iPads are here!

The wait is finally over for Coal Ridge and Westview Middle school students! After months of planning and preparation, both schools held their iPad roll out nights last week! Here’s what it took to make that happen:

Part 1: Prepare iPads

IMG_0073Even before those evenings, the DTS team was hard at work making ready. 1500 iPads had to be unboxed, tagged, configured, placed in cases, and re-packed for delivery. It truly took the entire DTS village (including several subs who joined in the setup) to get so many devices prepared. We documented the steps for “case-ification” as well as the settings and processes for enrolling the iPads into our MDM for future rollouts.

Some things we learned:

  • The QR codes were the brilliant idea of Erik to find a way to scan and view the asset tag information without removing the case. We’re hoping it’ll make it easier for future deployments, but we learned that placement is really important.
  • It’s much more fun to put on 1500 cases and enroll in MDM while listening to music!
  • Once iPads are in their case, everyone’s iPad looks exactly the same…local company Sticker Giant created stickers for the back of student iPads that fit the back of the Griffin case perfectly so students have a place to write their name:
  • Because we want these devices to be useful to parents as well as students, we included a web clip on each device to many of our parent resources.

Part 2: Prepare for roll out nights

Our two readiness schools planned their parent nights similarly, with about 1/3 of their schools’ population receiving their iPad each night. Westview divided students into groups by last name while Coal Ridge invited a different grade level each night.  Both schools used a station model of deployment, where parents and students together walked through several stations to checkout and set up their device. Both schools used a “passport” model to help parents make sure they hit all the required stations:

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 8.37.45 PM

One big difference between the two models was that Westview had every parent start by attending a brief presentation to review highlights of the program – for their school, it was a good way to ensure parents who may have missed the first informational meetings heard the most important points in person.

We found that it took about 30-45 minutes for each family to walk through the process from start to finish – not bad at all and the feedback we’ve received from an initial survey is pretty positive, with 70% saying the experience was excellent.

IMG_2496Lessons we learned:

  • Using students to help man many of the stations was a positive experience for the students and for the parents as it showed their commitment to making this a success.
  • We had initially planned for the restrictions station to be an optional stop for parents. Moving forward, we’re thinking this is a critical stop as it gave us a chance to have a conversation about setting limits at home, answering questions about setting restrictions (while we’ve set some restrictions during setup, we’re encouraging parents to set others as they feel are needed) and pointing parents to the online resources we’ve gathered for them.
  • Signage and thinking about flow through the room(s) is important!

Step 3: Let the learning begin!

We’re now 3 days into the iPad 1:1 at these two schools, so I’ll be sharing more about what we see. Both schools have planned events and activities across their curriculum to help students and teacher explore this new tool and its potential for learning. I can’t wait to see what’s next!


5 thoughts on “iPads are here!

  1. I was at Westview one night as a parent and one night as a volunteer. The roll-out was super efficient and the stations run by students were excellent. Thank you to all who worked so hard behind the scenes to make it an excellent start to the 1:1 implementation.

  2. The process of getting the iPads went very smoothly! I expected it to take longer than it did so I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you DTS and the staff of Coal Ridge for being patient, helpful, and enthusiastic about everything!

  3. This is so incredibly organized and helpful to parents; other districts I’ve been with have rolled out tech to families with little to no guidance, and see less meaningful exchanges as a result. I can’t imagine how much work and time this has taken, and am grateful this program has your leadership!

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