Casllwchwr 1:1 Rollout:
We have been very fortunate at Casllwchwr to learn from some of the best teachers and leaders using mobile devices over the last two years. Fraser Spiers and Andrew Jewell from Cedar School of Excellence (first 1:1 iPad school in world) have been a tremendous help and have given us key advice and shared documents since we visited them at their school at the beginning of our journey. In fact, we are taking our whole Y5 class up to Cedars on Nov 5, 2012 for a week long stay to take part in a unique teaching and learning project, which will also see Andrew bring his class back to visit us at Casllwchwr in May 2013. We have also visited the Essa Academy, where Abdul Chohan is another inspirational leader who has helped us on our journey. If you ever get the chance to visit either of these establishments then please do as the message is the same at both – it’s not just about Technology.Strong Pedagogy + Curriculum + Technology together instigates change. This ethos is what we have built our mobile device programme around. I will feel extremely proud on September 5, 2012 when this years intake walk through our doors and every child in KS2 will be greeted with their own personal iPad 3, 32 GB for the duration of their stay at our wonderful school. This is the result of a huge amount of hard work, a committed and risk taking attitude but above all a strong belief that at all times it was the right thing to do for our pupils. Below is a run down on the way we have set up our 1:1 programme. In our opinion we have done it the right way with the belief that Apples Volume Purchase Programme will shortly be upon us. I also have to say that AT Computers won the tender for the programme and have been outstanding in their technical expertise, customer service and general partnership with us in providing expert advice and guidance.
In a 1:1 deployment of iPads the iPad is usually owned or leased by the pupil. This is usually financed through the school but a contribution is made by a parental donation to the cost of the device over two years. At Casllwchwr there is no parental contribution and all iPads in years 3,4,5 & 6 are funded in full. Each pupil will have their own personal iPad but the cost of the device and the Apps are provided for.
In order to meet Apples Terms and Conditions of Sale with regard to the legal purchase of Apps on iOS devices in the Education sector, £50 credit has been redeemed to each iPad.
Each iPad has its own unique Apple ID, iTunes account and iCloud account. Apps are then purchased and downloaded to each individual device as specified by the Year group teacher.
A core set of Apps has been installed on every iPad to provide a great starter kit for pupils and teachers alike.
Additional paid and free Apps have then been chosen and added at the Teachers request.
Until Apple release Volume Licensing through iTunes (US only currently) then this is one of the few methods of App deployment available that meets their T & C’s.
Alternatively we could have gifted the Apps to each individual account from one iTunes Account. However a school iTunes Account with credit card is required and no time would have been saved anyway.
The school has also installed its own Internet/Network with Wifi. At this time it was deemed necessary in order to leverage the full potential of the iPads.
So what was installed?
Alongside the existing County provided curriculum network the School installed its own ADSL lines, these were aggregated to provide load balancing and fail over plus the router was configured so that the school could set its own internet filtering through OpenDNS. The network uses its own separate ethernet switch from the ADSL with Apple Airport Extremes (WAP’s) distributed throughout the school to provide Wifi.
What does this provide?
The teaching staff have control over the Internet which in turn and perhaps most importantly means that certain Internet Services can be enabled. These include but are not Iimited to Apples FaceTime technology that provides video conferencing from the palm of your hand using either an iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone or to any Apple Computer.
Apple iMessage that allows instant messaging between staff. An easy instant way to disseminate school information.
Support from Apps such as iMovie to content sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.
Full Internet support for the schools Apple TV’s.
One of the main questions asked by IT Departments & staff used to dealing with legacy PC installations and networks is how do you centralise, store and share data from iPads?
With our Mac Mini Server this is possible using the built in WebDAV protocol. Pupil, Teacher and class folders can be easily shared and then files copied to and from these folders from Applications that support WebDAV.
As an example a Pupil creates an excellent Presentation in Keynote, from within the App the pupil chooses Share & Print, then copy to WebDAV. Easy.
It should be noted that because the Pupil keeps the same iPad they only have to Authenticate to their Shared Folder once. Until they Sign Out, the App keeps them Signed In to their Share Point making the process of copying files to and from the server even easier.
Another fantastic Service provided by the Mac Mini Server is Wiki’s. Along with the powerful Web Service, Wiki’s on Mac OS X Server provides a rich, powerful yet simple collaborative learning environment.
Using wikis, users can add content, format, tag and cross-reference material, upload files and images, add comments, view revision history, and share documents.
All registered Users on the server which includes all staff & pupils can create & edit their own personal and/or Public Wiki’s. This service is accessible both internally in school and externally over the Internet, if there was a requirement then this service could even be opened up to Parents to assess a child’s work and/or provide live feedback through a blog!And because the wiki content is web based, they are easily accessible from your Mac or PC…Or your iPad.
iPad users can now open and save attachments from the wiki directly within applications such as Keynote, Numbers, and Pages.
On our New Mountain Lion Server, Wiki Server has been improved and optimized for iPad. It now supports custom themes, colors, banners, and features WebDAV file access for attachments hosted on the wiki server.
One of the most useful features of the Wiki Server is Quick Look. By clicking the Quick Look icon next to a file attachments on the wiki, users can view the document without downloading it. Quick Look supports all standard file formats, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, QuickTime, PDF, and text documents.
Device Management – Meraki
This is a basic run through of what we have done and we will talk again about restrictions and the way in which each iPad is set up in further posts. This is truly an incredibly exciting time for all concerned at Casllwchwr and we are keen to share the ups and downs of our journey at every opportunity.
So watch this space …………………………..
Posted by – S.C.Pridham (2/9/12)