Successful Ipad Implementation

A Guide for Librarians


There are many distinct management issues when dealing with Ipads in the schools... App management, Ipad distribution, and maintenance to name just a few . We will discuss these today.

App management: Ipad management can be handled in different ways depending upon your district tech policies/preferences. Some ipad carts are managed through Apple Configurator and each app is "pushed" using a Macbook that you keep in the library. Other ipad carts are managed from the district level and all apps and updates are "pushed" from district personnel. There are pros and cons to each approach. One thing I liked about having my own Macbook and pushing my own apps was that I was in control and could find and download apps instantly. The thing I did not like was that... I was in control and had to find TIME to find the app, push it out to all ipads... looking for errors, unattached iPads, etc. The good thing about having someone at the district level in charge of managing ipad content is that you can just send a list of apps that you want and they are pushed out for you. The downside to this method is that you are limited to that person's availability. It could be several days before new content is pushed out. This method requires pre-planning when a specific app is needed for a lesson.

Ipad Distribution: The daily check in/check out of iPads can be time consuming. At our school each grade level is assigned a number of ipads. Each teacher comes in to get them when they need them. Teachers who need to reserve a class set must do so in advance so that I can let staff know the availability for that day. I have a carbon copy book where teachers write their name and the ipad numbers they are checking out for that day. I check them off as they are returned. All Ipads are equipped with the "find my Ipad" feature and it is extremely accurate.

Maintenance/Cleaning: When Ipads travel around an elementary school they return in less than pristine condition to say the least. Apple recommends cleaning with a damp cloth moistened with water... but Apple probably doesn't have to remove boogers. I have found alcohol wipes to be the best way to keep Ipads clean and fresh.

We purchased an Ipad contract from Teachers Pay Teachers to use as our lock screen and wallpaper. This helps keep track of Ipad numbers, helps teachers know which students are using which Ipads and also reminds them of the appropriate procedures for using the Ipad everytime they "swipe".

Pictures of students using Ipads

Tips and Tricks

Guided Access

One great classroom management tip is the use of the "Guided Access" feature. This feature essentially locks the user onto the app you wish the student to use. They cannot go out of this app unless a passcode is put in. I would recommend only using this feature if a student has shown to be untrustworthy during a lesson. This feature can be enabled by going to Settings- General- Accessibility- Scroll down to Guided Access under the Learning Tab. Select Guided Access then slide the switch to on. Next you will need to set the Guided access passcode. This should be a 4 digit number that you can remember. Teachers should all use the same number... the last 4 digits of the school phone number, for example. Once you set the passcode- the teacher will need to put it in twice- then you will need to go to the app you wish the student to use. Triple click the home button. Choose "Start". Now the student will only be able to use this app until guided access is disabled. To disable guided access, triple click the home button again and then choose "End".