Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's not about the iPads, it's about the learning

In June 2015 we collected iPads from our pilot classes (7th, 8th, and 9th grade). We have expanded our 1:1 initiative to the whole school, and we purchased more iPads for the remaining three grades that didn't have them.

Happy students setting up their iPads.
Over the summer, we literally touched over three hundred iPads. For students who already had devices we updated the apps, backed up their devices, and assigned static IP addresses. We cleaned the devices, placed them in new cases, and got them ready to roll out.

But half the students did not have iPads, so each iPad had to be set up. We logged every device in, assigned IP addresses and students AppleID, and downloaded the apps. We were able to accomplish much through Meraki but we still had to touch every device multiple times.

Then came the big day. At the end of the last school year we determined that we did not want to spend so much time distributing iPads to students during the first week of school. So this year we tried something different. We welcomed students and their parents to come and pick up the devices the week before school, and we offered two days for their convenience. On Friday August 21, 2015, we distributed 83 iPads, while on Monday, August 24, 2015 we handed out another 90. We were left with roughly a third of the iPads, so on Friday, August 28, 2015 we caught many of the sports participants who were practicing at school and handed out more iPads. By the beginning of school on Monday we only had 35 iPads left, and by mid day all of them had been collected by students. It was by far the smoothest distribution we had.
Parents and students came over two days before school started.

We're already planning for next year, and one of our goals is to only collect the devices from seniors (who are not returning) and from the sophomores to update them. Everyone else should be able to keep their devices over the summer.