On Tuesday afternoon, I staged a staff meeting to discuss future trends in education and what we as teachers needed to be looking at. The presentation was secondary, however, to the fact that there was a big reveal very soon into the presentation and each teacher got their own iPad.
Thanks to an education special that our resellers Think Ahead were running, we opted to provide the teachers with 32GB WiFi 3rd Generation iPads. I would liked to have had some cellular ones (I appreciate that feature in particular in my iPad) but budget constraints are what they are. We prioritised staff who didn’t have iPads of their own and full-time staff above part-time.
The next 90 minutes of the presentation were aimed at showing them how the device works (at a level of “what does the home button do”), setting up an Apple ID and configuring their iPads to talk to the school’s Exchange server.
While it’s nice to be able to do nice things for people who work hard, I do understand that on another level, these are tools that are necessary for the work at hand and should almost be considered an essential part in any teacher’s kit. I won’t go into detail about why I bring this point up, except to say that two things have since struck me: some people will complain no matter what or how you do something; and seeing entitlement in others does not necessarily enable one to see it in oneself.
On a more positive note, I am relieved at how little user support I’ve had to do up until now. There are lots of more experienced iPad users who are helping those that are new to it all.
There are also those who have turned their iPads off and haven’t touched them. We use “Profile Manager” on the Apple Mac Server to push security profiles and settings to the iPads. There are 7 iPads that haven’t been used since Tuesday afternoon – at least not on the school WiFi network.
Certainly more training is to come. I hope that confidence will grow and the will to experiment will follow.