What you will need largely depends on how you intend to deploy the iPads in school and the numbers involved. The information below will give you an idea of the different scenarios and some suggested packages. These are by no means the only solutions and as always you should ensure that the solution best fits the needs of the curriculum and intended users.
We would always recommend you discuss your needs with the ICT Advisory team prior to purchase and also visit / talk to other schools who have deployed iPads already so they can share their experiences.
iPads need access to the Internet. They cannot connect using wires and so in order to get the most out of your investment you will need a wireless network in school. Wrexham are in the process of rolling out wireless networks in school as detailed in the Wireless Project page. If you are at all unsure as to when you will be getting wireless or whether or not you have sufficient existing coverage please contact Simon Billington (email@example.com - 01978-317630).
iPads are a very desirable and portable device, as such, they make a very tempting target for thieves. In order to minimise risk of theft we would suggest that you:
- Keep account of all iPads and return them to the storage and charging station each evening
- Make sure the trolley, flight case or storage station is in a part of the school that is not overlooked by windows as far as possible. A locked cupboard or office is ideal if possible.
- The flight case style storage solution is very mobile and so we would recommend that schools secure the lid with a padlock and also, where possible, secure the case with a chain or cycle style lock to an immovable object or wall anchor at night.
iPads are generally very robust and from experience over the last 18 months, have proved to be very reliable. This does not mean they are immune to breakdown or damage however and we would suggest you agree with pupils and staff from the beginning how they will be used in your school.
- Agree with pupils how their iPads will be used, carried and stored safely.
- Wherever possible assign particular iPads to pupils and let them personalise them by changing the wall paper etc. Evidence has shown that when pupils have a sense of ownership of their IT equipment they are far more likely to respect it.
- Take care when inserting any dock connector cables or peripherals into the iPad, do not force these in as it is possible to break the internal fitting of the dock in this case.
- Use a soft lint free cloth when wiping grubby finger marks off screens.
- iPads are meant to be used around the school, inside and out, but they are an electronic device so discuss with pupils before hand appropriate use when away from the desk and in the vicinity of water etc.