - it's just another resource, and just because it is being used in your lesson does not mean that is what you lesson should be focussed on. Once they get over the initial "WOW" factor the aim is get the pupils to see the iPads as another tool in their learning arsenal, not just something flashy they have fun with once a week at an alotted time.


    Drawbacks / Cons / Things that need looking at
    The biggest one - it is HARD to get all the children to stay on-task with the iPads, at least in the beginning. Their natural want to explore everything about the new device means that it's not a good idea to try and go straight into a directed task - allow them a few lessons to "have a play" and get to know the iPad and the apps that are on it. Once the "WOW" factor has died down, then you can start to use them as a teaching&learning tool effectively.

    Printing - here we have no allowed printing from the iPads (not the easiest thing to configure anyway). This will not go down well with many people who will want hard-copies of the work their pupils have done. They'll have to accept the device limitations (Flash!) and figure out how to use them in other ways.

    Storing files to network - there are other threads around EduGeek about doing this, but look into it before you start. Emailling files or uploading to your pupils' VLE accounts is easy enough, Dropbox can also be used.




    Lastly, it should go without saying, but obviously;

    DONT jailbreak them!
    CHECK Apps before you install them - they may contain adverts not appropriate for children even if the App itself is!
    DONT give out the App Store password to anyone who isn't going to be directly managing the devices!

    Afterthought - cleaning!
    It wouldn't hurt to stockpile cleaning supplies as well. I went to our local Poundland and bought £20 worth of Flash cleaning wipes. After a few hours of 9-yeard-old's fingers on the screen you don't even want to think about what is smeared all over the devices! I give out a pack of wipes each time the iPads are borrowed, and made it clear that I expect the teachers to either a) get the pupils to clean the iPad they were using them done, or b) clean them as they count them back in.

  20. 10 Thanks to Pete10141748:

    CHR1S (28th March 2012), farmerste (30th March 2012), gumbygaz (28th March 2012), ICT_Pro (29th March 2012), mercer77 (28th March 2012), reggiep (28th March 2012), stevenlong1985 (29th March 2012), TechieWils (4th April 2012), tech_guy (1st April 2012), tutech (25th April 2013)

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    broc's Avatar
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    iPads are single user devices; Apple are in the business of selling iPads, why would they want to pay anything other than lip-service to the idea that people want to share them?

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