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Establishing systems for maintenance and management of devices | An Enabling e-Learning event

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Started by Catriona Pene 25 Mar 2013 3:20pm () Replies (19)

Kia ora, Talofa and welcome to our latest Forum: Establishing systems for maintenance and management of devices.


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          Are any of these in your classroom?

Do you have access to:
  • Desktops?
  • Laptops?
  • A C.O.W? (computers on wheels)
  • Mobile devices? 
  • An assortment of all these? 
Do you feel you could be better utilising them to meet the learning needs of your students?

How do you currently ensure:

  • The best storage and organisation of the computers and devices in your room?
  • All students have access?
  • Systems are in place to ensure devices are kept ready to use and in good order?
  • You and your students get the most out of the equipment you have?


Join in our FORUM, introduce yourself and ask your questions or share your experiences, challenges, successes, tips and tricks. 

We would love to hear your practical solutions for booking, managing, powering and securing devices in classrooms, so that e-learning goals and aspirations can come to fruition.

This thread may also touch on systems for hardware (desktop, laptop, COWs, mobile devices). 


  • Jo Fothergill (View all users posts) 17 Apr 2013 3:10pm ()

    I'm the eLearning lead teacher at Raumati Beach Primary school. Last year we purchased 48 ipads. We fitted out a mini-charging centre in the back room behind my classroom and can charge all 48 in one go - we had this done by one of the local electricians. We use a google doc for booking the ipads in sets of 5 - teachers book them for all or parts of a day. I have a group of students trained up to run this system - they unlock the cupboard and distribute out the ipads in the morning and then collect them at the end of the day and put them back on charge - a system that seems to be working well (and which will have to work well for Term 2 while I'm away!).

    I used configurator to set up the ipads with the same apps - currently all free apps - but in Term 3 we'll look at some paid apps as well. 

  • Warren Hall (View all users posts) 12 Apr 2013 12:34am ()

    Hi Monika, when i was in a similar role I ended up having an informal policy that teachers should have tried resolving their issue themselves (googling counted as solving it themselves), and have asked one other person before they came to me. I found it allowed me to focus more on the big picture stuff and also that it reinforced that lots of people in a school might be able to help with IT issues.

  • Warren Hall (View all users posts) 12 Apr 2013 12:29am ()

    Hi Matthew, do you hand out the unique backgrounds to the iPads manually or do you use some software that automates the process for you?

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2013 6:48pm ()

    Hi all

    Cases, always, open, always on are particularly useful for Yr 1-4 though some schools use them right across. I like the strong foam ones that have wrap around handles which makes them very easy to carry - juniors 1, seniors 4-5!!  All switches and plugs accessible. Further information from me.

  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2013 4:42pm ()

    Yes, iPad covers are essential!  We currently love the M Edge Super Shell cases for both the iPad and the iPadMini.  We use these for all of our iPads in Years 0 - 3.  

    iPad Case

  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2013 4:38pm ()

    Hi Monika -

    On the Mac
    We use QuickTime to record the screen and mouse and capture audio on the Mac, and then normally use iMovie to clean up the movie a bit.  

    On the iPad
    When we want to capture what is happening on an iPad, we get quite technical, and have a MacPro with a Black Magic Intensity HDMI Capture card installed (sounds technical already eh!)  This means that we can connect the iPad to the Mac through an HDMI dongle, and record the screen (and the sound) from the iPad on the Mac, using an app called BoinxTV (which is seriously cool!)  These can then be put up onto our help blog or to our Teacher Admin blog at school.  

    The same thing can be done with the Reflector software I believe, although I've never actually tried this.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2013 9:56am ()

    Here's a great response from Nevyn (via MLE listserve) about clever ways to empower teachers - with technical solutions:

     For the last two years and a half years I've worked on the Manaiakalani project, working to provide a usable operating system on the devices, as well as a few other bits and pieces. This was made easier by the limited models of devices. The solution that we've been working with (and which seems to have worked fairly well), is to issue each of the teachers with a usb stick which allows THEM to do alot of the admin within the classroom. Whether that's a password reset, imaging a machine (3.5 minutes) etc.

    This has also enabled the users to have A LOT more control (given that they own their computers). Having a quick and easy fallback position is something that's not used enough. If you're waiting around for a technician (particularly in smaller schools where they're only booking technical help every 2 weeks or so) then something's very wrong. This is only really made possible by the cloud. 

    If IT support is an expense, and most IT people would rather be doing something else and most users feel that frustration from IT people and often get frustrated themselves as a result... then shouldn't we be looking at ways to reduce that expense, free up time to investigate and implement more sustainable solutions and reduce the frustration by having the users be more in control of their own systems? 

    Nevyn also adds,

    I would go just a little bit further and say, if your technician isn't working to make themselves redundant, they're probably doing their jobs wrong.

    What do you think? Is Nevyn onto something here? How important is the technical support in your school?

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 30 Mar 2013 8:12pm ()

    Josie Woon 2 minutes ago

    Hi I have recently shared what I have done with introducing iPads to my year 2/3 class.  I only have 2 and my personal one which I allow them to use but this still needs to be done in the right way.

    Teachers need time to get to know the device, play, download apps and figure out how this piece of technology will assit their students rather than become a busy station.

    All my class were told exactly how much it all cost and this has helped to show them the respect t and care they need to show when they use them this includes being taught how to open and shut them correctly and transport them around the school, how to hold them for photos and videoing.

    How will you update applications and charge them? for me I do this at home which I can with so few I charge them overnight and update them as soon as I get home using my own wifi which I have opted to do.  This allows me to download new apps and then load them onto each device in my own time.

    Covers can be brought off trade me and I got the ones that enable the iPad to be horizontal or vertical while they are being used.  A class chart was done for the children to list expectations of them while using the device and work I expect produced and how to care for them.  In over a year I have not had one dropped or mis-treated.

    I go to the app sharing thread on here and often read reviews and load these apps to have a go, a lot of websites review and these reviews are usually spot on making sure that the reviewer has the same goal as you.

    Creation with the iPad needs to be the main goal so that students dont get the wrong idea and only see it for gaming.

    All these have been implemented over the last year and is going well with a new lot of students this year.  Creation is my focus and we try and load this to our class blog weekly.

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 30 Mar 2013 8:11pm ()

    Brian Hutching 5 days ago

    At Linwood College we have two classes which have one to one iPads for students. We began this initiative last year. The initial class of 25 were allocated an iPad each. We numbered the iPads but only this year have we got the serial numbers of each iPad and pinned these numbers to students. We were donated a metal storage unit for the iPads. This has 6 cupboards and on the top of the unit there is a fan to draw out any warm air which results when we recharge the iPads. There are electrical points in each cupboard and there is the ability to charge up a number of iPads in the units. If an iPad needs recharging during a lesson we have some multi boxes on hand to recharge.

    We purchased iPad covers for the tablets and these have proven valuable in protecting them. The iPads are very robust and we have only had one accidental drop of an iPad which has resulted in a cracked screen.

    This year another Year 9 Digital class was formed and we have gone about setting it up just like the first one.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 27 Mar 2013 10:16pm ()

    We have set up a Google Doc with passwords that the school or classes have. It's title makes it clear the last date it was updated. It contains passwords for web 2.0 accounts, blogs, and anything else that's not critical and that any teacher can know. There is a similar document with passwords such as VPP and iTunes details, school website details that are for some personnel only.

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e-Learning: Technologies

e-Learning: Technologies

Where we explore how different technologies can support learning.