Formula Camel for iPad

Update: Read the sequel, THEY LIVE – Dealing with the iPad Infected

Hate ’em or love ’em, the iPad has really had a profound impact on schools. You have but to read all the advice columns on how to best manage iPads in K-12 schools to realize, well, they’re unmanageable. It’s like throwing a bit of chaos into a well-oiled machine and watching it wreak havoc.

When teachers in the Clint Independent School District want a new classroom activity, they turn to their iPads — because there’s an application for it…She [teacher] pulled up a flashcard application and quickly flipped through each word on her iPad while students read it aloud. Carroll then passed the iPad around to each student, letting them unscramble a word or correct a number sequence.
The district has purchased about 750 iPad 2’s with $480,000 in federal stimulus money. (read more)


A Rio Grande Valley school district plans to equip every one of its 25,000 students with Apple iPads, rolling ahead with a digitally enhanced curriculum effort that’s among the largest of its type in the nation…The school board last month unanimously approved the first phase of the project, a $3.6 million purchase of more than 5,000 iPad 2’s and 425 iPod Touch devices…“I think it will be a huge motivational tool to get students more involved, be more interested in their subject matter,” said Joshua Villarreal, a junior at McAllen High School. “You won’t be measuring angles with a protractor, you’ll be tilting your iPAD and using the accelerometer.”  Read more:

Flashcard and Accelerometer apps aside, challenges abound for managing them. One recent question that came into my inbox includes the following:

I am sure this has been in some of the conversations recently, but I have a teacher at a local university that wants to know if there is a way to “…send out purchased apps to IPads all at one time? “

The response from @mrhooker?

Yes – You have to have a MDM server set up like Casper to do this though.  We put apps into the “app stream” so to speak in Casper and then enable which iPads we want to “see” the apps and download.  This ties the apps to a specific user though and you won’t be able to reclaim the app.

Update: For a frightening (it’s October, gimmeabreak!) walkthrough the haunted house of iPad “un-management” read Andrew Schwab’s The Trouble with Tribbles.

Of course, this highlights the title of a blog entry that hits the nail on the head — iPad broke IT’s back. That assertion shows that while various devices threatened the stability of the school IT departments, they were never quite able to break the door down. But in the case of the iPad, everyone seems to want one–except for curmudgeons like me who can’t stand the iPad because “why should I buy a $100 keyboard for a $500 device when I have a $200 netbook that comes with a keyboard and does the job fine?”–even though it’s a step in the wrong direction?

We’ve been hearing about the “consumerization of IT” for years and the phenomenon has only continued to grow…“What broke the camel’s back was the iPad, because executives brought it into the company and said ‘Hey, you’ve got to support this.’” (read more)

How are iPads changing how your school technology department provides support?


We use the Apple Volume Purchasing Program to purchase iPad apps in quantity.  We have encountered and issue with these apps when upgrading to iOS 5. Our iPad 1 units upgraded without issue and all Apps, including those purchased through the VPP program, came back after the upgrade to 5. However, our iPad 2 upgrades did not go so well.  The upgrade to iOS 5 went OK and Apps purchased through the standard process came back.  But Apps purchased through the Volume Purchase Program are lost.  They show up in the account history as having been purchased but are nowhere to be downloaded and no longer on iTuens. If you try to redeem the original codes, you get a “This code has already been redeemed” message. At this point, Apple has not been able to resolve the issue.  Nothing they have sent us has let us retrieve the VPP Apps. Is anyone else experiencing the same thing and have you found a solution?

Response from a Texas technology director:

Actually just had this happen to my IPad2. What we did was google where ITunes stores the backup Apps on your machine. We copied them over to another machine, then had to point to each app, then did a did a sync and FINALLY got all the apps back….took us about 3 hours and we were laughing about how people make fun of MS updates…. 😉

In the meantime, did you know you can view Powerpoints on your iPad now without converting them using SlideShark? Thanks to Kim Caise for pointing that out!

Update: Read the sequel, THEY LIVE – Dealing with the iPad Infected

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure