iPads for Schools systems, need LOTS of help here!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by PracticalMac, May 14, 2012.

  1. PracticalMac, May 14, 2012
    Last edited: May 14, 2012

    PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    Earlier this year the Fort Bend Independent School District (FBISD), Texas approved $18 million to purchase iPad's for a large number of campuses.

    FBISD is not in the best fiscal terms, teacher layoffs and debt (like many systems), and this move has been roundly criticized as a waste and dumb! Chances are they will dump the iPad's and get something else (equally foolish if also not planned out)

    Last Saturday was FBISD elections and 2 people I know won election (one is my neighbor).
    One does have an iPad but I think is average, the other has no iPad (or Mac) experience.

    From what I have been told, the iPad plan has not much more then an outline, no training of teachers and IT to use them, and a limited software selection.

    Clearly there is a lot of ignorance on the device, on services, and apps.
    I will work with my friends to make efficiency and successful use of the iPad's, but need help myself.

    Anything (web sites, forums, software, enterprise software, cases, etc) that can help is welcome.
    I know this community will help and give excellent advice!

    Thanks!



    Quick question:
    Can the iPad be locked (not passworded) in such a way to PREVENT anyone from erasing it and taking it over?

    EDIT:
    I WILL urge the members put teacher/staff training priority, they should have iPads themselves to do record keeping. Need to know what are good apps for that purpose (Evernote comes to mind)
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    The school district dropped $18 million on iPads without a plan to utilize them? That is certainly wasteful and dumb.
     
  3. rkahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #3
    A little fast to judge?
     
  4. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Does not have to be wasteful, but does look to be poorly planned.
     
  5. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a

    SteveAbootman

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #5
    I have no experience in managing a large number of devices, so take this for what its worth:

    You'll need someone full time (or as close to it as possible) to handle the roll out, setup, and management of the iPads. It would be wise to invest in MDM (Mobile Device Management) software that you would have installed on servers and have devices authenticate to. Take a peak around Google as there are many companies each with their own MDM offerings and implementations.

    Good luck.
     
  6. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    #6
    Research shows, very solidly, time and time again, that putting technology in schools without adequate professional development and support for teachers to integrate it into their curricula leads to no educational gains at all and soon the tech is barely used. At this point "we're spending $X on fancy tech with no teacher training" is pretty much all you need to know to pass judgment that the idea is wasteful.

    To the OP: I would push - hard - for some of that budget to be reallocated to PD for the teachers. Get a committee of a few tech-savvy teachers (possibly current iPad owners) together to research the best apps that would integrate well into the school's current curricula and have them train the others.
     
  7. PrometheusGeek, May 14, 2012
    Last edited: May 14, 2012

    PrometheusGeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #7
    Couldn't agree more with porcupine8.

    There are schools that have worked directly with Apple to integrate iPads directly into the school system. All students and teachers get an iPad, textbooks and homework are distributed over the school network that is accessed via iPads, assignments are turned in digitally over network, etc... The schools have full time IT personnel to handle rollout, implementation, training, support, setup, etc... for both students and staff. It's a big endeavor that requires A LOT more than just buying a bunch of iPads.

    If you just hand students iPads without a plan in place for how to integrate them into the learning process in a meaningful way, then they'll just play games and message eachother in class. It's almost an all-or-nothing deal. You almost need to be prepared to require the students to get their textbooks on iPads, receive homework, schedules and information on iPads, turn in assignments on iPads, etc... otherwise, if iPads are too "optional" and not deliberately and deeply integrated, kids will leave them at home and just play with them instead of using them for school. You'll also need to be prepared for the inevitability of students breaking and losing their iPads, and have a replacement plan in place. Schools that work with Apple have deals in place to help reduce these kinds of costs. But it WILL happen, and if there's no replacement plan, then the initial investment will be squandered.

    The school in my area that has done it very successfully took two years to do it right, was an Apple pilot campus for this kind of thing, and worked directly with Apple. That school is Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville California. I'd have a representative from your school board contact them directly. Also, contact Apple directly and see if they have an educational development division that can help schools with this kind of transition.
     
  8. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #8
    Our town just voted NO on ipads. It was troubling that the cost of loss or damage was going to picked up by the tax payers, no thank you.
     
  9. PrometheusGeek, May 14, 2012
    Last edited: May 14, 2012

    PrometheusGeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #9
    yeah, I can see the concern there. The school I know of that has a successful iPad program in place is a private school, so it's a different situation. At the same time, other educational commodities get damaged or lost also, including textbooks, uniforms, sports equipment, etc... Some of that is optional and not mandatory for all students, some is paid for by the student's family, and some is subsidized through district funds (taxpayer dollars). There may be an equivalent model that could apply for technology. College campuses (including State schools and community colleges) have been doing it with laptops for years.
     
  10. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #10
    Wirelessly posted

    Right now I can't see the benefit to have iPads in classrooms. College yes but not elementary or high school.
     
  11. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #11
    My son's friend who teaches in an inner-city school says his K-3 students have demonstrated marked improvement from using reading, writing (learning to write) and math tutorials on the iPad. They stay engaged longer and have measurable progress.
     
  12. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #12
    Wirelessly posted

    I meant to say that the improvement in learning isn't worth the 10x extra cost of iPad versus good ole books and pencils.
     
  13. PrometheusGeek, May 14, 2012
    Last edited: May 14, 2012

    PrometheusGeek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    #13
    There actually are benefits, and the cost isn't as you'd imagine. The interactive nature aids learning, the portability limits the amount of books and the weight of backpacks (some schools have been able to do away with lockers entirely, since the students only have one thing to bring to class that comes with them to every class), having everything in one place helps prevent losing papers and keeps things more organized, it enhances communication, and when it's implemented well and correctly, the students actually become much more productive and have increased interest in doing assignments.

    As to cost, if it's done right, and volume and educational discounts are taken advantage of, it's only a negligible (if any) increase over what students would be spending on all of their textbooks And supplies anyway. It's being done, and it is working cost-effectively and beneficially.
     
  14. poloponies macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    #14
    As is true in any such situation: "it depends." This particular implementation is in a "lab" setting where the iPads are in a fixed location and the classes rotate through. The iPads are substitutes for the classroom computers as opposed to printed books, so they end up being less expensive alternatives. In addition, the touch-based lessons help the smaller kids learn to "print" letters and numbers in a way a book or computer screen couldn't do.
     
  15. spiderman0616 macrumors 68030

    spiderman0616

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    #15
    My wife's school has implemented iPads for every student, and their test scores and attendance have gone up dramatically. But you have to have a plan. You can't just give kids an iPad and think that it's automatically going to help somehow.

    Are you planning on using textbooks on these? Are the teachers going to use them to post tests, access gradebooks, etc.? Do you have a repair/replacement plan in place? Do you have network parameters set so the kids can't just jack around all day?

    I would say that in the ideal situation, you're using some sort of web based or locally hosted system so that the kids can have access to their grades and assignments and so that the teachers can access their gradebooks. You would also have a digital curriculum set up beforehand, meanwhile educating the teachers on how to create their own curriculum in iBooks Author. And finally, you would have some sort of well thought out networking scheme to limit in-school access to the things the kids need for school.

    If even these most rudimentary of steps have not taken place, what are they supposed to do with the iPads?

    ----------

    This is untrue. Kids have moved WAY past the "good ole books and pencils" model. We need to move with them.
     
  16. madat42 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #16
    I volunteered recently at a small school to help do a rollout of iPads. When you have the right components, it can be pretty slick and easy to deploy AND maintain. Much, much easier than doing the same for Macs.

    Components:
    - (charge/sync) iPad cart
    - (fast) Mac running OS X Lion
    - Apple iOS Configurator
    - App Store Volume licensing purchasing account
    - Help/Resource docs at support.apple.com

    That's just the technical and hardware side of things. Next you need someone to coordinate and train teachers on how to actually use the iPads, which apps to use/purchase, etc. $18 million should include funding for a technology specialist to do all this.
     
  17. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #17
    Absolutely!

    Need to get the staff up to speed first, better is using it themselves! The more they are familiar the better they can deal with the kids using it.

    What I need is links to resources. This is good starter advice, but need in depth stuff.

    ----------

    Please PM me contact info on this.
    Yes, will get links with Apple, but I feel time is short on this.

    Things are changing fast. While iPad will not replace the old method, it does open a bunch of opportunities, IF it is implemented properly.
     
  18. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #18
    Colleges include a computer in the tuition costs as well as warranties services. For instance the cost of my sons computer was $1800 which included 4 years of service. We paid for that and it didn't come out of the schools budget.

    Imagine little Johnnie failing math because he lost his second or third ipad and the family could pay for replacement. Hello tax payer
     
  19. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #19
    Any companies offering cases and other protective device on sponsorship level, or deeply discounted?

    Looking for initial pointers and hints on how to do this.

    Thanks!
     
  20. skhosla2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    #20
    SOTI MDM Solution

    I agree, you'll definately need and Mobile device management system. SOTI does it well. Check out their website at www.soti.net They can also make it possible to put passwords on the ipads, and even geofence. So if the ipad goes outside of certain boundaries it can be locked/wiped. More importantly you can make it so that there are only specific apps on the ipad that the students would need. You can download a demo from there website. Worth a look

     

Share This Page