A Letter Home… iPad Letter sent to parents on settings required and why.

 

 

I wanted to share a letter we are sending out to all our families in our schools iPad program. Some parents are reluctant to have their children have an Apple ID and email address. This letter is to help them understand why they are required.iPads at COK-SM - What you Need to Know!-1

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Reset a School iPad to Factory Defaults (PDF Visual Walkthrough)

If your school allows students to utilize their personal AppleIDs with your school-issued iPads, you might want to be aware of a new security feature in iOS 7 that will really mess with your end-of-the-year collection efforts.

Basically, when you attempt to reset an iPad to the default factory settings in iOS 7 (which you might do after collecting up all student iPads for the summer), the iPad will ask you for the AppleID and password of the previous user. If that previous user was a student using their own AppleID and not a school account or generic account, you will need their password to wipe the iPad. If you don’t have it, the iPad basically becomes a useless brick.

This was designed to prevent thieves from resetting a stolen iPad, but for schools it ends up being a huge hassle. As we began collecting the student iPads this past week, we had to modify our process to accomodate this extra step. If your students use their own ID’s, do not let them just throw their iPads in a pile and walk away! It is really hard to figure out which iPad belongs to which student because the iPad will only give you the first letter of the email address for the AppleID when trying to enter the info after a reset. If you have 300 students like we do, good luck figuring out which student with an email address that starts with “k” is the one who needs to enter their info to complete the reset.

To avoid this problem, make the student stand with a teacher and walk through the whole reset process. We have created a visual PDF guide for your teachers that your can access HERE. During the reset, you will need access to the iPad’s lock screen passcode (if there is one), the parent’s or school’s restrictions passcode (if there is one), and the student’s AppleID and password (if it asks for them). Once all the steps in the guide have been followed and you are back to the default home screen, the student’s info is no longer needed.

One last tip: make sure you read which passcode/password it is asking for. There is nothing more frustrating than typing in the school’s restriction code when it actually wants to lock screen code and then getting locked out of the reset process for 60 minutes. If nobody remembers the restriction code (and parents often forget if they set it up 9 months ago), you will need to reset it by manually connecting the iPad to a computer. But you will still need the kid’s ID and password via this method.

Good luck!

 

Massive iPad App List Organized by School Subject and Grade Level (PDF)

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I am not sure if this has ever been posted on the site, but last year I contacted all the teachers in my school and asked them to supply me with a list of apps they have on their iPads or have used in the classroom. I received dozens of replies listing hundreds of apps. I then went through the responses and put together a massive 29 page list of all the apps organized by grade level and subject level. I even typed up little descriptions of the apps to go along with them.

This document is incredibly useful as a starting point for schools planning on giving iPads to their teachers or their students. One of the biggest hurdles for inexperienced teachers is feeling overwhelmed with the devices and trying to find useful apps for their classroom. This list can help your hesitant teachers find some starter apps that they can experiment with. This will give them the confidence to hunt down more apps that they can use.

Some disclaimers: the list is from 2013, so it is already outdated, but most of the information is still relevant. Furthermore, not all the apps listed are great apps. Some of them won’t be useful to your teachers or your students. The point of this document is not to give you the best apps in the world, but to give you a bunch of starter ideas to share with your teachers.

Anyway, you can find the massive iPad app list right HERE. Feel free to share with your teachers or other schools, and feel free to leave feedback in the comments.

Locking Down Student iPads vs. Trusting Students to Behave

When our school began its 1-to-1 iPad program for our fifth through eighth grade students, we were faced with the same decision every school faces: just how much do we lock down these devices? We had already written up a solid acceptable use policy (that all students and parents had to sign), we had robust internet filtering at the school, we could monitor the iPads via Meraki, we had turned on age restrictions for all features, and we had collected the appropriate insurance money for repairs. But we still had to decide: what do we lock down on the device itself? Facetime? iMessage? The App Store?

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iPad Implementation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Over the past several years, I have visited several schools to talk about iPads. I am often called in to talk to a school in the early stages of implementation. Usually, the teachers have only had their personal iPads for a few months and the student iPads or cart iPads are still in the future.

This is the perfect time to host a professional development session. This gives me (or whoever offers it to your school) the opportunity to save your school and teachers a lot of time. We can warn you away from the mistakes we have made, and we can point you directly towards solutions that might have taken us months to stumble upon ourselves.

Below is a list of the most common questions I receive from teachers and administrators at these early training sessions.

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Using Your iPad As a Live Camera for Presentations

We have over 600 students in our school and every week we have an assembly in our enormous gymnasium. Sometimes we have students give presentations or win awards that are very hard for the rest of the student body to see from the bleachers in the back of the room. So I just wanted to write up a quick post showing a pretty obvious-once-you-see-it way to help the whole school see what is going on using an AppleTV.

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