Best way to manage 100 iPads? Give them to 100 managers #edchat #connectedca

We’re wrapping up a very successful iPad pilot program with two Grade 3 classes at Mulgrave School. The experience has given us the confidence to go 1:1 with the device for Grade 3 through 6 next year. That will put a little over 300 iPads in our junior school, including staff devices. We expect to expand that as soon as possible to upper grades.

The student experience has been all-positive. Read about that in the student survey here.

From the IT perspective we’ve learned a valuable lesson that has given us the confidence to expand our iPad program (an begin implementation of our BYOD program) a year ahead of schedule.

The best way to manage 10 or a hundred or a thousand iPads is to let 10 a hundred or a thousand people be managers.

The IT department set up the iPads on the wireless at the start of the year and that’s pretty much been the extent of the required support. We had a brief honeymoon where we sorted out our expectations for the studnets, but since then we’ve had–as fas as I know–no breakages, no one coming to class with an uncharged device, no one coming to class missing a critical app. Remember these are Grade 3 students!

Pedagocially, it doesn’t make sense to manage the device centrally: the iPad is a personal device and a mobile device and placing them in carts just kills that.

Our expereince tells me there is no practical need to manage it centrally either.

Update June 12, 2012: I’ve just been told that we have in fact lost 3 iPads to failure/damage over the course of the year. Two were replaced by Apple, no questions asked, one was broken by a student. The classroom teacher says this posed little interruption. The issues never hit the IT department.


  1. Reply
    noreenechen June 12, 2012

    I sooooo agree! And was really flad when my district didn’t have nearly the “lockdown” kind of proceedures as with laptops. Grreat tools!

  2. Reply
    joe September 5, 2012

    I am interested to know how you manage the purchasing of apps. It sounds like parents would have to do that. What agreements do you have about the amount they would be expected to spend each term or year?Hope your expansion plans go well :)

  3. Reply
    Nan November 30, 2012

    We have so many questions that we’re hoping you can answer. How did you set up the Apple ID? Did you associate a credit card with that or did parents have to do that and if they did, how did you manage to get everyone to that? And if you only used free apps, how did you configure the accounts? Did teachers tell students what apps to download and the kids did it all? There had to be some means of managing these…so can you be more specific? Thanks!

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