Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer iPad/iPod Center Maintenence

In our region school is dismissing for summer break leaving teachers with about 7-8 weeks of time to relax then re-energize. What does this mean for iDevice centers?

After using an iPod or iPad center for a year, many apps have retained data you will want to clear out and begin anew for next fall.  Examples include math practice apps which keep a record of which level you have reached as you play, apps associated with student logins to cloud services, or digital story telling apps with dozens of student authored experiences.

Larger districts have mobile device management (MDM) systems that work well, but if you are a small rural district with one or two centers, using the iPad reset and rebuild doesn't take up that much additional time and effort.

Here is how we go about our summer maintenance of iDevice centers.

  1. We back up any stories and photos we want saved off an iDevice to a cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive.
  2. Reset the iPad to "new" by going into Settings - General - Reset - Erase All Content and Settings
  3. If you have a base restore image, you can restore to that image, other wise just restore as a brand new iDevice.  
  4. Enable auto download of apps and the use of Find my iPad/iPhone; along with other settings you find necessary for your iDevice Center
  5. From the Apps purchased, select apps you want back on the iDevice.
As you put apps back on the iDevice for the fall, remember a great strategy is to NOT put on all the apps to start the year.  We recommend creating a list of must have apps, then a list of apps to gradually bring back throughout the year aligned with your curriculum.  Every so often students will notice a new app, and instinctively begin exploring the ins and outs of this new find.

If you enjoy working with digital storytelling, there are so many great apps to support that activity that you can begin the fall with 1-3 apps, then bring back a couple of new ones throughout the year.  This mixed in with new apps you find will always provide motivating learning experiences for your kids.

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