In many primary and some secondary schools, iPads are deployed in small sets. Due to the individual nature of the device, deploying these iPads can be challenging, but not impossible. When planning this, it is useful to consider a number of factors:
Most schools, where shared sets are used, opt to have a single Apple ID. This allows for users to download free apps, with paid apps being managed centrally using VPP. It is important that iCloud and automatic downloads are turned off for these devices.
Deployment Model: ‘Class in a Box’ vs Class Sets
Some schools choose to have a class set of iPads which are timetabled for use throughout the week, sometimes known as ‘class in a box’. Whilst this allows for 1:1 use during the lesson, this model has its drawbacks. Firstly, timetabling iPads limits the use of technology to set times and the changing nature of timetables, bank holidays etc would mean that access to technology may be inconsistent for some classes. Secondly, iPads can quickly become filled up with photos and videos which may lead to unfinished work being deleted accidentally. Finally, using iPads in this way often means one member of staff has the time consuming job of managing them, ensuring that iPads are regularly updated, cleared for space etc.
Class sets, working towards one per group, can be a more effective way of using iPads for learning. This means that technology is always available for some pupils, either in small groups or for individuals on a rotation.
Managing and Storing iPad Sets
iPads that are based in classrooms have the added benefit of being tailored to the needs of a specific class/stage and teacher. Whilst one or two members of staff may have overall responsibility for centrally managing the iPads, the procedures and policy and day-to-day maintenance can be easily devolved to class teachers. This can be more easily achieved if iPads are stored locally rather than in a central charging trolley. A cost effective solution to this is to charge them using a dishrack and extension tower and locking them up at night.
It is a good idea to utilise older pupils (P4 up) to manage their class iPads and potentially those used by younger pupils. By training up a number of pupils as ‘Digital Leaders’, teachers can ensure that iPads are regularly updated and that the camera roll and unused apps are regularly deleted etc. Pupils can even research the best apps for learning and share how to use them with fellow pupils and teachers. For more information about Digital Leaders click here.