Wrapping Your Head Around iPad Configuration –
(This is the first in a multiple-part series of my “adventures” configuring iPads for student and staff use)
A little background:
Owen J. Roberts has had an ongoing iPad initiative for about a year:
Phase 1: Administration & Teacher Leaders – Early 2011
Unintentional Phase 1: Speech and Language Pathologists
Phase 2: iPads for students (centers, “buddy system” model, project for full group)
Ongoing: Teacher Leaders (Instructional Support, Principals, Coaches) turn-around training , student image development, and teacher training
I have touched every iPad in the district (over 100). Initially, I was set and ready to utilize the iPhone Configuration Utility, but as I started, it wasn’t working as well as I had hoped.
So, knowing that iPads were designed to have one user, and not a room full of students, there were a couple of questions I was tossing around:
- How can apps be pushed out to multiple devices easily?
- How about pulling down updates on individual devices?
- How can one or a set of iPads be functional and easy to use with minimal communication with the host computer?
The biggest thorn? Purchasing Apps.
Good thing I have patient staff 🙂
1. Have a teacher leader or principal’s computer as the host computer. This will allow the iPads to have a “hard” backup (as opposed to the iCloud). Also, any update to the iOS will need to be conducted on the host (I recommend once a month or once a marking period)
2. Designate a point of contact in each building. – Having a teacher leader, principal or both familiar with the iPad functions and how to download free apps will come in handy if you serve multiple buildings like I do.
3. Training, training, and more training – a “train the trainer” model for each building’s contact person(s) and being available to provide even more PD yourself makes for an informative nucleus.