Update: Read “iPad – It’s the Bomb!” a collection of blog entries to help K-12 schools/districts deploy iPads for students and staff!

Imagine if you could ask school districts deploying iPads en masse what their path to success was. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful opportunity to be able to listen to them share? What a cornucopia of wisdom!

Image Source: http://goo.gl/aIj2H

Thanks to a moment in time–February, 2012–chief technology officers from several districts presented at two concurrent events, TCEA 2012 System Administrator Academy and Texas Chief Technology Officers (CTO) 2012 Winter Meeting. With the help of a colleague, the audio recordings from those presentations are available as a podcast series!

In this blog entry, you will find links to the audio recordings, presentations that include CTOs and staff from multiple school distrits, including Lamar CISD, Fort Bend ISD, Spring Branch ISD, and Eanes ISD. 

Special thanks to the presenters for sharing their path to success, as well as a colleague–you know who you are–who helped capture the Texas CTO recording.

Image Source: The Swiss Army Knife of Education, Eanes ISD

Audio Recordings – Note that these are raw recordings with no introductions. Listen to these and you’ll get an education on mobile device management (MDM) and iPad deployment.

  1. Podcast #1 – Lamar CISD on MDM | Read Notes. District owns the apps and they are using Casper.
  2. Podcast #2 – Fort Bend ISD on MDM . The District owns the apps and they are using AirWatch.
  3. Podcast #3 – Spring Branch ISD on MDM | The District owns the apps and they are using Casper.
  4. Podcast #4 – Eanes ISD on iPad Deployment | The individual student/teacher owns the apps and they are using Casper.
Relevant Podcast Links:

  1. Powerpoint Presentations – Special thanks to Texas CTO org for sharing #s 2-4 via their web site!
    1. Chris Nilsson (Lamar CISD)
    2. Robert Calvert (Fort Bend ISD)
    3. Venu Rao and Stephen Johnson (Spring Branch ISD)
    4. Kevin Schwartz (Eanes ISD)
  2. Recommended iPad Apps from:
    1. TCEA-McAllen ISD –  Giant spreadsheet of app recommendations via GoogleDocs
    2. Eanes ISD Apps on their blog
    3. iEducation Apps Review
    4. Memphis ISD’s Apps list
  3. Spring Branch ISD’s 21st Century Learning Initiative

AirWatch is a vendor to watch, given that McAllen ISD–which recently rolled out 27,000 iPads at a cost of $20+ million dollars–is also using it:

Coordinator of Network Services Pat Karr said the devices were rigged so that any time one connected to an exterior Internet connection, it would “call in” and be subject to the school’s Web controls.
“There is no exception,” he said. “What is filtered on this computer here is filtered on the iPad when it leaves the district.”
As well, the mandatory download AirWatch lets the district remotely track the location of the devices, check their battery power, change their passwords and check downloaded apps. All students have to pay a $40 deposit in case the machine is damaged.
Sam Saldivar, president of the school board, acknowledged the community concern and said he thought the board had answered all questions.
“We would not do this if it was not in the interest of each and every child,” he said. (Source: The Monitor)

You may recall that I previously shared my notes on Chris Nilsson’s excellent presentation on iOS deployments. Chris’ presentation certainly provided critical insights into iOS management and you’ll probably want to read the notes on Chris’ presentation as you listen to it. 

As to Fort Bend ISD, they are spending $18 million to equip 2nd through 8th grade classrooms with iPads over the next two years (Read Source). The Fort Bend ISD presentation (Robert Calvert) was given at the Texas Chief Technology Officers’ (CTO) Meeting held adjacent to the TCEA 2012 Convention Hall. The Texas CTO Winter Meeting shared some valuable resources worth perusing, including a copy of Robert Calvert’s preso on what Fort Bend ISD is doing with iPads (check relevant links section above).

    Robert Calvert Fort Bend ISD

    Here are my poor notes on the audio file of Robert Calvert’s presentation, although you can certainly listen to the audio:

    Robert Calvert, CIO, Fort Bend ISD
    1. 16,000 iPads to be managed at an approximate cost of $18 million
    2. We are the 7th largest school district in the State. We have 74 campuses. We have almost 8,000 full time employees and many substitutes.
    3. MDM is whatever you need it to be, but for most of us, it’s about securing, inventorying and that the device is being used properly.
    4. You can start determining what apps you want to download.
    5. Of the products that we considered, one of the biggest issues is to segment the device and manage portions of it without wiping out people’s personal stuff.
    6. Tell me what you’re doing in the classroom..don’t worry if it’s android, ipad or pcs. If kids need access to the Internet, then tell us what you need and we’ll try to work it out. [Great point]
    7. FBISD desires an EXPERIENCE
      1. Which allows the use of both District and Individual Owned mobile handheld devices;
      2. In District facilities, assessing “APPROPRIATE” Data and Systems.
    8. What I have seen in this marketplace is that MDM providers are growing so keep your eyes open for what best meets your needs.
    9. Deployment is complex…Fort Bend ISD–like Spring Branch ISD–is taking the approach that the District is going to OWN the apps put on the iPad (as opposed to others like Eanes ISD which considers them consumables).
    10. Issue of pushing the image out to the device…
    11. Within the first six months, I heard that our superintendent wanted to put together a science and technology center in a building. Constituents didn’t like it and C&I Directors asked, what can we do differently? We’re going to do virtual learning.
    12. iPads do go home with students.
    13. Bring Your Own Device has got to be the future…if watch kids, they’ll surf the internet on their smartphone more than on a computer. It’s all about THEIR experience.
    MyNotes – Spring Branch ISD’s Presentation

    Note: I found it helpful to listen to the audio while viewing the presentation below.
    1. Apple has the ability to transform everything.
    2. Why iPads? Instant on. Computers take a long time to startup and you lose instructional time.
    3. iPod Touch was a powerful device to start with.
    Below are Notes from colleague, Doretta Walker (NorthEast ISD) who was kind enough to share what jumped out at her during the presentations:

    MDM … Fort Bend ISD
    Use approach where not necessary to take corporate responsibility for BYOD
    Users should have autonomy to create new processes and deliverables on any device
    Choice oriented …
    Control oriented … Guarantee service level agreements and security only
    What is the technology vs what is the experience you want?
    Use both district and individual owned device
    Access to “appropriate” data and systems
    April 2011 MDM Gartner report … MDM comparison
    Sybase, good tech, airwatch, mobileiron.. Visionary and executer
    Fiberlink and zenprise … Excellent and outstanding rating as well
    Key component for their decision was the deployment for apps … Apps-only district?
    iAchieve Initiative … Boutiquet of apps and resources that align to district developed curriculum… Every science teacher (770) gets cart with mac, touch, and ipads… 1  to 1 at 8th, 5-7  is 2-1 and 2-4 are 3-1… 16K ipads … Project Cost is 13M
    Chose Airwatch MDM
    —————————————Eanes ISD. MDM project
    One year in
    Westake initiative for innovation … 1350 ipads starting … Now at 2700 … Plan 4000 by fall
    Not about controlling or managing but about  how to support
    They go home with kid
    …. Note JISD had contract for repair of ipads …..
    Bond request was general; it was not about number of devices and which device; it was about cost per student and Large innovative instruction challenges
    Acquisition logistics … Rup and insurance
    Aruba wireless network ramp up
    Look at apps as workbooks and hand them out … Kids keep them and we rebuy … Buy cards to do purchases
    Went casper suite because they are Mac district … $7 per device per year
    Bought Laser engraver .. Made code B110333- b is bond, 11 is year .. Bar code is name of device .. Used to determine deployment of apps
    Case ….. Corner protection, lightweight, desktop prop
    Kids pay 35 for 70% deductible … If they dont the kids are responsible for replacement … 295 replacement … Keep replacement units …
    Kids have ‘juice bar’ … Place to charge and get support before after school and during lunch
    Stats …..Less than 0.2% doa.4% lost or stolen … They helped Kid find and left it for them  To Go find1% warranty claim4% repair damage********* 20% internet usage up22% reduction in printing100% voluntary … They can bring own ipad …99%95% insurance purchased65-85% reported improved learning engagementLarge amount reduced stress levelLighter backpacks
    No new desktops … Still have labs … No carts as they want 1-1
    Barcode was BYO for kids devices; if kids ipad, the district still bought apps for those kids
    Do not expect to give kids ipad as they graduate
    Will continue to use Bond
    Hoping for four years life but budgeted for three

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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