Inert Greatness – Schools that Fail to Plan their #iPad Implementation

As iPads grow in popularity, it should come as no surprise that this difficult to manage technology is brought into schools, then ignored. Ignored? Yes, school districts buy them, issue them to campus staff, and then consider their job over…”Ok, we now have an iPad in the school, so let’s get back to the real work of schools–stultifying creativity.” (rubs hands together annoyingly).

Source: http://goo.gl/q9Qiy

Little planning, certainly nothing like what Carl Hooker (Eanes ISD) suggests in this blog entry, K-12 iPad Deployment Checklist, is put in place. 

The evidence? 

Questions like the following from a Texas colleague:

HELP! I just got an iPAD from my principal and my school/district has no policy concerning accounts, downloading apps, etc. Can anyone please tell if I should use my current iTunes account or start a new one? Also the district does not have iTunes cards or any kind of app purchasing set up, so how do I deal with erasing my personal information if I have to turn the iPAD back in to my district?Thanks for your responses!

So, let’s break that request for help up into pieces:
1) District has no policy concerning employee iTunes account creation, app installations.
Since the iPad is intended to be a personal device, you need to ask yourself a simple question–Is there an iPad in your future? 
Yes, there is a personal iPad in my future. The reason why you want to ask this question is that this will decide if you can create an iTunes account that YOU can purchase apps with. There’s no reason why you can’t have your own Apple ID, own your iPad apps (and trust me, you’ll soon find yourself wanting to buy some must-have apps), and use them on the iPad.
These apps can all be backed up to the iCloud–something you can’t use if you’re using a school Apple ID–so that you never lose “your stuff–such as apps, data, etc.” If your District does NOT have a plan for handling the management of iPads, Apple IDs, and you do plan to buy your own some day, you’ll be ready to make the transition from your school provided iPad to your own device.

No, I refuse to buy an iPad. In this case, you’re probably better off giving the iPad back or to someone else who’s going to take full advantage of it. That said, if you decide to keep using it, then your next step is to setup an Apple ID using your school district email, no credit card required. This means you’ll only be able to load no-cost/free apps onto your iPad, or use iTunes Gift Cards and redeem them on your school-issued iPad. 

If you really want to think ahead on behalf of your school district, you might consider creating a generic email account that you can just pass on to the next person who gets the iPad–along with the password for that account, and the Apple ID password–so that the iPad and the apps you may have purchased with an iTunes Gift Card are not tied to you at all.
Again, this pre-supposes that your District is clueless about managing iPads and letting things “just happen organically” without a planning in a Wild, Wild West scenario.
2) Worried about erasing your personal information from the iPad? No need to worry. In fact, it’s pretty simple. You can easily reset the iPad to factory settings, quickly and easily.
Image Source: http://goo.gl/SfId1
Failure to plan your iPad deployment is setting your District up for a big pile of inert greatness….
iPad Landfill – Image Source: http://goo.gl/U7u8m

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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