Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a fourth year teacher working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 3 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Provisioning iPads ... the learning continues

I love learning new things!  Prior to starting this year I didn't know terribly much about iOS or Apple products, having spent 10+ years working with Windows!  That all changed this year.

Earlier this year when we set up the iPads for our initial pilot class, we spend many hours moving apps around on the iPad screen (on every device) and entering passwords in order for the apps to arrive on each device (at the time I remember thinking "surely there is a better way")  - we wanted to avoid this pain as we move to provisioning iPads for all our junior classes in 2015, but we have a need to have the iPads all look exactly the same, with apps in the appropriate folders (eg maths apps in a maths folder).

Pt England School have chosen to use Meraki for our MDM (Mobile Device Management) - with the initial setup of each device handled by Apple Configurator, which automatically enrols it with Meraki.  While we are still ironing out a few minor issues, I think this combination is extremely easy to use and has made provisioning so much easier - and all our devices look exactly the same (complete with a great lock screen picture of Pt England!)

I have no doubt we will tweak our systems even further but a few tips that have definitely worked for us:

  • spend time getting your backup looking exactly as you want it to - additional time here will see you reap the benefits as the iPads will all look exactly as you want them to look
  • think carefully about how you are going to tag your devices within Meraki - you are able to use these tags to send apps, webclips and restrictions to groups of devices (you can use multiple tags if you want to identify iPads in different groups)
  • use webclips (within Meraki) to put a link on iPads (we use this to have a link to our class sites)
  • use a powered USB hub to plug in more devices at a time - provisioning via Apple Configurator will occur over all the devices plugged in
I found this guide by Meraki extremely helpful and user friendly.





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