These are my notes from Sheldon Bradshaw‘s presentation, “Here Come the iPads – Now What? iPad Deployment” at the Learning 2.011 Conference in Shanghai on September 9, 2011. Sheldon is the edtech guru at the Western Academy of Beijing. A I’m audio recording this session with Sheldon’s permission and will share that recording subsequently as an audio podcast. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

UPDATE: The audio podcast is online / available.

Sheldon Bradshaw presenting on iPad deployment issues

At the outset I want to say I’m a huge fan and witness for the transformative power of iPads to support student learning and engagement

Sale of 2 million devices:
– iPod: 1092 days
– iPhone: 114 days
– iPad: 59 days

As you look at deployments, the model is important
working the numbers

1:1 BYO (bring your own) or school-owned?
that model is very different from a Shared / school-owned model

the iPad does NOT have student accounts / profiles

Most of our experiences at Western Academy of Beijing is with the shared / school-owned model

Question: To 3G or not 3G
– convenience / flexibility
– with those connectivity issues, you have challenges with bills, traceability, security

Suggestion: use “Mi-Fi” personal hotspots
– 3-6 people can connect
– Those are 300 RMB here in China, can provide field trip connectivity
– you can turn off the connectivity at the end of the day on your field trip when you use personal hotspots

– iPhone configuration utility gives a base configuration, basic setup only
– great for BYO deployment
– it’s more like a business development tool
– not as much: make the iPad an educational tool in the classroom

There are 3rd party configuration solutions
– Casper, Absolute Manage are examples
– more are on

We’ve purchased into the Casper suite, but it can’t push out applications to iPads
– it’s good for basic setup stuff

2 iPad cases we wanted:
– Otterbox: – $70 – $90

We calculated our break even point for losing iPads, figured we would have to break 25 percent of our iPads to justify the expense of those expensive cases

We went with thin neoprene covers, and bought local market covers

shared option model means you need to be able to store, lock, charge, and sync your iPads

Bretford cart is not available in mainland China

We bought carts that are about 10,000 RMB each
– new cart available in China now for 30,000 RMB which also supports syncing

Average USB ports do NOT have enough power to sync and charge an iPad
– Apple didn’t follow USB 2.0 standards for the iPad
– this raises issues which need to be addressed
– this means standard USB hubs will let you sync multiple iPads, but won’t charge adequately
– this is a power consumption issue
– choice is spending big $$$ or split charging and syncing to two separate processes
– iOS upgrades are 1 by 1, you can’t sync them all together

Remember iOS5 is coming with promises of more wireless updates, we have seen dramatic function updates from iOS2 to 3 to 4.

– only 2 companies build infrastructure for charging and syncing at the same time
– company in UK is building them and others are buying their boards

We use D-Link 7 port powered hubs for syncing

Things to consider as you reply

File Management
– getting files on the device: via iTunes, wirelessly, webdav, etc

Apps are sandboxed: same file ends up on multiple apps, other apps don’t see the same file you have on your device
– depending on what you want to do in your environment drives what management issues you face

remember there is NOT a folder structure on your iPad like you have on your laptop
– this means a complete change with how we think about file management

Sharing options: email is one of the best options

User accounts: they don’t exist now for iPads
– this means student work is on the device when it’s shared

Direct to printer: software needs
– I like the fact it’s challenging now to print (moves us closer to paperless classrooms!)
– check issues for your network
– we are focused with our iPad deployment on lower elementary students, so that makes these issues a bit more challenging
– we want students to be able to independently share there work

Classroom Management
– many schools like Remote Desktop and LAN School
– there are not a lot of options for monitoring software
– keys are engagement and interactivity
– depending on how you control apps on your device
– you know for sure there are not any flash-based browser games!

App considerations
– What store?
– we have chosen to live within the spirit of agreements rather than line item agreements
– on issue is: “The iTunes Service is available to you only in the United States, its territories, and possessions. You agree not to use or attempt to use the iTunes Service from outside these locations. Apple may use technologies to verify your compliance.”

We have made peace with using the U.S. store and dealing with it, the Chinese store has far fewer apps and isn’t nearly as good a fit for our student population

We created iTunes accounts with gift cards, purchased in the USA
– no one used a credit card for apps

Volume Purchasing Plan (VPP) is the answer to many of these questions
– lets a site administrator have control over iPads and iOS devices in the school ecosystem
– this is only available as of today in the United States (not in China)
– is coming to other countries, the legal issues are being worked out

Until then, terms say you can sync 5 devices to any 1 account (so 40 licenses need 8 accounts)

Suggested management solution from 1 of the vendors present at this session:
– create a separate iTunes account for each iPad you have
– then have 1 account to hold the money: that account then “gifts” money to individual iTunes account (gift certificates)

So now as things exist, we buy large ($100) cards for our main, master iTunes account
– we also purchase smaller cards ($10) for innovator teachers to try different apps

I don’t like there are not trial or demo versions of apps (this is especially painful for $12 apps)
– use the rating sites out there
– look for similar folks: pay attention for home versus school users
– look for ‘lite’ versions of apps

We have found charging and syncing is a pain, but app management is really a bigger pain (especially when apps are purchased which don’t get used much after buying them)

We are trying to set criteria for our staff when purchasing apps
– are you: interacting with content, making your own content, using a utility?

Gets complicated when you have a few hundred apps on a shared computer, when reviews are for different versions
– we have used a large spreadsheet which multiple people access

How do you find apps? – all educator reviewed
– etc.

Bottom line: no firm answers
– make it fit for you


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6 Responses to Here Come the iPads – Now What? iPad Deployment

  1. Ihoke says:

    Really interesting to see your experiences at WAB as we begin a small scale iPad pilot project at Zurich International School. We have adopted a similar approach with gift cards to avoid the credit card issue and considered the individual account/gift card approach suggested by your vendor, but ultimately opted for a single account for roughly 15 iPads. We are approaching this pilot in my Digital Journalism class as open action research and are seeing some interesting possibilities in a school synced setup with key apps that allows students to then customize the iPad with apps and media from their personal accounts. Are you allowing them to do this? Also, are you opting for a cart approach only, or will you allow students to take iPads home? I wonder because this obviously gets around the charging issue and because our kids in this class will have them to take away in a classic 1 to 1 fashion, which has brought about quite a few interesting issues like how our responsible use policy does or does not relate to an iPad. Anyway, thanks for the informative post. My thoughts from our first day of iPads in the hands of students are here and I wonder how they relate to your experiences?

  2. Travellingdeon says:

    Hi Wesley

    Thanks for this post. It stands reasonably well on its own as a summary of deployment issues. I’ll be interested to listen to the audio, later.

    I have a couple of responses to your notes:

    1. When gifting apps, you cannot do this with store credit (from iTunes cards). If Sheldon is buying apps on a “master account” with iTunes cards, it is not possible to send them as gifts.
    2. The “one account to 5 devices” remark is something that people keep popping up with. The actual wording, in App Store Terms and Conditions, is “1 account to 5 _ITunes authorized devices_”. an iTunes-authorized device is a laptop or PC, not an iPod/iPad. The T&C continue to state that, in a school where multiple students use a single device, each device must have its own account. Where a single user has multiple devices, they can sync content from a single account.

    It is unclear, however, what the situation is, with regard to schools that provide 1:1 iPads to students.

    This whole element of deployment is a tricky one. Apple reps from different places tell you different things. Ultimately, I would see iTunes accounts as being most valuable under the control and ownership of the user. This way, a student can create a backup of their borrowed device, and use all the apps (and content stored within them) on any device they own (borrow) in the future. I certainly wouldn’t be wanting to store a year’s worth of data inside apps that I cannot access beyond that year. School-owned accounts don’t really lend themselves towards creating independent learners.



  3. […] « MASHe Evernote – IS a personal e-portfolio solution for students!, Moving at the Speed of Creativity – Here Come the iPads – Now What? iPad Deployment Here Come the iPads – Now What? iPad Deployment, The edtech Daily The […]

  4. Paul Shircliff says:

    thanks wes

  5. KathleenN says:

    I found that gifting from one iTunes account to another did not work. Be sure to hold onto iTunes cards in case you have to re-enter the information. 

  6. Paul Rosenwald says:

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