Short Step Guide to a Successful iPad Rollout
What is the best solution? How many iPads do I want? Which version? Do I need Apple TV, or should I buy iPods? The lower price of the iPod Touch means you can get more devices into children’s hands.
If you can, provide iPads to staff or the class, if not an iPod can be just as motivating.
Apple TV is great with both iPads and iPod Touch, but has much more functionality with the iPad, so if you can afford it get it, otherwise wait for the next round of spending.
Setup an iTunes account for the school.
If you are deploying more than a few devices, you should enrol on the Apple Software Volume Licensing program for purchasing apps, although if you only use free apps you don’t need to register. However it won’t be long before you will want to make a purchase.
Preparing the devices:
When you get the devices, you will need to clear the deck, and the day!
Line up the devices on a clear surface, and systematically register each device. If you need to enter proxy setting (if you are on a school network for example) then on the wifi section, press the home button to see more wifi options and enter proxy in there. Run right through the setup until you setup as a new iPod.
If you have many devices, a charge and sync dock makes life easier, especially during setup.
I would recommend buying a Mac if you don’t have one available. It’s a time saver!
Use Apple Configurator to configure the devices, and then to load the profile onto each device.
Apple Configurator will also load apps onto the device, in bulk. Do this at your peril!
Some schools focus their attention on the apps, and fill up the device with lots of free apps. Many of these don’t get used and soon clutters up your device. Do not use the school iTunes account to trial software! Use anyone elses’ account to trail software!
Teach staff how to use the device, and share the vision. What do you want staff to do with the devices? Just giving iPads to staff without sharing the vision and selling the technology often makes for very slow disjointed rollouts. Point out the most obvious benefits are not the Apps, but access to the internet, a calculator, a dictionary, a camera and a sound recorder to name the obvious! These tools alone are brilliant!
Once deployed, the first request for apps are often around creation of digital books and other multimedia production. Garage Band and iMovie are great places to start. Otherwise splice is a great free app to do some basic multimedia presentations.
Choose a tool for getting work off the devices. Dropbox, email acconts, or a blogging platform like WordPress to enable pupils to send their work to the teacher.
Good quality CPD is so important.
The transformation of learning with these devices can only really come about when the teacher has the confidence to allow the children to lead with the technology, whilst they remember the literacy, or the geography… They can only do this when they feel confident themselves, and good quality CPD can provide an abundance of this.
The impact on learning I have witnessed has been transformational. Children are changing the way they are learning, and are leading their own learning. Levels of engagement can be sustained over periods of time, even for some of our most challenging pupils.
Teachers who are confident enough to give way to the children by allowing them to lead are also benefiting by empowering pupils, in a domain in which children are very comfortable.
Whilst there are schools who have used the iPads to drive real change and raise attainment, there are also many who have not. Currently there is no RAW data for the schools I work with, however there are early indications in the raising of attainment.
The easiest way to transform learning is to get the devices in the hands of the children!
If you need any help with your iPad development, why not contact me?