iPads are Integrated

Our iPads are now integrated into every classroom.  Activities to enhance learning are our main use of the iPads with creative apps our featured apps on the iPads.  This blog about iPads has been replaced by the elearning blog however it remains here as some other schools implememnting iPads come here for information about setting up iPads. Thanks for taking the time to look here at our original iPad blog.

iPads finally have an owner

Finally after much waiting for the iPads and new cases we have been able to allocated every student an iPad. Now that each student has a dedicated iPad and not a shared iPad we should see a lot more care taken with them.

Our information nights have been well attended with now up to 86% of families attending. The rest will be seen for an interview in the coming weeks. Once each family has been up to school and signed the responsible use policy the the iPads can go home over night and at the weekends.

The teachers sigh a sigh of relief as the iPads, when there are 50 take some sorting to keep charged and secure. The students can finally share their
learning with their families. Many have already begun creating presentations at home about themselves or their passions without direction by teachers.

The students have been reminded to keep their iPads in their bags on the way home and to school. There is a temptation to get them out and play while waiting out the front in street view and in the playground which we do not allow.

Voice recording of reading has been a popular activity of the students also at home.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

100 Apps a Starter

I have spent the last week cooking iPads for the grade 3/4 students. That means I’ve been syncing them to one backup and in fact restoring to a backup of an iPad that was all set up with everything including an email address. To sync from an existing backup you press the control key when hovering over the iPad name in iTunes, then you can select restore from backup and select the iPad.  Once the restore is done you may need to rename the ipad so you can identify it in iTunes when you have multiple iPads charging etc. Passwords for email and wifi seem to need to be put in on every iPad although the accounts are there.

I have included a list of 100 of the apps that I have put onto the iPads as a startup set of apps.  They have been sorted into type – reference, creative, drill, game, presentation, assessment, collaborative, sharing and activity (where you use the ipad to measure, record, direct etc for and activity)

Sorry, but unfortunately I havent hyperlinked the apps for you but a simple search in iTunes should find most of these apps.  I’m sure you have many of these already.  I wonder what happens when apps are no longer in the app store?

One of the greatest features of our trial was the students being able to think about their learning and find an app that would help them learn and then share it of course.  This personalised their learning and empowered their learning. So we will be allowing students to search for apps and if they are free they’ll be able to download them.

In app purchasing has been turned off in restrictions as has YouTube and the app rating has been set to 4+.

100 Apps, a start

Would I like a syncing cart? Oh yes! Remember you still need to buy an app licence for every iPad and this can be done by gifting the app to all the iTunes accounts. Yes you need an iTunes account for every iPad because we don’t have volume purchasing in Australia, yet.  I wonder if we ever will have volume purchasing in Australia?


A Change of Heart

My intention for the grade 3/4 students was to have them manage their own ipads.  However after a couple of sessions with them I have decided to begin with managed and restricted iPads for most of the students.

Why?  I don’t think they are quite ready for open slather on the ipads and starting with the ipad with a range of apps while getting to know about appropriate use will be a better way to begin.  We also have many families with no internet at home still.

It’s a very long process to image them all to one iPad as I can’t seem to find anywhere if or if not xCode can be used to restore to a backup.  So they’ll be left cooking all day while I do other things and rotate them through the process.

There will be a group of students who do self manage their iPads and these students will become our techsperts in the class.  Later in the year I am hoping some more students will be able to move from school managed to self managed mode.

Being self managed allows the students to take control of their learning and be self directed in the learning by being able to search for and download apps the students think are appropriate for their learning.  This was a successful outcome that last years iPad trial found out.

I have also had trouble changing the password for each iTunes account and I’m thinking its to do with poor bandwidth.  Three iTunes accounts just wont have a reset emailed to their accounts for some unknown reason.


It was interesting seeing how many apps last years students had downloaded, it varied between 340 apps down to around 45 apps.  They had a mixure of iphone and ipad apps.

Some iPads have no apps in their iTunes accounts as the students in the trial in 2010 used a home iTunes account and not a school iTunes account.  So these iPads will need an iTunes account and some credit to buy the apps.






Codes and iPod/iPad backups

I came across some iPods that had codes put on them and I don’t know the code. So after some searching on the internet I found that it you turn off the iPod completely and then hold in the home button while you plug in the cable (have iTunes running on the computer it’s going to plug into) and hold it until you see the iTunes sign and plug picture then you can release it and restore the iPod.

If you want to restore your idevices but now can’t find the Library folder and the backups folders because you have Lion this is what you do. First make sure you are in the finder. Then hold the option key while you select GO. Then in the drop down menu Library will list and you can select it to find the backups folder.

I’m going to do this so I can find the backup files and add them to xCode so I can restore from the backup in xCode. Hopefully I’ll be able to do more than one at time. It’s a good idea to make sure the backup you select has everything on it that you want, including email, wifi access and apps.

And yes this works for iPads too.


Smiling faces

Today I decided (we ) to use the iPads with the students even though they aren’t all here yet. Some students happily shared and worked together.

First we learned how to turn them on when they were really off and not just asleep. Next we went into settings and named our iPad, (ipad08) after that we attempted to add a new email account, a gmail account. This worked for some but was a great test of our wifi with over 40 ipads at once. A new wifi base station will be put in on Monday. Lastly we looked at maps and found our school. Then went down to street level and looked around and found our own houses. Of course we also took a screen shot for later use.

Yes that was enough for this session with 53 grade 3/4 students. Then we had to put some onto charge and I thought it will be so good when they get to take them home and charge them at home. Where are the power boards?


iPads iPods all the same family

We also have over 30 iPods at Epsom Primary and these are used in the grade p-2 classes. So it has been my job to update them to the latest software available. I thought I would use xCode however I had to find out what version of software was needed for each iPod as we have gen 2,3 and 4 iPods. In hindsight I should have plugged into iTunes and it would say what was available and which ones were already updated as much as they could be done.

My first problem was that they were all very flat and had to be charged for quite some time. I made sure when they were charged that they were turned completely off to preserve the battery power.

I think I’ll just start again and plug them in to iTunes and see what is needed as I didn’t get far on my first attempt.


A new beginning

We are now ready to give out the iPads to eager grade 3/4 students. To prepare and roll over the iPads for new students we have retained the iTunes accounts and changed the pass words. Each iTunes account will be used by the same iPad. I have also created new iTunes accounts for the new iPads we are ordering.

The iPads have all been updated to iOS5 from 4.2 and 4.3 for most. This was very quick and here is a post by Palmbeach to help you use xCode. xCode is a download from the Mac App store and needs OS 10.7 to run.


A final word, but not so final

So a final word on the iPad trial which has now ended for the DEECD. Overall the trial at Epsom has been very successful.

On a student level we saw:
– disengaged students becoming animated and taking action for their learning
– work output of some students who may usually not take to pen and paper grew substantially
– the power to direct their own learning via selecting their own appropriate app for a learning task was taken on by students with enthusiasm
– social benefits to students who may previously have been “out of the loop”
– students creating at home with no instruction
– preference for the iPads over the Netbooks by 98% of students
– willingness to share work substantially increased

From the teachers perspective:
– changes with pedagogy and the shift from sage on the stage to guide on the side
– resistance in some key learning areas to use the iPads
– less technical problems to solve in class
– some release of direction to self directed learning
– high learning curve experience
– overwhelming “Yes we would use them again if given the chance”
– less able students more productive

from the technical aspect
– student managed is the best way to use the iPads
– some students haven’t Internet at home and had to be accommodated at school
– use of Mac Book Pro was invaluable
– use of head tech student for trouble shooting, updates etc invaluable
– volume licensing is needed to keep the cost down when purchasing 30+ copies of apps
– labeling and care of iPads necessary from the start
– covers were successful, hard shell and skins
– breakage very minimal
– websites needing flash use Rover or Perfect Browser
– on Demand testing unavailable on iPads due to explorer plug in used
– drop box very useful
– class gmail account used and individual accounts
– backing up wasn’t done enough
– battery life was fantastic
– each iPad had a school iTunes account allocated although some students used their family account
– purchasing of apps needs supervision and constant monitoring (parents and teachers)
– school wifi sometimes did not handle everyone online and downloading.
– some restrictions may need to be added regarding limits for app purchasing, YouTube etc.

We have created a video which tells more than words could that I’ll be posting in the next week or so. (one more permission note to get back.)

At the end of the year the students were very reluctant to hand in their iPads with some giving them a last hug almost humanizing them. The netbooks were handed in without question or grief. I felt sorry for the students and actually let them have a further visit with their iPad on the next day.

The Future 2012

The DEECD trial may have ended but here at Epsom we are continuing to use the iPads and will be using them in the grade 3/4 team. This will involve 2 teachers and 51 students. It will be very interesting to compare the use this year as many of these students have used iPods in their classrooms for 3 years. They are the masters of idevices and a new generation. So watch this space for further posts which I hope will be more regular.