Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Why iPads are not for the Enterprise in Technical; Originally Posted by Theblacksheep
Win8 profiles are the same as Win7. So same amount of work as changing from XP ...
Win8 profiles are the same as Win7. So same amount of work as changing from XP to Windows7, which has to happen at some point unless you are ditching MS all together.
I know, but I have heard two schools recently where support staff are refusing to do anything with iOS because of the amount of work involved and have even said they will wait until W8 is out ... but have failed to mention that this will *also* require work to be done ... the thing I am suggesting people do is to try to quantify the work instead of a just coming out with a standard comment about iOS is too much work. There has to be a reference point and that also has to take into consideration work which may be done in other parts of the schools, including rewriting parts of the curriculum (taking up a good chunk of work on the part of teaching staff). If SLT are willing to put in extra time and resources for teaching staff to get to grips with a new system then this is also about making sure they are aware of the needs of the support staff to, not just to set things up but to manage the devices long term.
This applies to *any* sizeable change and how it is planned for and funded ...
So far all you seem to have done is question people's concerns and worries about integrating them into their own specific environments. Hardly any schools will have a 1:1 iPad:student ratio so these things have to be shared. I too have some of these concerns for most of the reasons above.
If you have a working solution for managing them properly and effectively, allowing access to student files and work areas (which is expected by teachers and SLT) and deploying apps easily then please share it with us rather than adopting the rather high and mighty stance that you seem to have taken over this.
I could of course grabbed the wrong end of the stick entirely
Not high and mighty ... let us just say it is healthy challenge over people not willing to look at other options or even go back to look at old projects and research. People saying W8 will fix everything is as blinkered as those saying Apple devices will save our schools or that the universe will be a better place once everything is open source.
And to be honest, some people aren't raising concerns ... they are saying they won't do it ... not explaining why and once again they risk labelling IT Support as the people who block things. As for solutions to manage devices ... it all depends on your setup in your school ... there are good blogs out there about this with a range of experiences and there are also a number of commercial firms who deal with this. I've already covered a number of options in the past (as have many others) so the blind "It can't be done" should be "It is a pig" or even "it works best with this sort of scenario", depending on whether people are going to put in the work. It might be they *can't* put in the work due to lack of training, lack of resources, lack of staff, lack of money ... and they may be hampered by SLT who are in awe of the next big shiny idea.
There is always a way for those willing to find it. The way is only blocked for or by those who *choose* to block it.
Yes, this is one of the issues, but I am trying to get across that change is a big problem, it has been looked at before and that we need to learn from this. The same SLT were probably having conversations about how product X would make all the difference many moons ago, but in this case it has been tried before with tech similar enough for us to be able to see if the wheel is just being reinvented. Whether you are on W8, iOS or Android it just means that the amount of change and type of change could be different ... and this is before you get onto curriculum change.
It shouldn't be a big problem though. Proper change management, decent levels of communication and input from *all* the relevant people should negate that. However each of those steps carries their own difficulties which adds up - change management is great unless it's done half sharp, communication and input is fantastic when all the right people are communicated with in the first place; in a school, those can often be a nightmare.
Given the right timeframes, the correct levels of expectations from all involved and the will to at least do the best possible, any issues should be easily overcome.
* Disclaimer. Yes. I am green and niaive. I also bite, so people taking advantage of that get bitten.
In many schools, change management is the process of management screaming 'pretty' and demanding to change everything to the latest shiny bs that will change everything despite being a slight revision. How many times is every little change going to be a revolution. Does no one pay attention to anything anymore.
There's always downsides - first thing that comes to my mind is if they're used extensively (enough to warrant 1:1) then is it diminishing from other important skills such as writing, manually doing mathematics etc?
There's a school near here doing 1:1, I'd certainly like to see it in action before really making judgement on it. Regardless, we've a fair few teachers who have bought their own and find them very useful indeed, and after buying some ourselves we are hovering on the idea of using them as teaching tools. We're fully aware of what they can and can not be expected to do, workload will be no greater than laptops (maintenance is zero, updating is a little more of a pain unless teachers are given full responsibility of it etc). There's plenty of tools to lock things down, track where they are (Configurator, Meraki) however other than insurance reasons I think it's less work/bother to leave them in the hands of the staff.
Last edited by synaesthesia; 17th July 2012 at 08:50 AM.
I went to interview yesterday and this was brought up there. The school has trialed iPads with a select number of teachers (about a third in the school) and the response has been mixed. Some love them, some gave them back as they didn't have the time, desire or inclination to do anything with them.
What I think this highlighted was that any technology can work in a school, so long as there is sufficient willingness to make it work among the staff. If your particular school is like the half that like the iPads at this school then you're likely to be more like Zag. If your staff are like the half that gave them back, then you're more likely get no-where with them.
I think what @GrumbleDook is doing is trying to get people to look past their 'bedded in' ideas - to stop people from doing what some are doing which is going 'ZOMG! iPads are evil!' or 'Windows 8 will solve everything!!'. Instead, the technologies should be looked at in the context of your individual school's needs, and then the issues looked at from there.
Personally, I'm still entirely dubious of tablets in education. There are many, many issues that need resolving before I'd be happy to jump in with them.
The same goes for most types of technology. Some people will swear by it, some people will hate it, and there will always unfortunately be techies, NMs and SLT members who are hardened fanboys of ProductX or in the same breath, would die before ProductY is allowed in the school. That's before even looking at what they can or can't do.
The problem I have have with iPads is (in my experience) it has evoked the oft repeated strategic IT management mistake: let's get something fashionable in and shoehorn it into our operations. Of course this is is not the fault of Apple per se (after all it is a fact that iPads are aimed squarely at the consumer market and not designed for the enterprise) but the desire by management to appear 'on trend' and up to date without fully thinking the impact through. If my school came to me and said we want to achieve x,y and z, and we looked at all the options and their impact and the result was that iPads were the best solution then fine, I have no problem with that. But that process needs to be followed.
I am not an Apple hater, just a hater of poor decision making.
We ran an experiment with netbooks, issuing them to two tutor groups, one in year 8 and 9 and one teaching group. What we didn't do was put much (any!) effort into changing the culture; effectively we just parachuted in 90 net books and said "get on with it then". The experiment ran for 1 year in the yr 9 group, 2 years in the year 8 group and the teacher still uses the netbooks, 3 years on (mostly for internet research type activities). The tutor groups showed no significant (2 sigma) impact on results, one was down slightly and one showed a slight gain in maths.
We did this against a background of clamour about how devices were transforming education (claims made by the likes of the eLearning foundation). It's not that I don't believe that their studies are true in that they show significant impacts on results, but they fail to isolate the cause as being down to devices rather than the cultural change that accompanied them. The schools going down the route of a device per student also went through exceptional periods of cultural change with huge amount of effort put into helping teachers adapt to and adopt the new technology in their lessons. The key question for me in that is what would the transformation have been like if that effort was put into some other aspect of the teaching or general school culture.
I'm somewhat cynical of the "mmm, nice shiny new iPad/Mac/Andriod/voting devices/VLE/IWB" enthusiasm that floods out of individual teachers from time to time. It's not that I believe any of them wouldn't work, rather I believe transformative power of such technologies is as a pivot around which cultural change takes place. The technology itself is almost irrelevant.