The summer of the iPad

It is summer time so it is time to fix all the stuff I ignored all school year.  It is time to sort of inventory stuff.  It is time to learn all the things I really should know to do my job.  On a table behind me is about 100 iPads.  I gathered all the school iPads up so I could count them, restore the profiles that I never stored when we got them mid-year and generally learn how to manage them.  So that means learning Apple Configurator.  It has taken me a few hours to find a decent video tutorial to get started and a few more hours to work through the strange idiosyncrasies.  It is interesting that two identical iPads do not behave identically.  I am not a Mac user and I am not an iPad user so there has been a bit of a learning curve here.  Just learning to find the stupid scroll bar on some windows is a bit of a challenge.  There have been some lessons learned.

  1. Than $1900 box to sync and charge the iPads was a waste of $1850.  Buy a cheap usb hub and some power strips.
  2. Pay attention to which cases you buy for the iPad.  Some are a real pain to open.
  3. Get a magnifying glass to read the serial numbers or find a kid to read them to you.
  4. If a kid has an Apple account he/she can have all sorts of fun downloading stuff.
  5. Resyncing every night does not work if there is only one Mac per school.
  6. Keeping track of the dang things is work.
  7. At least one serial number gets typed in wrong.
  8. Any CS Ed degree has to include iPad management, not just “here is a cool app for education”.
  9. Anyone that says learning how to manage iPads (or Droids or whatever) is not CS is an idealist, not a realist.
  10. Any school going 1:1 better have a good sized tech department and better realize Total Cost of Ownership is going to be about twice the cost of the individual device.  We don’t and they would not believe me.

I think I have Configurator figured out.  Now I have to attack the Mobile Device Management software.  If this job ever gets boring that just means I have forgotten to do something really big.

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One Response to “The summer of the iPad”

  1. gcschmit Says:

    If you aren’t already listening to it, I have found the Out of School podcast by Bradley Chambers and Fraser Speirs essential for learning how to manage iPads: http://outofschool.net/

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