I learned something new this week.
Setting up a class set of iPads is a tedious and laborious task.
Having spent a few days giving Larry, our elementary IT guru, assistance preparing classroom sets of iPads, I discovered that each iPad requires twenty to twenty-five minutes apiece to prepare for classroom use. 20-25 minutes - at best! Let me explain.
Each iPad comes in it's own box. Ten individually boxed iPads are housed within another box. Those boxes of ten iPads are packaged in their own larger, padded, shipping boxes. "Un-boxes-ing" iPads alone takes time. Oh - then there are the cases.
Each case is in it's own box, ten cases per larger box, and two boxes per shipping box. Once "un-boxes-ed" each case has a foam inner that is removed along with two protective films that are peeled off. Here's a timelapse video with clock showing the preparing of only 30 iPad cases as quickly as possible.
Updates and Restrictions
We purchased our iPads prior to the iOS9 update, so all iPads need to be updated to the new operating system before we apply student-specific restrictions them and set them up for deployment. Each unboxed iPad is plugged in to a cart and that cart is connected to a computer. The computer takes 10-15 minutes to update and apply restrictions the iPads to meet our specifications.
Finally, a dozen or so specific configurations need to be completed by hand to finalize each iPad for deployment. This includes typing in the unique Apple IDs for your classroom set and their passwords on each device. These final steps are done by hand on each iPad to ensure that the student user experience is the same for all and as secure as possible.
iPads in large quantities are heavy and awkward. They are transported with care to the buildings, sorted by classroom, chargers are unboxed and placed in a crate with your squid cords, and then they are ready to be delivered.
Larry has been working tirelessly on these iPads every moment he has available in between computer, projector, printer, and SMARTboard maintenance, updates, and repair at all three elementary schools. Our tech tickets, requests, and daily troubleshooting are essential needs that must be met promptly for us to teach and learn with students. They also keep Larry away from the iPads he is setting up.
While I have been available to help Larry as much as possible, there is only so much I can do to be helpful. I have a standing offer as an extra pair of hands to be used in any way possible to expedite the process. Ultimately, I am waiting - just like you - for everyone to have their iPads so that we can begin creating meaningful experiences for our students using our new, powerful, and capable tech tools. The set-up is an IT thing - and they are working hard to get the job done.
What have I been working on? App vetting for various grade levels and the creative cart. Teacher iPad optimizing. The Integration Menu website for teachers to "order" idea and lesson from me. The eVestED Project. App exploration sessions. Personal one-on-one tech help. Weebly website assistance - and more.
Rest assured, that your iPads are coming as soon as possible. I look forward to the time when all classrooms have a premium tool for exploration, documentation, collaboration, and mobile learning.
By the Numbers
We have over 750 student iPads in the Hastings Elementary Schools with 390 delivered in just the last two months. Here's how those number break down as he prepares the devices for student use.
750 x 20min. = 15,000min.
15,000min. ÷ 60min. = 250hrs.
250hrs ÷ 7hrs = 35.7 days.
35.7 days ÷ 5 days/work week = 7 weeks and 1 day
If Larry was able to focus exclusively on iPads, it would take well over a month to get them all ready for student use. As we know, he is not working exclusively on iPads. He is meeting our IT needs in numerous ways, at four sites, for over one hundred staff members.
Andrew G. Leiser