Preparing Your School for an iPad Implementation

Sam Gliksman has some useful tips and tricks if you’re planning an iPad deployment. Get the full deal here.

Planning is imperative for any technology initiative – iPad or otherwise. You need to ensure that you clearly understand and communicate how the technology integrates with your overall pedagogical objectives. Too many institutions purchase technology and then search for ways to utilize it … or leave it collecting dust on the shelf.

Campus Infrastructure Considerations

  • Signal Strength: If you’re using wifi iPads then you’ll need a strong and reliable connection to the web. That relies on two things:
    • Solid incoming bandwidth.
      • Have you thoroughly tested the speed of your internet connection at different times of the day? (a website such as speedtest.net will help test your connection speed)
      • Can teachers connect reliably using a wired connection? If the wired connection isn’t fast and reliable then your wireless network definitely won’t be either.
    • Wireless signal and distribution:
      • Do you have the wireless infrastructure to support a successful implementation? Are you using industrial strength hardware or patching together a cheaper solution with more home oriented access points and hardware?
      • Is the signal being distributed evenly and reliably to different parts of the campus?
      • Have you tested for any dead spots in classes or around campus? Has anyone walked around campus and conducted a thorough signal test?
      • Can you support a large volume of devices connecting at the same time? This is critical. Just because one device can connect with adequate speed doesn’t ensure that a classroom full of devices will be able to connect.

Planning needs to consider both infrastructure needs and the educational applications of the new technology. Without the proper preparation, technology initiatives are liable to become expensive failures.

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