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.


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.

Setting up

We have been setting up our iPads with lots of apps that have been suggested by the trial team.(Suggested Apps for school)  iWork was the first to download and looks very sleek. Pages, keynote and numbers all will be used and are even more simple than on the laptop.

I also  downloaded many apps we also have on the iPods that are creative apps like sonic pics, etcha sketch, fastfinga and more.

We were given some iTunes cards and made an account for each iPad for staff to use. The students will have their own accounts and have to download their apps at home. If they don’t have the Internet at home they can download them at school so we can make multiple iTunes libraries or have the children log into the file server and use their own iTunes library on the server. I’m not sure how quickly the apps would sync across the network though. We wanted to make the staff accounts fairly generic so they are school accounts and not linked to teachers. Although for ease of use we have downloaded the apps onto the teacher’s laptops.
The more I use the iPad the more I like it. Duplicam is a great app as it let’s you take photos with your iPhone (camera module free) and they come instantly onto the iPod.   Also you can access all the photos on the iPhone and find them in the photo gallery on the iPad. If a teacher has an iphone (as most of us do) this would be a great way to instantly have a picture available for a student.  We will also use our intranet photo gallery for sharing photos as these can be accesssed on the iPads.
As we’ve been looking at fractions lately I added Freddy fraction and number line. Sonic pics works well on the iPad and the inbuilt mic is great. Sound paper will be interesting and I’ve  thought about giving it a go at running records. I have a smart pen so it will be interesting to compare them.. I’m hoping the instant on and no uploading will be a bonus.  However there would also be no uploading to the website though like the smart pen.
I am writing this post on the iPad and I’m thinking of how the children will be able to blog onto the web also. Blogpress is terrific on the iPad. (at home) I like the way it lists all your post down the side for easy viewing. I hope it will work on the iPads at school as I haven’t got it to work at school on the iPods.

Edmodo may be useful as well, for tweeting about learning. So watch this space for tweet details if you want to follow the kids’ iPad tweets.
While we have been attempting to download apps we have had a bit of fun and games with iTunes at school. On my laptop it works fine but on my principal’s (Kerry’s)laptop the pictures don’t show in iTunes and it won’t always reach the store.  We have checked all the proxy settings and it seems the same as my laptop but it fails to contact the iTunes store and times out. We have some technicians coming tomorrow and I suspect there will be some firewalls and proxies to blame. Well today my laptop has the same problems.  Some apps show art work and some don’t.

I have now reverted to my laptop as my home bandwidth has been shaped and it was taking ages to load typing to the blog.  Editing was also a problem as the uploading wasn’t happening on the iPad.  I will edit this post when I’m at school tomorrow as I haven’t been able to have multiple windows open to add links to the different websites.  So please revisit for the links.

Yes now all the links have been added and the pdf file of the apps suggested downloads.

News Flash: Epsom PS one of 8 schools in the iPad Trial

Yes it’s now official that Epsom Primary School is one of the eight schools across Victoria who have been chosen to trial the iPads.  We are very excited about this and are looking forward to the start of the program in August.

Each child in grade 5&6 will receive an iPad for their use 24/7.  We will be asking some questions such as follows:

How will the iPads assist the students to learn?  How will the students use the iPads along side the interactive whiteboard and the netbooks?  What will be easier to do on an iPad?  How will the iPads use change the learning activities/organisation in the classroom?

Watch this space for updates on our trial.