3 DISASTROUS Moves to Avoid When Implementing iPads in the Classroom
1) RUSH: An implementation takes time and proper planning. A must for any rollout is to sit with a professional and delve into a consultation defining clear goals with proper timelines associated to each goal.
The life of every Implementation begins by defining the steps needed for the proper infrastructure to support the devices. For further details see, What Features Should A School Wireless Network Have. Once an infrastructure project has been put into place it is essential to define a proper policy for the devices. Get administrators on board making sure everyone is on the same page; see “Policy Tips for deploying iPads in the Classroom”. Educate administrators then pilot the program long before the students are handed the devices. Meet with a professional on all the CHALLENGES that can and have occurred and learn from other’s mistakes before finding your school and technology department is the one putting out PR fires and missteps.
2) Trying to put it all on the shoulders of a small IT department: A lack of training, professional development, and overall, a failure to recognize the human resources needed by a big device rollout, can end DISASTROUSLY. Not having the proper staff is not the end of the world, but you need to have technological help and backing. Plan for and set up a proper management tool that can properly monitor and troubleshoot. A proper management tool will allow visualization everywhere and to everything connected to the network. The best tool to utilize would have wireless and wired rogue detection and scalability. Make sure this is put into place well in advance of the students starting to use the devices. This will allow the IT staff to make sure the teachers are trained in the system and know how to manage the devices instead of running around trying to fight the fires. Proactivity in fixing issues on the network is the key to a seamless rollout.
3) Not having a proper Mobile Device Management platform: Begin by having everyone on the same page about allowing the students to take their devices home. Miscommunication will bring an onslaught of trials and tribulations as teachers could be checking iPads in and out during classroom lesson time. Make sure the school has management software in place that monitors, audits and protects what’s on the devices and controls how they are configured. For example, your IT department should be able to remotely wipe and lock iOS devices and enforce passcodes. The software for your MDM should have an ability to let users provision the devices before they connect and the device should be detected and presented the appropriate configuration package automatically. It should also make sure unique device credentials are distributed automatically for stronger and more resilient security.
An iPad in the classroom roll out, with the proper planning and consolation, can be seamless and secure. Please contact us for a free consultation if you’re looking to begin planning a mobile device implementation. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and help get you on the right track to a successfull implementation.
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