Question about iPad usage in schools.


I work for a small public school, we only have about 1500 students district wide.  Currently we have a 1 to 1 laptop program at our high school, and some laptop carts at the Middle School and Elementary levels.

The only iPads are currently in the Special Ed department and for Administrators.

I'm looking for some input on further implementation of the iPads and what grade level did you start at?  We usually purchase about 135 new laptops a year for the incoming freshman at our high school.  We don't have enough money to buy iPads for everybody all at once.  So I'm mainly concerned about how teachers would handle projects, for example they can't say design something in Sony Vegas because that's not on the iPads.  They could assign a video project however and just allow the students to use whatever tools are available...

My other concern is management, I went to one school where they just use Apple Configurator and a 30 iPad cart and they re-image/clone them all once a year, then hand them back out.  I also know there is a Meraki solution that is currently free and is pretty well liked where we could manage them wirelessly/remotely after an initial setup.

So just looking for some general input on this and to find out what worked for others and things that may be a hinderance.  Trying to do things right the first time around.


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mscalafasdConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
We do not have a BYOD program yet by the way, just a school issued laptop that the students take home.
btanExec ConsultantCommented:
I am not from EDU side but though below short experience sharing from Apple use case may be useful input to your ipad considerations. From layman, I will target the higher level student with such bigger ipad size that is better handled by bigger kids and always see that the ipad apps drives wider audience to hit quick win in the school learning intent and objective e.g.

- Customize iPad for Different Learners
- Use Multimedia Projects to Engage Students
- Organize and Deliver Your Course from iPad
- Create Your Own Custom Interactive Book

It is always good to have ideas targeting group collaboration, project based discussion and tele-communication on the move. This close to above examples. Hence, consider the needs for ipad in a 1-N instead of a 1-1 deployment strategy.

Coming back to the ICT infrastructure consideration, to stay cost effective, we must keep in mind not to compromise user experiential learning always. I do encourage you engage your system integrator (vendors) closely to clearly understand
- how to optimise the apps loading and usage without network overloading
- how to optimise the apps concurrent user/device access
- how to secure the apps with a well managed MDM strategy and prevent data leakage and mass virus infection spread.

Noted that you are using the apple configurator but I kinda see this is still very manual provisioning and not really ideal (if you are planning) for large no of device deployment in short term and scale up to include more (smaller) school in future phases.  

You can catch some links below as major player do have EDU in mind to optimise the overall experience...(by the way, I am not from those vendors stated)

Keep Schools, Students, and Data Safe and Secure

Cut Infrastructure and IT Operations Expenses

Cut Travel Costs and Time

Student and Teacher Collaboration
mscalafasdAuthor Commented:
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