Never on a Friday Afternoon

Have you ever had disasters on Friday afternoon or problems you can’t solve? Then on Monday you come and try again and everything just works? It’s strange how that happens but then some businesses do close early on Fridays because of human errors that occur on Friday afternoons.

Last Friday I had that experience when I was setting up the iTunes accounts for the student iPads and the class set we have purchased. I wanted them all finished by today but eventually decided to call it a day.First iTunes wouldn’t load in one building so I moved to another to download the apps. Then I thought I would go back to the previous building where all the iPads were stored however I needed to be connected to iTUnes so had to bring all the iPads and MB pro back to the other building. Grrr!

So today I had a second go at syncing the iPads with the apps and adding contacts, bookmarks (our school website and our Photo Gallery intranet as icons on the first screen) email addresses and proxy settings along with a dropbox activated account. The class set had silicon covers and soft zip up pouches along with screen protectors. 6 is a great amount of iPads to be working with. I find the number very workable. (I’ll add some pics tomorrow)

I have made each iPad an email account, for the class set ( a grade email account) and the students on the new roll out of iPads(individual accounts) this year. I typed up the student’s name, iPad email account (iTunes user name) and password and put each one in an envelope. The username- email accounts the students are using for iTunes is being forwarded to my account so I can keep a record of what apps they are downloading. This was something that last year wasn’t checked by parents who didn’t use email. (10 or more) The students don’t actually get to use the iPads email account but configure their own email account on the iPad.

We talked about iTunes usernames and passwords and the netiquette for turning away when someone puts in their password. Discussion also centered around what happened last year when someone used some else’s credit. iPads aren’t so secure for typing in passwords as it shows on the keyboard what is being typed.

So all students typed in their details and were then asked to verify their email address. So I quickly checked the emails using webmail and verified the accounts. Then the students downloaded keynote, soundnote and ibooks. (I’ll add a screen shot of apps tomorrow)

This was just a start to the downloading of apps from the list. It took around an hour to have everyone verified. Two students could not access the apps store however they could access the iTunes store which was strange. I wonder why? We will try again tomorrow.

The grade 6 students from last year were searching for evidence of survivors from the New Zealand earthquake. How did they survive? Were there any common circumstances for the people who survived? Create a presentation to share what you have discovered.

So at the end of the day a class set of iPads is ready to go. There will be some excited kids tomorrow. Oh and some excited teachers as I gave them an iPad to take home and play with tonight. Both teachers very happily accepted their present. It will be interesting to see how they got on with the iPads. Both teachers have had little or no experience in using iPads or iPhones.

Here is a list of setting up jobs in some sort of order. Before setup I purchased a $50 iTunes card for each iPad for the students and one for each 6 ipads for the class set. The $50 gift card allows me to download the apps once. Then the account will need to be credited via a credit card as you can’t gift from a gift card.

1. Create an email account for each iPad. I use ipadxx@school domain – Set this to forward to the admin person for the iPads.
2. Create an iTunes account for each iPad and redeem the iTunes gift card.
3. Create a new user/s on the computer/s for the iPads. (The students will sync at home and at school by authorizing the ipad account on the school and home computer)
Step 4-11 Class set of iPads
4. Once in the user account open iTunes and download the apps. You will need to add credit card details to gift apps.
5. Gift the apps to all the other iPads
6. Gift them to the other iPads by using their email address. (These will not be redeemed but the invoice with proof of purchase kept for auditing)
7. For the class set of iPads – Working on the computer add bookmarks to the users account in Safari, add contacts you want listed on the iPad for email. I listed some teachers and the principal so students can send them an email or their work. Create an email account in mail for the iPads (class email)
8. Sync each iPad-apps, contacts, email, bookmarks.
9. On each iPad select a wireless network and configure for the iPads.
10. On each iPad configure dropbox class account (previously create the dropbox account on the web)
11. On each iPad open safari and use bookmarks to add sites to home screen.
12. Put on the screen protector and the silicon cover and then put the ipad in the zip up cover. (All parts are numbered-ipad, cover, cable, power plug etc

Students iPad- these have been named iPad 6 etc before the students got them but not synced.
1. Go to settings and Find the wifi and configure via help on the whiteboard.
2. Go to settings and select mail, follow add account instructions on the whiteboard with teacher. (use screen shots)
3. On the iPad enter the iTunes username and password in the Apps store.
4. Verify email address
5. Download the required apps sign out
6. Sign out
7. Bookmark the school website and photo gallery add to the home screen.
8. Add contacts
9. Add dropbox account details to dropbox app.
10. Send an email to check it is configured properly.
Dont forget to add the screen protector and silicon case. Then put it into the hard shell cases. We added a bag tag with the iPad number to the case and an iPad sticker with the iPad number onto the back of the iPad. Silicon covers are clear so you can see the number through it.

I have an iPhone configuration utility program that I haven’t used yet think I’ll put put on the MB pro and see what it does. I think it may save some time. Come back tomorrow and check out the pics. Time to get some zzzzzzzz.