ipads or windows laptops in Educational institutions  what is really happening?

Posted on 2013-12-15
Last Modified: 2013-12-22
Hi there,
We have been running windows environment for years now.  All servers (IBM) are windows based, switches, routers etc (Cisco and Brocade mix).  All clients are Windows 7, 8.  We use applications mostly for educational purposes.   At each year end we make a new image for clients and upload it to clients.  I use sccm 2012, WDS etc.  

An extremely wise person comes and sits on top and guides the management to be a part of 'Revolution' and change all the clients to ipads (Macs) and this will save money(how?). This spark word is now igniting in all employees and they innocently think this change is as simple as turning a light switch On and Off.  

Would like to have opinion from education institutions experts and IT staff on:
1) what type of challenges they are facing while shifting from the use of simply laptops to ipads?  
2) The people I have spoken to suggested putting on windows on ipads (dual boot).  If we still have to stick with windows on clients what is the benefit of even thinking about ipads.
3) Are ipads professional?  Can they easily be controlled and monitored while on a windows network?  given the fact they are used as it is?
4) The paid apps in windows are really nice.  What about ipads?
5) Now if one student comes for a simple repair on tablets (windows).  We do it in minutes and the student is back on road.  How about the repair on ipads?  Many times we have broken screens on our laptops we simply call in and the repair is done on premises.
6)Right now we have good filtering system which at least tells us about the usage of internet and blocks un-wanted material.  Any ipad on the network means default properties are applied meaning either No internet or totally open internet.
7)Bandwidth hungry.  An owner of private company walks in with 10 ipads for demo and the whole wireless network goes down.  Does ipads really use this much of bandwidth?
8)Network resource usage now has no trouble as all clients are properly joined to the network.  What about ipads?  Do we need to install some special programs to control applications over ipads?

I need some discussion over my points to keep our needs and Un-necessary needs to be clear.  Also some says 'Ipads' are history in a couple of years than this shift will be of no use to us.  Also I do not want to copy what others have gone with.
I need to know what is actually happening with the educational institions who have adapted this change?

Need help.
Question by:amanzoor
LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 39720382
Personally I don't thinkdistributing pads to the students is a good idea. First of all you lock yourself into a manufacturer (apple), while there are others around, like those based on Android, or Windows RT. If a user wants to bring his own pad and use that, fine. That makes the user responsible for repairs, and also to worry about theft.

Also, an ipad doesn't run windows. You can't install it. What you can do is to connect with a windows machine via Remote Desktop. So installing VDI servers would be an option.

You can filter internet usage with proxy servers. Generally if the owner of the tablet decides to use his ISP's connection with his pad, that's his money, and also the content he uses is his business.

I believe there are sandbox systems available you can use together with pads, so everything done inside that sandbox stays separated from whatever else is on the pad.
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

masnrock earned 250 total points
ID: 39721318
What are your goals and requirements? Ipads can be great complementary devices, as can many tablets. Ipads can be managed with several different tools, so you are not tied to having an apple network.

Filtering can be handled by a proxy or a firewall. Those systems do not care about OS or browser.

Windows on an iPad? Whoever suggested that confused an iPad with a Mac.

Bandwidth usage is not that bad.

The iPad offers far more apps than windows tablets.

Repairs, you may want to talk with Apple to see what options and partners you can utilize. Then you can assess.... There are lots of Apple partners out there. Besides, you would have a number of extra tablets around anyway.

You need to have meetings on the business side to assess. Who would get the ipads, is it known users will never get the full computer experience with any tablet, what are your key systems, etc. Let's not forget about testing time

An environment with a mixture of devices sounds the most appropriate in your case, without fully understanding your goals or environment. But only you will know the answer to that.

I have never been a huge fan of tablets or thin clients... Basically, people tend to think they ate perfect until they realize what the devices cannot do.

I would say the "wise" person is partially right in the sense that you need to keep up with the times. But that does not mean you need to replace everything, just keep things open enough for your system to evolve. But as an IT person, you also need to put things in perspective for management. Speak the language of business.

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