Wednesday, August 11, 2010

iPads early days - here are a few tips

iPads have a big place but how do we go about getting them in classes and working well. There are always the early adopters, some hit the headlines a month or two back, how they had ipads in their school. I had the whole (jealous) and cynical, "I bet they are stuffing up the image and snycing and app store stuff". So now we have a set of iPads, here is what I have discovered:
- each ipad takes about 7 minutes to get up and running
- have one main image ipad, he/she will be your friend, love it, care for it, ours is called Cardy.
- you can connect as many ipads as you like to one itunes library/set of apps
- after initially restoring from a backup of the first ipad it was easy to do the next one and so on
- when you plug in an ipad that has been restored it automatically backs up, you don't really want this because you want to restore from that one main image, and backups are all called the same thing as all your ipads are named the same because you restored them from one image. easy fix, ring Ash
- plug in your main image ipad (Cardy) and it backs up and syncs any changes. click on the name of the ipad and change its name to something you wont forget, ours is called ipadCardiganBayMaster, a mouthful but hang in there. Now after renaming, right click on the ipad in the left window of itunes and scroll down to backup. the backup will appear in the itunes preferences~devices window and it will have that big long random name (easy to find).
- Now when you plug in a different ipad you can let it backup or interrupt the back up, and just restore from your master which you have named so aptly.
- each sync/restore only takes a matter of minutes (7max)
- now use your computer that you sync from, to be your download center, or use your master ipad to download onto, as it will sync, backup and be the one you will restore from each time.
- the other ipads will be clones of one master, my plan is to hand the master to a person who has a handle on how ipads work, let them be the boss of the apps, pages, etc.
- there are some app issues with bought apps and putting them on more than one ipad, at the moment we are sticking to free apps, but a bought app will go across multiple ipads. I dont know if app sellers would be happy knowing one app can go on many machines. Will investigate the iTunes terms.

So far so good with the set up now how good will they be in the classrooms. at the moment the teachers are getting first go. They gotta know that these aren't a gimmick, and we must have educational apps. Teachers get their ipads tomorrow, should be a fun morning.

oh other tips- name the ipads, we have gone for horses, Cardigan Bay, Veandercross, Rough Habit etc engrave them "stolen from >>>> Primary School". Kids will remember names, not numbers. label the chargers and ipod cable too. love those label makers.

New discoveries :
All the ipads are running well but I have new apps and a software update, but the master has the same name as all of the restored ipads. So UPDATE your master sync it, and get your new apps on it. BUT before you disconnect and restore the other ones, change the name of your master so you dont get confused. Every time your master is synced and backed up change its name. Remember to right click on your master and choose backup after renaming.

New Discoveries :
When you are looking to update and run a new set of apps, you must put your master in first. Every ipad you have has the same image and name, therefore if you plug in some plonker ipad that has had apps downloaded on it these apps will sync and back up. If you then put in your master then the apps from the other ipad will sync onto you master, something you dont want.
If you put in an ipad that isnt your master before syncing and renaming (see update above) then before it syncs and backs-up swipe on the ipad screen when it tries to sync, that is the fast easy way to stop the sync. If you click in itunes and try to cancel syncs it will beach ball and basically piss you off. Swipe to stop sync, its a good tip believe me.

Update 3
After a month or so we have had the ipads (not the master) wanting to sync their apps and compromising the master ipad. So now we sync the master, and then before syncing the others to the renamed master we go to setting on the device and reset/erase the ipad, thus when it syncs it just gets the new clean image. Easy and way less hassle.

1 comment:

Fletchspeak said...

You have to be the ultimate geeky Principal Luke! Well done though - I am envious but appreciate you are finding the glitches & wonderment first so will be following with interest.