iPad Deployment

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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8 Responses to iPad Deployment

  1. You might want to look into SquareTrade.com as an alternative to AppleCare. If your concern is accidental damage, they are probably a better bet. Apple doesn’t cover drops/spills but SquareTrade does. Check out http://www.squaretrade.com/pages/ipad-landing?ccode=bs_war_vc_090:homepageipad

  2. Thanks Todd, we’ll have a look at that info before placing our order.

  3. Can’t wait to find out what teachers will do with iPads but more importantly how it might be engaging for students and curricula/activity goals and objectives. Please keep us Museum educators abreast to your findings as we are curious to know what Educators are potentially doing with the visual arts or teaching with art historical objects.

    • Hi Carolina! So nice to see you post here. Does your museum have any thoughts about using the iPad as an interactive device in displays? How about docents with iPads to answer questions or to involve people on tour of the galleries?

      We’d love to hear what you are doing as well 😉 Thanks for visiting our blog!

  4. Tara Gray says:

    Hey Mara!

    This sounds REALLY interesting!!! You know I teach the digital arts at Northampton Area School District – I’d be REALLY interested in being a part of this if there is still room!!! I miss picking your brain at the governor’s institutes : )

    Let me know…

    Tara

    • Hi Tara,

      So nice to see you “here” – unfortunately, our project is for teachers in Washington, Greene, & Fayette counties. Fortunately for you though – all our work resides on the wikispace we maintain (which I believe you recently joined). You are welcome to look around and learn from the excellent work being shared by our 40+ art, music and theatre teachers.

  5. Christopher Galik says:

    SquareTrade isn’t bad from what I’ve heard when it comes to warranties, but there are some caveats. Their pricing is misleading. They list the APP as costing $99/year as opposed to $48/year for their insurance, but that’s just because Apple gives you a year for free. All repairs have to go through SquareTrade, not through Apple. You don’t get the ability to call Apple for 2 years whenever you need help doing something. Unlike Apple, SquareTrade may, at their discretion, just fix whatever is broken on your device. Apple will just give you an entire replacement device. SquareTrade’s “authorized service centers” may not even use Apple parts (that’s not necessarily fact, just possible.) Many of the parts of your iPad are relatively inexpensive to begin with, so that $100 you’re spending could very possibly yield you the equivalent of $10 worth of parts. Their service doesn’t have the same immediate turnaround we’re accustomed to at the Apple Store… they have a 5-day turnaround time. Plus I imagine it’d be more difficult to buy from SquareTrade.com with Federal money, as opposed to Apple, Inc.

    Just my $0.02.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks for this excellent feedback – you are sorely missed at the IU when it comes to picking someone’s brain about this very thing. I’m so glad you are still with us here in the virtual manner, helping us to make prudent decisions regarding the iPad pilot. Thanks – hope your new work is going well!

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