Monday, 10 September 2012

All Things Apple: An Investment for 21 Century Teaching & Learning

As an investment for 21st century teaching and learning Spring Cottage Primary School has invested in a MacBook Pro, 16 16GB iPad 2s in Key Stage 1, 16 16GB iPad 2s in Key Stage 2, 63 iPod touches for children in Year 6, Apple TV and new projectors in each classroom and a managed wireless system.

MacBook Pro

The devices (iPods & iPads) are managed by the Macbook, through iTunes (I'll cover how the iPads were set up in my next blog post). The Macbook has also been used in managing devices to sync content onto 1 iPad, which had been created on multiple iPads via iPhoto. You can read about it in a previous post 'Working with iPads to Create a School Leavers' Assembly.'

iPads in Key Stage 1 & 2

To give the iPads added protection a heavy duty case was needed in Key Stage 1, therefore each iPads has been fitted with an OtterBox Defender Case.

'This rugged case seals the iPad ports, includes a built-in screen protector and offers a hard front cover that doubles as a stand. The front cover acts as a stand for typing in landscape mode, watching movies or holding the iPad in portrait mode, covering all the angles. Thanks to this versatility, there’s no need to switch between cases as you move throughout your day.'

The OtterBox Case holds the iPad in place 

The OtterBox Defender Case
In key Stage 2, a less robust case was needed, so we opted for the Targus Click-In Case and Stand.

'For those who want a slim case that delivers good protection, the Click-In™ has you covered. Sleek, slim and lightweight, Click-In™ offers all-round protection from scratches, bumps, and unexpected mishaps, but its form-fitting design retains a low-profile look.'

Targus Click-In Case and Stand
The iPads in both Key Stages will be stored and charged using KISsync iPad Charge and sync case. Each charging/syncing case has been adapted to fit each of the different styles of case for the iPads. In Key Stage 1, 16 iPads will be shared between 7 classes including the nursery and in Key Stage 2, 16 iPads will be shared between 8 classes. Therefore we needed a case that could transport the iPads easily between classes.

'A versatile, transportable, tough solution for the charging and synchronising of multiple iPads. In this case 16 iPads can be charged and synchronised simultaneously.
- Accepts all generations of iPad with or without cases.
- Connection for charging and synchronising is made by manual insertion of the Apple cable into the iPad.
- Connect the case to the mains power 110v to 240v supply and, using the supplied standard USB 2.0. A male to B cable, connect your Macbook to the case. Use iTunes to start synchronising – it’s that simple!
The KISsync case in which the system is built is waterproof and airtight to give maximum protection. It is on wheels and has an extendable handle to facilitate moving from location to location with ease.'

KISsync iPad Charge & Sync Case

iPod Touches in Year 6

In Year 6 there is one iPod for each child. The 63 iPods will be charged and synced with 2 x PARASYNC Multiple iPod Charge and Sync Docks.

'Charge and synchronize content to as many as 20 iPod and iPhone devices from a single iTunes library. This durable, attractive and lightweight docking solution makes managing and sharing large quantities of devices easier than ever.'

PARASYNC Dock for iPod Touches

Apple TV & Epson Powerlite X12

Apple TV has been installed in each class along with a new projector, from Year 1 through to Year 6 (2 classes per Year group). To achieve this the school's projectors needed to be updated so that Apple TV could be connected via a HDMI cable. The school did have the option of using VGA to HDMI adapters but bulbs were beginning to fade and need replacing and 4 projectors in the school had already been replaced because they no longer worked. So every classroom was also installed with a new Epson Powerlite X12 projectors and connected to Apple TV via a HDMI cable.

The Epson Powerlite X12

Apple TV

Managed Wireless System

The school now has a managed wireless system, which will be robust enough to cope with the number of devices we plan to use in school. More details can be found in a previous blog post 'iPad Journey' Will you Wireless System Cope?

'The Meraki system 'provides a solution to the burden that handheld technology can have on a wireless system and uses the newest standard in wireless technology - 802.11n. This system was design to improve on the 802.11g in the amount of bandwidth supported by utilising multiple wireless signals instead of just one.'

Meraki Cloud Managed Wireless


  1. Can I ask where you bought the IPads?
    How future-proof do you think they are? (I've had my Ipod touch for 3 years and it is still top notch), so???
    Cheers, I am enjoying your blog and it is tempting me even more to serioulsy consider IPads. Even to the extent that I am going on an Apple seminar where they'll hopefully explain how theycan be used.

  2. This blog has been a fantastic help in helping us at Knutsford School Watford to getting our Govenors to agree and then us sorting out our iPads. The iPads arrived today!! Can I ask if the iPads fit in the sync.charge case in the otterbox cases?

    Thanks for all your help!

    Jon Moonie