There’s no doubt that iPads are fantastic devices and when you buy one for personal use it can be relatively simple to get it working straight out of the box yourself.
However, when it comes to deploying iPads in education environments it’s a different story. There are several factors that need to be taken into account for you to have a smooth and successful rollout. Let’s take a look at each one:
Define Your Goals
Before you do anything, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve when you deploy iPads in schools. Sure, you want to provide staff and students with the latest technology, but why? Is it to aid learning and improve grades in particular subjects? To better prepare students for employment when they leave school? To allow teachers to work more efficiently and effectively?
By setting out goals that are agreed by all the stakeholders you can clearly define the parameters for success. And this will also help to inform you on how many devices you need to buy and how they are going to be deployed.
App and Device Management
With clear goals defined you can decide which applications to install on your iPads. The last thing you want to do is allow staff and students to install apps themselves - it will lead to cluttered devices potentially suffering performance issues if they are overloaded, not to mention all the distracting games that are available!
Once you have agreed on the necessary applications you should invest in a mobile device management (MDM) solution. You could task someone with setting all your iPads up individually, but this would be a very time-consuming exercise prone to human error. A good MDM solution will not only automate the initial rollout of your devices but also allow you to keep track of them and manage them on an ongoing basis - installing updates and new applications as required. Your MDM will allow you to integrate with Apple School Manager and the Apple Store so that you can enrol the iPads themselves and install apps seamlessly. Connecting The Device Enrolment Program (DEP) will also help your school deploy and configure Apple devices defined by your school and classroom needs.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking teachers don’t need any training before they use your new iPads. Yes, they will probably have used similar devices previously, but not necessarily in an educational scenario.
Once you’ve defined the goals that you want to achieve through the rollout, you should devise a training plan to ensure you make the best use of your investment. At the outset, teachers should undergo training on each of the applications that you plan to install and how they can best use them to encourage and improve student learning. There should also be training plans for any new staff that join and regular reviews of new updates and applications to assess if new training is required.
Speak to the Experts
Why try to do it all yourself when there are experts available who’ve seen it all and done it all before? Buying a fleet of iPads is a significant investment that can easily be wasted if they’re not set up and managed in the right way.
At Counterpoint, our consultants will work with you from the very beginning of your project to help you define your goals and ensure your iPad deployment is a success. As an Apple education supplier, we offer options to lease school iPads and also discounts on bulk purchases and our MDM solution can be tailored to your specific needs.
Get in touch today and let us protect your investment and help you deliver the best experience for your staff and students.