Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to school, back to schooooool...

Ok, I know it's been a while, but now that school is back in session I finally feel like I have something to write about.

Today was the first day of school, and for my class, it was the first day with our fabulous iPads.  Of course, the first day of school is always full of assemblies and supply organization and other business.  We only got to spend about 20 minutes with the iPads today, but the kids are absolutely in love already.  They are sure to change the dynamic in our classroom.

The process of getting them all ready was a bit tedious, but totally manageable if you're even slightly tech savvy.  Here's how it works:

We purchased 26 iPads for a self contained classroom.  Over the summer, I did my research and picked out a number of apps I wanted to be loaded on each machine.  I tested these out myself, catalogued them, and will likely add more as the year goes along.  Yesterday (yes, the day before school started...) I went and picked up the machines along with our charging station, which can accomodate up to 10 iPads at a time.  Next, I created a brand new account on iTunes that is separate from my personal iTunes account.  This way I can still sync my personal devices on my computer, and I can also sync a different image to the school iPads.

If you're wondering how to create multiple iTunes accounts, you can visit this website.

Then, the fun began.  I plugged in the iPads to the charging station which was hooked up to my laptop.  It recognized all the iPads simultaneously as their own device, meaning I can make changes to each one individually.  I decided to create a backup file which I then used to image every iPad.  I could choose later to register each iPad individually, but that is a project for another day :-)

It took about 20 minutes from start to finish to set up and sync each batch of 10.  Before I knew it, the machines were ready for the kiddos.  I just can't wait to spend more time working with them tomorrow!!