When it comes to lessons learned, the Mansfield ISD ed-tech team said extending its deployment timeline would have made things a little smoother, as well as opening up time for more training.
Ensuring that bandwidth is adequate for software updates is essential, too, because students tend to clog up bandwidth if they all update to a new iOS version at once during school hours.
The district’s middle school teachers are next in line to receive iPads, and the ed-tech staff are working to deploy a global proxy that will ensure students always will be routed through their school’s server no matter where they are using their iPads. Offering continuous professional development, developing iBooks and iTunes U courses, and extending the program to elementary school teachers also are on tap.
The district aims to implement a plan to ensure 100-percent teacher participation, because some teachers are resistant to integrating the iPads into their teaching.
One way to achieve this, the ed-tech team said, is to create a low-stress implementation so that teachers are more accepting of the changes.
“Our expectation is that teachers will begin to use them in greater numbers next year, and it will be tied to their evaluation,” said Doug Brubaker, the district’s assistant superintendent of technology and information services.