Tech Posts

Staff iPad Deployment

It’s been two months now since we deployed iPads to the staff. The staff have taken to the iPads enthusiastically and it is a pleasure to see them being used to fervently. Well, at least in the majority of cases!

One of the first things we did was change our morning roll-call procedures so that teachers could capture their absentees each morning directly into our administration software (ADAM). This means that each staff member has their iPad with them every morning which has lead to some unintended benefits of sharing experiences and tips and tricks with one another.

We have run some training courses – nothing particularly mind blowing at this point. I want teachers primarily to understand the paradigm of tablet computing. They need to understand that a tablet is a valuable tool for an entire myriad of tasks and not just “computer” jobs. We will up the tempo next term and run a comprehensive training course right before school gets back where we will start looking at academic workflow.

Our wireless network, UniFi based, has held up well, and we are in the process of increasing the density of it. There is one (very) dark spot on campus which we only picked up after the deployment. There are between 170 and 200 wireless devices being brought onto campus each day and these are coping so far. In theory we could hit a capacity of up to 600 devices and so some significant increases in coverage will be necessary in the next six months.

The deploying and updating of Apps using the server profile manager is working well. However, it has highlighted one iPad that hasn’t been brought onto campus in – how long – two months… Certainly, at least we know where to focus attention and do some cajoling!

Other internal processes have changed to accommodate the fact that iPads are always present. We still do a fair amount of printing, but I suspect that this will drop off as people get more familiar with the technology. One thing that has changed, slightly, is that our morning notices are written up in a file in the staff room. While this has not been replaced with an electronic document (a Google Doc would work brilliantly), at least a photograph is being taken of the page and e-mailed to staff instead of being run off on the copier as was the previous practice.

Slowly, slowly catch a monkey…