Sunday, 17 June 2012

iPad Deployment - Week Two

Our I.T. guy, Richard, has fixed our wi-fi network issues so we now don’t have to log back in with username and password after the iPads go to sleep.  Yay!

Drop-in iPad Meeting

We had another successful drop-in iPad meeting.  Four teachers turned up and they were a mixture of those who needed further help with the basics and those who had sped ahead and were asking difficult questions!  Either way I was really happy they chose to come.  Things we covered were:

  • Putting files into folders
  • Setting the orientation lock
  • Changing wi-fi settings (the fix to our log-on issues)
  • How to do updates
  • Finding apps in the App Store

All of these things were on our FAQ document but I know some people find the personal touch better.

I also showed one of the teachers the Show Me app and later emailed her this blog post from Jacqui Sharp which demonstrates what teachers can do with it.

The question of email came up.  We haven’t set up a class email for the iPads.  One idea was that teachers download the Google Search app and log in and out of their accounts when needed.  This could be cumbersome, I guess it depends on how often they will need to email.  Also, I have had issues with not being able to use Google Search to email the Book Creator app and I wonder if there may be problems with other apps too.  I see that you can hide your iPad mail account so this may be another way to handle mail.  I think the safest and easiest way may be to set up class emails.

Volume Purchase Program

I found out via twitter this week that the Volume Purchase Program is ‘coming soon’ to New Zealand.  I’m not sure what this will mean for us but in the meantime I guess we just have to keep going as we are.

Things We Need to Work On

  • We haven’t worked out why the videos we take won’t play on Apple TV.  I tried them out at home, and they worked fine, so the problem appears to be tied up with the network.
  • Can we access files on our network?  Some of the teachers at our drop-in meeting asked if they could access particular items from our network.  I am a fan of the Virtual Learning Network and have found a reference to the Files Connect app here, which sounds like it might fit the bill.  Another thing to bring up with Richard.
  • What is the best way to transfer photos?  Our head of e-learning and I tried the Bump app and I know that there is also a Photo Transfer app, Files Connect, emailing and Photo Stream.  I guess the only way to know is try a few and see if they meet our needs.
  • Richard is working on being able to print from the iPads and hopefully this will be in place soon.  He is using a program called Paper Cut.

I feel like my lack of knowledge was highlighted this week (in my defence I'm not an I.T. person, I'm a librarian who simply volunteered to help).  I’ve had an iPad since November but a lot of the things I need to know now are related to managing multiple iPads.  Richard comes in for four hours on Mondays so I have a barrage of questions for him and will keep on learning.  I am finding the new challenges exciting.

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