Thursday, October 13, 2011

iPad Management in K-12

Notes from TCEA TECSIG breakout session, October 13, 2011

Carl Hooker, Eanes ISD

Did a great deal of research via Twitter, Skype, in preparation for bringing iPads to students. Buy-in from the community - parents came to informational meetings. There was a lot of interest! Teachers were given iPads the summer before school year began. 2000 iPads for Westlake High School students.

24/7 Access to knowledge and collaboration - Students use Facetime to attend class even when they are absent.

Researched netbooks, playbooks, but went with iPads because of number of Apps. No longer need document cameras or wireless slates to control computers because Apps have replaced those functionalities.

Summer before distribution, upgraded wireless infrastructure. Access points in each classroom and a new controller. So far no wireless issues with 2000 new devices on the network.

iPads handed out on third day of school. Five minute AUP video shown to all students when they received the iPads. Barcodes laser etched into the backs of the pads.

Created a "juice bar" (based on Apple "genius bar" concept) in the Westlake HS library so students can help students with their iPads. Apple training students to run it.

Small pilot with check-out iPads and 30 SPED iPads one year before implementation.

Students and teachers presented proposal to the board. This was key to getting approval because it wasn't just coming from the technology department.

Tip: Some developers will give you a code or two to download a free copy of their apps so you can evaluate them. You just have to ask.

Eanes uses Casper to deploy Apps.

Students and teachers can install their own Apps. They request codes from tech department or department heads for paid apps.

The WIFI - Eanes ISD iPad Pilot Project Blog
WHS WIFI Site - Tutorials, links to apps, & integration ideas
WHS iPad Pilot PhotoStream on Flikr

Bryan Doyle, Bastrop ISD

200 iPads. Originally non-synching Brefrod carts shared as class sets with multiple users on each device.

iPads are not really meant for multiple users.

Synced an iPad with FREE Apps and content, used iPhone Configuration Utility, Created Backup of iPad then restore backup individually to other iPads. Similar to building an image for the iPads.

Syncing is managed by the technology department. All iPads synced to one iTunes library and Apps are added as requested. iOS updates had to be done individually and were very slow. Hoping with iOS 5 that this will be easier.

Challenges: Multiple users on each iPad made getting content off the iPads difficult. Teachers wanted more control of apps on devices.

Changes this year: Added a Bretford Sync cart for simultaneous syncing. Utilizing VPP (Volume Purchasing Program). Extending syncing ability to the campus instead of just tech department. WebDAV for giving access to network resources.

App Licensing: Personal iPads can have one copy of an app and put on as many devices as you want. But educational institutions must have a license for each app on each device.

Volume Purchase Progam (VPP) Setup: Developers have the option to provide a 50% discount on their Apps. Three key roles:

  • Program Manager - enrolls the organization, assign/manage program facilitators, setup Apple account with sole source agreement or use SDA form each time you purchase Apps. 
  • Program Facilitator - Redeem VPP Voucher (a gift-card like card you get in snail mail), Purchase Apps, Manage licenses, assign download codes to end users
  • End User - Download and install Apps. If you purchase 30 licenses, one code can be used for all 30 licenses.

Additional Notes during Q & A

There is a trick when you create an iTunes account for setting it up without a credit card.

Flash support is improving and virtual desktop apps exist so you can run Windows on the iPad.

Teachers having ability to sync helps them have more investment in using the devices in instruction.

Eanes has Deepfreeze so devices are not backed up to district computers. Teachers and students sync at home. At one time they redirected iTunes to a Thawspace on the local computer.

Update June 2012: If you found this post valuable, you might also benefit from this series of posts I wrote based on sessions I attended at iPadpalooza on June 19, 2012.

Photo courtesy of  Flikr user flickingerbrad; used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License