Friday, August 17, 2012

IPads are Here

I know, I know, you have been waiting all summer to hear those words. 

The plan is to have one cart available for teacher checkout and another cart for classroom checkout. There are various approaches throughout the district to deal with the Ipads. At Schenk we opted to treat the IPads as shareable devices.


Who Gets the IPads? We will have two carts; one with 27 IPads and another with 25. The cart with 27 IPads is set aside for classroom teacher's to checkout, and the cart with 25 is set aside for classroom checkout (Netcart). Where will the IPads be located?
We will have two IPad carts and they both will be located in the LMC. How will the classroom IPad cart checkout work? There will be 25 IPads in the cart. The cart will function as one unit similar to the Netcart. We will have an IPad calendar for classroom sign out. Each classroom will be able to sign up for ½ hour of IPad lab per week. I suspect the demand for the IPad cart with be higher than the netcart so ½ hour would make the cart accessible to more classrooms.
How do I get my IPad? Teacher IPads will be checked out just like the extra laptops and netbooks from last year. The big difference will be a shorter checkout time span since they will need to be charged. The IPads will be checkout to classroom teachers during professional developmental on August 29th. We want them in your hands for the first day of school.

How long is the checkout for teacher IPads?
The teacher IPads can be checked out for a 48 hour time period. The reason for this time span is an IPad charge will not last much longer than that. If the IPad is returned within 48 hours, another IPad (charged) can replace it so your use will not be impacted.

All teacher IPads can be checked out on Monday but must be returned no later than Friday. This is so all teacher IPads can be fully charged for the following Monday. So to review, every classroom teacher has an opportunity to checkout an IPad on Monday which must be returned by Friday. If a teacher returns the IPad midweek it can be replaced if another one is available.

Isn’t this my personal IPad?
The direct answer is no. While we want teachers to be able to experiment with the IPad so they will be in a better position to use it in the classroom, it is not a personal device like your smartphone. It is very important to always remember the IPad is a district resource and you should respond to it as such.

The teacher IPads should be looked at more as a library book than a personal smartphone. The IPad is a shared resource that teachers are free to use, but then that resource is returned and used by another teacher. The IPad should be returned in the exact same condition as when it was checked out.

Can we link it to our personal account?
You will hear mixed messages on this question. Some schools will not opt for a cart so teachers were just signed out an IPad and charger. As a result MMSD demonstrates how to sync the IPad to your personal account.

Syncing to your personal account is strongly discouraged with the setup we have at Schenk. Schenk is treating IPads as shared (like a library book), not personal (like a smart phone). If an IPad is synced with a personal account, the IPad will need to be re-imaged. This means that particular IPad might not be available for a week or more.

What about email?
This relates to the syncing issue. Although MMSD has opened up the IMAP mail protocol, I would highly discourage using and setting up email with the IPad mail app. There are cases such as when a student (IEP) is personally assigned an IPad where setting up email makes sense, but with our shared use of the IPads, in addition to privacy issues, it requires the reimaging of the IPad.

Does this mean you can’t access email on the IPad. No, just not through the IPad app, accessing your email through the browser works fine. In all honesty the Gmail web app looks better than using the IPad’s native email app.

What about Apps?
Again this is discouraged. We would like reimaging the IPad to be a rare occurrence. MMSD will be including some apps with the IPad, and there should be a process in place for adding apps at the school level.

What we don’t want is an IPad with 100’s of apps from the 27 teachers who at one time checked out the IPad. We also don’t want a scenario where half of the IPads are not available because they are waiting to be reimaged.