I am the director of technology at a school. We are looking into possibly using iPads or android tablets, but in a cart where they would be shared and accessed by multiple users, not a 1-to-1 deployment. I have been playing with an iPad 2 for a couple of weeks – After having it for a couple of hours, I could see how I could really enjoy it as a personal device and I could also imagine all kinds of ways to utilize it for student learning and/or staff productivity. My experience since has been somewhat frustrating, not to knock the iPad – I think if you purposefully try to concentrate on the limitations of any device or platform you will find many, but doing what I do and being who I am, I have spent several hours seeing what I can make it do and more importantly what I can’t get it to do. That said there is one limitation, I keep coming back to – multiple users (a limitation of Android tablets as well). Some apps have addressed this, SWITCH for example, but they are application specific and I think (but don’t know all the details) that with something like Jamf management* (not free) you can secure the devices and use profile like settings to limit what the device can do, like disabling the camera, etc – but that looks like it is more related to where the device is used and not who is using it
- Is the personal nature of these devices a problem in a multi-user device sharing environment? Please share if you know of good solutions or procedures to make this work ‘as best as possible’? Also, please share if you have examples where not having multiple-user accounts has caused problems for using or managing the devices? - thanks.
Note: any solution that requires 'jail-breaking' is not one i would consider - not looking for legal or moral arguments, etc. - but when looking at deploying several of these in a school, 'jail-breaking' is not an option I would consider.
*Jamf mentions helping in environments where the devices are shared – even specifically in schools where they are stored in carts – but I don’t really see anything (and I spent a good bit of time on their site reading documents and watching videos) that allows for multiple user devices or directory authentication, etc. http://www.jamfsoftware.com/solutions/mobile-device-management/