As my fellow Ed Techs embark on this adventure next week, I thought it helpful to note down my experiences, observations and pondering before they get going!
1. It's a very exciting process. There were gasps in the room from students when I covered point #3.2 in the iPad contract. For full iPad contract click here.
We, as a school, have decided to opt for full transparency. I told them things that I knew they would know about, reminding them of the consequences of bad choices. I know some will still push boundaries but all teachers are on board with point #6.
2. Don't expect all screens to look the same when they open the iPad.
3. IMPORTANT: There was a major problem with 3 classes thus far.
When we clicked next (on a third grade class, and 2 second grade classes) we got this message.
On talking to Jeff Steimle, it appears these iPads are on an alternate workflow. Sarah Bugh (SS1 for FTE) had to connect the iPads to Apple Configurator and wipe. After this happened all was fine. One teacher who was setting up her iPads sent me this text. Not a good start for her, but at least it was an easy fix.
4. The next challenge at the Apple ID stage. Many parents at FTE did not use the District issued password included the separate email from Technology Services. Some parents had filled in the Google Form that was sent to them on the fancy flyer Margie Brown, but this was not consistent among classrooms and grade levels.
I had made labels from the master document issued by the Technology Services Department, as I had been hoping these could be attached to the iPad, and their Daily Take-Home Folder. This was not the case for up to, and over ,50% of the class.
I handled it by asking all students to enter the District password, unless they KNEW, or the Google Form indicated they had an alternate password. We had a 70%-ish success rate. The teacher then contacted the parents of those who could not log in ,and the password was emailed to the teacher. The 'Master Spreadsheet' was then corrected and a new label issued.
The end result of this is that the Apple password and the Novell will not match. As long as the teacher knows it, I know it, the parents know and the student knows it, I decided to leave it like that for now.
5. After entering the Apple ID, some students iPads reset themselves and appeared to go back to full set up where language had to be entered etc. Weirdly enough there Apple ID was stored and they could log back in and get to the "Get Started' screen. Most, if not all of these iPads (I did lose track a little), did not see the 'Self Service' app.
100% of these wiped iPads were successful the second time around!
6. So, one more final weirdness. When you go to iTunes and App Store in Settings, you will discover the students need to log in again. Yes, a major pain but I tried to look at it this way: The more times they enter this information, the more automatic it will become!
Once logged in, the log in popped up again! Then, when we turned 'Automatic Downloads' on, it popped up again!
Then, the green button would not stay on!
IMPORTANT: If you get stuck in this loop, grab and close Settings, throw it out, and open it again. We had 100% success rate when completing this step.
Fellow iVengers, thank you for all you have done to help me in this process! I am at the end of the phone next week if you experience 'glitchiness', because as with ALL technology, nothing will work perfectly, or even predictably!