A few weeks ago our Arts Educator 2.0 project faculty decided that we have accumulated enough evidence in our own explorations, to warrant a deployment of this new tool with our project participants in the fall. It occurred to us that there might be some value to readers in seeing some of the questions, challenges, and solutions we encounter as we begin to explore how to make this happen on the ground with potentially 40+ teachers.
Here are some of the decisions we’ve made so far:
- We are planning to purchase the same iPad 16K, wireless unit that each of us is currently doing the pilot with – partly for uniformity, and partly to avoid issues regarding the 3G contract, as we are working with teachers from 25 different school districts.
- We will be ordering via 10 pack educational bundles, which saves us enough money per unit to be able to add AppleCare protection on each iPad. We think its pretty important as the units are potentially prone to damage in the classroom.
- In order to have units in our hands for a late September launch date, Apple reps have advised us an order must be placed in mid-August. The back order on iPads is pretty substantial – it appears lots of educational entities are buying iPads for students.
- We will most likely buy participants a clear protective cover for their screens and then offer a choice on a sleeve or case once folks have their units in hand – versus picking a standard one for all iPads.
- Our teachers will most likely be given a small budget to work with for extras. Some items we may encourage the purchase of are: a) iTunes gift cards, to be applied to an Apple account for the purchase of apps from the app store, b) various peripheral devices, such as projection cables, external keyboards, audio speakers or headphones, etc.
One of items we’ve identified as a potential challenge, is making sure our folks have access to a computer with the latest iTunes version loaded to it to dock to. We plan to have exploration time on our deployment day where those of us with iPads will be able to show and tell what we’ve learned. We’ll also be available to our teachers via the web to support their own beginning inquiry with their iPads. Perhaps some of them will even find there way here to this blog and join us in the documentation adventure! We’ll keep you posted on our deployment and any glitches or happy surprises we encounter.