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Superintendant/CEO at Legacy Preparatory Charter Districtp

Been there; Doing that...

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We opened up three charter schools in August, with all our 6th and 7th graders being part of the New Tech Network Program.

We had to lease/purchase a laptop for each student. That in itself was a feat due to being a new entity. We have had to put in a new IT infrastructure. We have gone through much of what was listed above. Lessons learned involve making sure you train students in responsible use protocols and training teachers in instructional technology. We are half a year in and still feel as if we are in our infancy as far as being effective in these two areas.

High school teacher finishing up my diploma in educational leadership

I am also interested in

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I am also interested in hearing about how the distribution of iPads in your school system went. What did you find to be the most successful and were there any set-backs? What were some of the reactions from the staff about the roll-out of the iPads? I found it interesting that you allow students to take their iPads home. At our school, we almost have a one-to-one ration of students to laptops and we keep them charging and locked-up in cabinets in each classroom. During the day, laptops usually stay in their respective classrooms and as students change classes, they simply log into another laptop using their assigned username and password. That way, the administration can usually tell who misused a laptop by tracking users based on their usernames. I'm looking forward to hearing from you or anyone else who has posted on this topic.

Content is King

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This a great article that considers the many implications and possible complications that schools face with expensive new technologies. The iPad is as great device, but until schools can adequately monitor the content that students access, distraction is imminent. iOS does not allow modifications at the kernel level, which is the best way to control content access.

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Had a read through your post and you post some really good questions! We have been running our iPad program for two years now, and have answered pretty much every question you have asked here.

Q: How do you hand out 800 iPads and keep track of which student has which iPad?
A: We utilise a Google spreadsheet. When the ipads arrive we collect the Mac Address and the serial number. We then add a College identifying sticker to the device so we can keep track o f it in our spreadsheet. When we provide them to the students, we have around 10 staff going through the setup with them. We record the student name, their College ID, Parents name and Graduating year (This way I can check the number of devices to the number of enrolled students).

Q: How do you get 800 students to register with iTunes so they can use their iPads on the school system?
A: We get the students to do this at home. We provide directions on how to do this on our iPad portal. It would be far to difficult to do this one on one and would not teach the students anything. Give them the responsibility, and this one will take care of itself.

Using their iPads on the College system is done by creating a Mobile config file using the iPhone configuration utility. They then download this using a wireless network which only provides access to this single page. The iPads pop this page up automatically once connected and download the mobile config file, which has the questions in it to set up their College network access, their Email and Calendar.

Q: How do you provide enough bandwidth for 800 iPads?
A: Look at getting around a 3TB data limit and at least a 40 MB pipe. 100MB is ideal. Ensure you have a solid wireless network. We use Aerohive inside and outside.

Q: What if I lose my iPad?
A: We self insure our iPads. We worked out that we would need to replace around 1/3 the fleet before we would break even cost wise with an insurance company. We have only had 4% repaired, and 2 out of 716 stolen in 2 years. We use a scale which starts a 0% in month 1, and goes to 100% in month 24. A line goes between these points and this is the percentage a parent pays if the iPad is stolen or damaged.

Details are found here:

Q: What if the battery dies?
A: We purchase an extended warranty on the iPad which covers the battery. We have not had one iPad fail in the two years we have been using them.

Q: What textbooks should I put on my iPad?
A: That's up to the College. We provide PDFs for many subjects and utilise PDF Expert for interacting with them this also reduces printing requirements.

Q: How do I print my work?
A: We use the method above to redice the need for printing. If student need to print we use Canon's Unflow App. The Student emails the job to a print queue where they access it straight from the printer. Our printing has dropped significantly however since we started using iPads.

Q: What if I bring my own iPad instead of the school's
A: We allow this to occur. We will connect any device a student has to the College network.

Q: How can I do my work at home if I do not have WiFi?
A: The iPad can function still when not on Wifi, but it really needs an internet connection to use it to its max. I'd suggest purchasing Wifi.

Q: If I don't sign the iPad agreement, what do I do in class without an iPad?
A: We have not had this problem when going through the program with our parents. But yes, without the agreement being signed, it makes it difficult to do work at the College. I am not sure what this exactly achieves beside making it more difficult for the student to participate.

Q: Who is going to fix the iPad if it is damaged?
A: The College takes care of repairs. We then bill the parents the % amount as listed before.

Q: Is the iPad insurance only for one year or four years?
A: We insure based on the warranty of the the student only has the device for 2 years.

Q: Do I get to keep the iPad during the summer? What happens when I graduate?
A: We let our students keep the iPad. It would be far to difficult to manage if they returned them and took them and returned them and took them.... Why not let them keep them for the Holidays. We only collect them at the end of the program. The iPads are owned by the College here. hence we keep the device.

Q: How do we get content-specific apps on 120 iPads? What apps are best for learning science in the classroom?
A: We provide the students with a list of Apps they require.

We also gift Apps to the students. You are able to take advantage of the Volume Purchasing program which will allow you to do this and get a discount on the purchase....

Best Apps for learning Science...? How long is a piece of string. Best to do a search on this. I post many of these items at my site:

Q: What do we do if the student moves and does not turn in the iPad?
A: That's up to you... We would charge the parents in full for the cost. This has not occured as yet.

Q: How do we make sure the iPads are not stolen?
A: Difficult to ensure. Need to talk to the students about using their device appropriately. We have only had 2 in 2 years.

Q: How do we keep the iPads secure if they are in the locker room, a game or a concert?
A: We provide lockers where the iPad goes during any time that it is not required.

Q: What if they leave the iPad at home?
A: What if they leave their text books at hom?. For us the same process applies. We use the Responsible Thinking Process.

Q: What do we do with students who did not sign the agreement?
A: They do not get an iPad. No agreement means we would be giving them the iPad without expecting its return.

Q: How do we get students to write with the iPad touch screen?
A: Use a stylus. We find this works well.

Q: How will we grade work done on the iPad?
A: Try this.

Q: How do we keep the students from visiting inappropriate websites?
A: Use an appropriate Filter. We use Squid guard but this does require someone with technical knowledge. Have a look for other options if this won't work for you.

Hope this helps..!!

Educator, Consultant, ADE ,

Looking forward to hearing

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Looking forward to hearing about your successes and struggles sending the iPads home with students! I love using iPads 1:1 with my students, but we keep our class set in school. Check out how iPads are used in my classroom:

More questions

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I agree that iPads have the ability to tansform education. I guess I have more quesitons about it, though. I wonder about using unsecuired Wi-Fi that students might find in various locations. How secure will a child's information be on a device that is not locked down? And, if you lock it down so it is secure, how can the student customize it to best fit them? I wonder, too, about parental training. My district is also moving to buy tablets for all children in the district. As a parent of two elementary school children, I wonder how much parents will feel left out of their child's education when the child starts using a tablet that the parent doesn't understand. Laslty, what about the teachers? If they aren't trained properly, the kids will certainly not use the device to its potential. Are there any great examples of this techology working that can be used as a guide?

Supervisor of Technology

It will be interesting to see

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It will be interesting to see if this device will provide a better learning experience for the students or just be a device that teachers use to teach the same way they always have. If the teaching style doesn't change the cool factor of a device disappears quickly and I believe there will be little gain. In that case the money would have been better spent on other things.
The key to having a successful school environment is having informed, motivated teachers. It was before the digital age and always will be.

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