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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Using iPads for multiple users in groups. in Technical; i have ipads in school i installed dropbox on the server and mapped the drive for all students to see. ...
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    i have ipads in school i installed dropbox on the server and mapped the drive for all students to see. i then created folders in there with the ipad name that i had etched on the back of the device they dropbox to that folder and cut and paste to there network drive. im also using the free version of dropbox and have been for 8 months and it still isnt full.... or if your kids have an email address in school you could setup a liumited exchange account so work could be emailed to themselves.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpsonj View Post
    Perhaps I should qualify my statement to say that it can't be done easily or seemlessly. From what I understand, you would need to set up a dropbox (or similar) account for each laptop (so 200 dropbox accounts), or would there be a single dropbox account for all iPads? Then when any work of importance is done, the teacher would need to move the files from the dropbox account into a folder on their computer that is stored on the school servers. Then when work is needed, the files would need to be moved back into the dropbox folder for students to continue working on. Would that be correct?

    I'm not sure how many teachers would be prepared to do that, or for how long, especially if these are going to be used as laptop trollies. At the very least, a fair amount of training is going to be required!
    No, there is a far simply way of doing it through WebDAV, which most apps we are talking about are making use of. Apple do a good explanation of this using an MacMini running Lion Server, but that could easily be translated into other server technologies given a bit common sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by old_n07 View Post
    With that amount of money wasted on iPads I'd be looking at some form of Mobile Device Management (MDM) software

    Meraki do a free offering, but there are paid for versions from the likes of Mobile iron and Airwatch.

    We have the Airwatch version to manage ours (the Meraki one wasn't out at the time) but we haven't really used it much yet, saying that we only have about 50 or so anyway which are not used a lot (like we said would be the case )

    Good luck and just think of all the fun things you could have spent the money on that would of been some use
    Thanks for those suggestions, the meraki product addresses some of the issues brilliantly.

    Many thanks to all those who have responded to this, didn't expect so many replies!

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMB View Post
    Yes - that is indeed a pickle! Perhaps I could take those 200 iPads off your hands while I ponder a solution...?
    The only reason we have so many is because this is part of our new building ICT solution. However, thus far the people suggesting getting iPAds have not been very forthcoming with suggestions for effectivley managing them if we use them in group sets.

    There may be a development here anyway, as we are in a period of great change in the Academy I work for new principal etc. and they appear to be listening, and are keen on 1 iPad per student if we can finance it, so the goalposts have changed which actually makes things easier for us as the iPad is designed to be an individual device. Still the advice given here will come in very useful, particularly impressed by the meraki mobile device management, we've been messing around with that this afternoon on the small set of iPads we already have and it seems to work really well. :-)

    Mike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    The only reason we have so many is because this is part of our new building ICT solution. However, thus far the people suggesting getting iPAds have not been very forthcoming with suggestions for effectivley managing them if we use them in group sets.

    There may be a development here anyway, as we are in a period of great change in the Academy I work for new principal etc. and they appear to be listening, and are keen on 1 iPad per student if we can finance it, so the goalposts have changed which actually makes things easier for us as the iPad is designed to be an individual device. Still the advice given here will come in very useful, particularly impressed by the meraki mobile device management, we've been messing around with that this afternoon on the small set of iPads we already have and it seems to work really well. :-)

    Mike.
    Mike
    Is your Academy on the KPSN. If so speak to the guys there as we are about to launch a educational MDM solution that will give you control at scool, classroom, device, and group level.

    They can give more detail.....ill get told off if I post it here
    Simon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eappariello View Post
    Mike
    Is your Academy on the KPSN. If so speak to the guys there as we are about to launch a educational MDM solution that will give you control at scool, classroom, device, and group level.

    They can give more detail.....ill get told off if I post it here
    Simon
    Yes we are, and I already have dialogue going between them and me - they have told me there are developments in the pipeline that might be beneficial for us. We switched to using your web filtering product though KPSN last week and I must say thus far I'm impressed. :-)

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    Glad to hear that.

    Like the filter the MDM has been built for LA's and Schools. I think you will like it....and the price

    Simon

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    Apple marketing team

    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    a) Are there any schools doing this already that can advise me on the best way of managing iPads in this situation.
    Have you been in touch with Apple UK's educational marketing team? They are super keen to promote good usage of iPads in schools (of course), and might be able to link you up with a local school (e.g. Honywood in Essex) who has faced the same issues. I have a contact at Apple you could use if you want.

    Also, I am looking into the feasibility of developing an app to make group screen and file sharing on iPads and Android tablets simpler. If this is a problem for other schools, i'd be interested to hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I know the iPad is primerily designed as an personal device, but in their wisdom management here have stated they want groups of iPads availble to sudents akin to how we have groups of laptops in cabinets now.

    So my questions are:

    a) Are there any schools doing this already that can advise me on the best way of managing iPads in this situation.
    b) Can I come and visit someone using iPads in this way (if anyone is doing so) preferably in the Kent area.
    c) any other comments people might have.

    Forget trying to talk management out of this decision, this is what they want so I've got to work with it as best I can. I can see it being a nitemate before we've even started, so I need to come up with a stategy of managing them and using them effectively.

    regards,

    Mike.
    Hi,

    There is a solution to your problem. First, have you also purchased a mac server along with the iPads? If so, the mac server can be AD integrated and users should be able to save their work in a group folder on a windows server etc.

    The other issue is that of managing the iPads centrally; defining policies and restrictions and pushing only authorised apps to the iOS devices and desktops automatically. All this can be achieved as long as you have a mac server.

    I have just successfully completed a similar project in a secondary school.

    Also, for the number of iPads purchased, please don't use iTunes to individually install apps as it will be extremely time consuming.

    If you need any assistance, let me know, but if you're not familiar with the macs/Ipads integration and management and integration with AD, you will need to outsource the work. However, management therefore after will be very simple.

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    Hi,

    There is a solution to your problem. First, have you also purchased a mac server along with the iPads? If so, the mac server can be AD integrated and users should be able to save their work in a group folder on a windows server etc.

    The other issue is that of managing the iPads centrally; defining policies and restrictions and pushing only authorised apps to the iOS devices and desktops automatically. All this can be achieved as long as you have a mac server.

    I have just successfully completed a similar project in a secondary school.

    Also, for the number of iPads purchased, please don't use iTunes to individually install apps as it will be extremely time consuming.

    If you need any assistance, let me know, but if you're not familiar with the macs/Ipads integration and management and integration with AD, you will need to outsource the work. However, management therefore after will be very simple.

    ABe

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    John,

    You say, "etched." Do I gather that you did this without recourse to Apple (who are clearly hard to persuade to do engraving on educational sales.)

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    Northwood schools in London have successfully deployed nearly 400 devices in this way.


    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I know the iPad is primerily designed as an personal device, but in their wisdom management here have stated they want groups of iPads availble to sudents akin to how we have groups of laptops in cabinets now.

    So my questions are:

    a) Are there any schools doing this already that can advise me on the best way of managing iPads in this situation.
    b) Can I come and visit someone using iPads in this way (if anyone is doing so) preferably in the Kent area.
    c) any other comments people might have.

    Forget trying to talk management out of this decision, this is what they want so I've got to work with it as best I can. I can see it being a nitemate before we've even started, so I need to come up with a stategy of managing them and using them effectively.

    regards,

    Mike.

  16. #28
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    Sorry to bump up this thread...

    In answer to anyone exploring the possibilities of a multi-user iPad environment approach, then I may have the answer for you.

    We are also deploying iPads, not on the scale of what is mentioned here but a small scale to begin with. We are using Meraki to manage the devices and turning on restrictions locally on the devices along with supervising them.

    We are currently exploring the possibility of building an application that connects via SMB to the Windows Network. So far if your in an application, click Share and tap on the Network one and users are prompted to Login via AD and then the work is shared to their Home Areas on the Windows Network. Its far easier than installing Dropbox and other 3rd party solutions when you can build your own to interface with your own network, thus using your own services.

    Its still in the developmental stages as I don't really know much Objective C (Still learning).

    Just thought I would share what we are doing with others.

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    Hi,
    Have you looked at the Apple Configurator? I haven't used it myself, but I'm intrigued by this option in the manual:
    Once you set up a supervised device, you can also Assign it to a designated user. When you check out the device to a particular user, Apple Configurator returns the device to the state it was in the last time that person used it. All the user’s settings and app data are restored.
    When you check the device back in, Apple Configurator backs up the user’s settings and app data for the next time, including any new user-created data, and then erases any information that was left on the device by the previous user. By checking devices in and out, you can give each user the experience of a personal device, yet retain the ability to assign the same group of devices to many groups of users. Users can be added manually or imported from Open Directory or Active Directory and organized into custom groups.
    What it appears to allow you to do is have a standard image that can be installed to the iPads, along with apps. Lock them down and set up wireless etc.. But also Copy all specific user data to the ipad ready for a lesson, then back it up at the end and clear it off at the end. It can't do this wirelessly, so you would have to have a Macbook on each trolley of ipads.
    Problems I can see:
    * You'd need to train staff or students how to check out and in ipads, although this appears to be quite easy.
    * You need to buy an macbook for each trolley or have them returned to IT between each period for check in and then check out.
    * Time taken to sync the profiles on and off the iPads. I don't know how long it takes. I imagine that you'd need to keep the bear minimum of work stored on the iPad in this way and export it permanently somewhere else after a project is finished.
    * The profile is stored on the Macbook, so a teacher would have to keep booking the same trolley each time, limiting flexibility. Unless there is some way of syncing the Macbook to a central server – though this would probably require a hack – OR you have just one sync machine.
    Of course, not every lesson requires students to save work. After a device has been checked in, student specific work is automatically removed and the iPad reverts to a generic device. If the iPads are assigned to departments, then you could get away with one sync Macbook for each department.


    Here's a guide: http://images.apple.com/education/do...ment_guide.pdf
    Many apps sync to google drive so personal accounts for students could help, and/or School eLockers

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    Honestly, I've been tempted to do the same, but I don't have the Obj-C programming chops, or enough time before we roll out to learn it and develop something. As it is, We'l be using Documents, and users will have to set up a WebDav connection in a third party app to save to their home folder - along with a "help" WebClip telling them how to do it, because people will forget..

    Hardly ideal, but the best solution we have right now.

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