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South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) Thread, IPads integration -I'd like to visit someone who has it working Wiltshire Avon area in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); I'm trying to find a local school to me here in Wiltshire where iPad integration has gone well so I ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    IPads integration -I'd like to visit someone who has it working Wiltshire Avon area

    I'm trying to find a local school to me here in Wiltshire where iPad integration has gone well so I can beg a look at how it has been achieved please. I believe the Secondary School at Keynsham has cracked this particular nut so I'm guessing it would be ideal if anyone from there is on Edugeek and could let me visit or talk me through their experience please?

    One of our Assistant Heads is very enthusiastic to see us move in this direction. The chap seems to think our Special Needs KS3 boys (Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) will greatly benefit from being able to run up integrated pieces of work in say Pages and print it out there and then and ideally save it as well. I have tried to point out the major difficulties this would present on Windows Domain but so far I seem to be batting into the wind.
    Last edited by speckytecky; 14th March 2014 at 03:40 AM.

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    We are no where in the vicinity of Wiltshire Avon or the UK for that matter, but iPads certainly do work very well for Special Needs (Autism, Aspergers, severe ADHD, other learning difficulties) kids. That is one place I have seen indisputable proof of positive learning outcomes. There is one large government school for Special Needs kids that I know of here in Victoria that has replaced all of its computers with iPads following a year-long trial with them. During the second half of the year, their 250 desktop computers sat barely used as the iPads were rapidly and effectively adopted into the classroom with very positive results. They now have over 600 iPads. Of course, the teaching staff more than anything have to be equipped to deal with Special Needs kids in the first place (as the staff at this school were) or the iPads or any other tool will only have limited effectiveness.

    As for creating documents and printing or saving the work, this is easily achievable on a Windows Domain and this is how most iPads are being used (on a Windows network). It is best that said Windows domain is not a .local one, but the iPad can get around this more easily than a Mac.

    For AirPrint, you would only require a Mac Mini to act as a print server (any model will do as long as it can run 10.8 or 10.9) and you can either use Printopia, Printopia Pro or Papercut for sharing out the printers. We use Printopia Pro as it handles VLANs very easily.

    For saving of files to a Windows file server (or any other device that can provide SMB shares), you can use Acronis Access, Foldr, eSchool Lockers, or setup WebDav on your File Server . Another option is to use the Google Drive app if you are already a Google Apps school or OneDrive app if you are an Office365 school.

    If you are trying to point out the major difficulties of these particular things and your Assistant Head has seen it done at other schools, your arguments will fall on deaf ears - possibly justifiably.

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    speckytecky (14th March 2014)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    If you are trying to point out the major difficulties of these particular things and your Assistant Head has seen it done at other schools, your arguments will fall on deaf ears - possibly justifiably.
    Only if they are a terrible manager, what they should take from it is that it may be doable but extra time and resources like training or software will be required as opposed to the usual view of buy 100 iPads, throw them at the tech then get mad when the tech can't have them working like school x in half a week with no money or additional time to string it all together. This is where the Apple advertising machine falls down and one of the reasons quite a few techs get fed up with them. They are advertised by Apple passively and other schools actively as a very easy solution which they are simply not without the resources to actually implement them

    Telling management beforehand and priming them for this reality is probably the best thing they can do to get the required help and budget in the hopes they can break through the brainwashing the AH has received.

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    speckytecky (14th March 2014)

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    seawolf's Avatar
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    A bad manager has no understanding or care of what difficulties may lie ahead, and will insist on trying to get blood from a stone. A good manager knows about the potential problems, but will insist on pushing through them because the goal is achievable and they will provide the resources to achieve it. Sometimes the resources necessary aren't what the tech thinks they are, sometimes they are. It's a good managers job to know the difference.

    However telling your manager how hard or impossible something is out of your ignorance (if a tech doesn't understand how to do something, it is ignorance isn't it? As ignorance means a lack of knowledge) then you wont' get very far. Telling them, "look, I need some time and a training course would be very good as this is the first time I/We have done this, and if we want to do it right..." is the correct answer rather than "No" or "It won't work" or "It's too hard".

    I do know of a school who fired ALL of their Techs because they stubbornly and absolutely refused to move in the direction the school wanted to go (introduce iPads). After nearly 12 months of complete resistance, they dumped their 3 techs and got different ones who said "Yes, we can do that" - and they did "do that". As well as doing a lot of other things the previous techs said couldn't be done. Most importantly, they achieved what the school wanted to achieve. If the Principal walked in today and told me that we were going to dump all of the iPads and roll out Surface Pros, I would certainly have some long and reasoned discussions with him about the reasons for this. However, if this is what the Principal and the school wanted, I'd best comply and do it as good as can be done or go find another job.

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    speckytecky (14th March 2014)

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
    A bad manager has no understanding or care of what difficulties may lie ahead, and will insist on trying to get blood from a stone. A good manager knows about the potential problems, but will insist on pushing through them because the goal is achievable and they will provide the resources to achieve it. Sometimes the resources necessary aren't what the tech thinks they are, sometimes they are. It's a good managers job to know the difference.

    However telling your manager how hard or impossible something is out of your ignorance (if a tech doesn't understand how to do something, it is ignorance isn't it? As ignorance means a lack of knowledge) then you wont' get very far. Telling them, "look, I need some time and a training course would be very good as this is the first time I/We have done this, and if we want to do it right..." is the correct answer rather than "No" or "It won't work" or "It's too hard".

    I do know of a school who fired ALL of their Techs because they stubbornly and absolutely refused to move in the direction the school wanted to go (introduce iPads). After nearly 12 months of complete resistance, they dumped their 3 techs and got different ones who said "Yes, we can do that" - and they did "do that". As well as doing a lot of other things the previous techs said couldn't be done. Most importantly, they achieved what the school wanted to achieve. If the Principal walked in today and told me that we were going to dump all of the iPads and roll out Surface Pros, I would certainly have some long and reasoned discussions with him about the reasons for this. However, if this is what the Principal and the school wanted, I'd best comply and do it as good as can be done or go find another job.
    As far as I can tell we agree, just worded it differently. The op never specified exactly how they put forward their concerns and given they were asking for assistance I imagine it was along the lines of needing more information hence the request.

    I do hope that they are able to get a tour/help from other parties to help them make it possible.

    I think papercut is a good start with the printers as they have airprint support plus an app for iPad as long as you have a Mac. WebDAV for saving despite its security holes and some form of MDM. Apple configurator may work, I'd attempt to provide help but am still fighting with it myself and the 'we need three email addresses and your shoe size' VPP program.

    @speckytecky - have you tried contacting the school directly, even through the AH that wants it as they usually have links that allow for cooperation especially if it is a feeder school.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 14th March 2014 at 02:29 AM.

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    seawolf (14th March 2014), speckytecky (14th March 2014)

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    What superbly useful and very welcome replies @seawolf and @SYNACK thank you very much. Very useful ideas to get me moving forward. My prejudices have been built up by my a mix of my own inexperience and the largely negative sentiment I have picked up toward use of iPads in education on Windows domains from various Forums. You both bring out some very positive points which I find very encouraging.

    Additionally my experience of the staff member driving the concept has been somewhat tainted by past history where I have battled against their desire for change only to find myself harassed by unreasonable timescales and in small number of instances wasted resource when the change hasn't been generally welcome or indeed used / judged useful by either staff nor students.

    I have one local school lined up for a visit where they can be fairly said to be enthusiastically embracing iPad integration specifically toward Special Needs but I'd like to visit others as well. On the other hand with such positive, full and clear feedback as the two of you have given me I have already made a huge leap forward. Thanks again to the both of you. Now I wonder if my school would be kind enough to fund me a visit to you?
    Last edited by speckytecky; 14th March 2014 at 03:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Only if they are a terrible manager, what they should take from it is that it may be doable but extra time and resources like training or software will be required as opposed to the usual view of buy 100 iPads, throw them at the tech then get mad when the tech can't have them working like school x in half a week with no money or additional time to string it all together. This is where the Apple advertising machine falls down and one of the reasons quite a few techs get fed up with them. They are advertised by Apple passively and other schools actively as a very easy solution which they are simply not without the resources to actually implement them

    Telling management beforehand and priming them for this reality is probably the best thing they can do to get the required help and budget in the hopes they can break through the brainwashing the AH has received.
    I 100% agree with this, I've lost count of the number of times I've sat in a first meeting with teachers and asked where the technical person is so he/she can be involved in planning from the start, I get blank stares from the teachers at this question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    I'm trying to find a local school to me here in Wiltshire where iPad integration has gone well so I can beg a look at how it has been achieved please. I believe the Secondary School at Keynsham has cracked this particular nut so I'm guessing it would be ideal if anyone from there is on Edugeek and could let me visit or talk me through their experience please?

    One of our Assistant Heads is very enthusiastic to see us move in this direction. The chap seems to think our Special Needs KS3 boys (Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties) will greatly benefit from being able to run up integrated pieces of work in say Pages and print it out there and then and ideally save it as well. I have tried to point out the major difficulties this would present on Windows Domain but so far I seem to be batting into the wind.
    Try this school, iPad 1:1 done correctly....

    Home | Clevedon School

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    speckytecky (9th April 2014)

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