iPads in Education

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We're getting a shipment of over 40 iPads at our school and we're looking to sync them all.  The Bretford cart seems to sync only up to 30 iPads.  Anyone hear of any other products we could use?

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In a quick look I found Datamation Systems take on iPad Carts. They seem to offer a 40 unit version. There is also a 49-unit hub thing you could use to help build your own custom cart.

 

I really hope iOS 5 and it's wireless sync helps address this kind of mass sync because while trying to get a single classroom syncing is one thing, getting a whole grade level or school is quite another. There is only so much USB2.0 or even 3.0 can take with simulations device traffic.

I don't expect iOS 5 to change that situation much. In order to complete a wireless sync the user accounts would need to have permissions set to allow install and updates of apps - not an option that many schools allow in student settings.

Oof. I really need to get a hold of an Apple rep for a few hours and yack his or her ear off. Is there a possibility of doing some remote fiddling with management profiles? Push a Profile modification at night that allows App installs, then Push the locked down profile afterward? Unfortunately I'm not a developer and can't mess around with iOS 5 ahead of time. Guess it depends on how autonomous the WiFi sync is. If it will self run without user interaction at the iPad, and you can do that kind of remote profile pushes/modification, then I can conceptually see some scripted actions possible at the admin/sync computer.

 

I come back to it once again. Apple really needs better admin tools and management systems for these things.

Sam Gliksman said:

I don't expect iOS 5 to change that situation much. In order to complete a wireless sync the user accounts would need to have permissions set to allow install and updates of apps - not an option that you're likely to allow students in a school setting.

Dear Friends,

The Datamation 49 USB sync system will sync up to 49 iPads simultaneously. The product, at this time, is in a "raw stage". That is, two components: a power supply and a 49 USB hub. I would only reccommend it being used by an experienced tech expert. Datamation is working on a more elegant packaging solution.

(Please note this unit will retail for around $1500.00. Check with a couple of dealers, like myself...we always need to make a sale.)

The DS Sync 49 can also sync and charge 49 iPods and possibly be used to sync mp3 players as well.

By the end of September, Ergotron will have a 16/32/48 ipad sync/charge/ store solution ready to ship.

The Ergotron 48 iPad unit will retail around $3,000.00.

 

Any large deployment, >100 ipads, will likely require multiple syncing stations. These additional costs should be considered in the initial plans.

John J Caprice

Hello,

I too am trying to navigate the best way to sync multiple iPads (15 to 40) for classroom use. Any advice from someone who has already discovered the dead ends to this process will be greatly appreciated. We are hoping to make a PC work for syncing to save our budget for the purchase of more devices. Do I need to abandon that road now and just purchase the MacBooks? If so, will the Mac notebooks work for syncing? We do have a brettford cart.

The end goal is to have a classroom syncing system "figured out" soon, so we can start a pilot iPad project in one of our schools. Some of our teachers will only receive 15 iPads, while others will receive up to 40. So can we use another means of syncing/charging for the lesser number of devices (other than the cart)?

Is it worth looking for a cheaper route to classroom implemetation, or best to order and use the Apple products?

Thanks,

Kenny Mohar

In my experience 5 itouches and 1 ipad.. (stop laughing.. LOL) they were more than helpful for me to get them all sync on Itunes and loaded.. Just call APPLE~



Jeremy Dorn said:

Oof. I really need to get a hold of an Apple rep for a few hours and yack his or her ear off. Is there a possibility of doing some remote fiddling with management profiles? Push a Profile modification at night that allows App installs, then Push the locked down profile afterward? Unfortunately I'm not a developer and can't mess around with iOS 5 ahead of time. Guess it depends on how autonomous the WiFi sync is. If it will self run without user interaction at the iPad, and you can do that kind of remote profile pushes/modification, then I can conceptually see some scripted actions possible at the admin/sync computer.

 

I come back to it once again. Apple really needs better admin tools and management systems for these things.

Sam Gliksman said:

I don't expect iOS 5 to change that situation much. In order to complete a wireless sync the user accounts would need to have permissions set to allow install and updates of apps - not an option that you're likely to allow students in a school setting.

Dear Teachers,

As of today, there are only two companies making sync and charge systems that are available. The Bretford models are only available from Apple. They have a 30 unit cart and a 10 unit tabletop unit.

Datamation offers a few solutions: A Netsafe IPCS: Sync and charge cabinet for 16 iPads, a Mini 32 IPCS cart - will sync and charge 32 ipads, the DS-IPCS module- portable sync and charge for 16 ipads, and a sync only 40 USB module.

 

After September, there will be a few new introductions. Ergotron will have ipad sync and charge in 16/32/48 capacity in cabinets and carts.

Parat Solutions will have a 10 ipad sync and charge desktop unit.

LockNCharge will have a 32 iPad sync and charge cart and a sync and charge portable for 16 iPads.

Another company is also testing their prototypes in cabinet and cart formats. I cannot reveal their plans at this time.

The USB circut boards comprise the majority of the cost for all the available products. These are high quality boards, they must be able to handle 2 AMPS at each USB connection. (common USB hubs are rated for 0.125ma up to 0.5ma, add too much power and they will burn out)

That's all there is as of August 2011.

John J Caprice / Visualedtech

I have seen the Ergottron iPad cart. It is very light, flimsy, all plastic construction and not secure. This is company that normally produces excellent products. Not this time. Big disappointment. The LOCKnCHARGE cart is built by a company is Australia and the price tag was in excess of $3K (probably due to excessive freight costs). I'd recommend the line of Datamation iPad/iPod solutions.

I'd echo John's comments above. We are using the Datamation 49 USB hub solution. It looks like it's being held together by rubber bands but it actually works pretty efficiently.

Dear Adam,

I agree with your opinions. The Ergotron is plastic and the doors do not swing out of the way. I expect, as a dealer, to have quality related issues after a short time. The overall design is positive though. I'd like to see a stronger, more secure construction.

The LocknCharge unit is hampered by the high price point. I do not expect that they will sell very well in the US.

Datamtion is a US company that manufacturers in the US. They are good and honest people. I am always confident in promoting and selling their iPad solutions.

The Spectrum iPad cart implies a syncing capability, but after carefully reviewing their literature and examining their posted photos, I am not convinced. The USB distribution appears to be constructed with a series of USB hubs each having 4 ports. This may work, but I am not confident that it will handle syncing of 40 ipads.

In the coming months, there will be a couple of new iPad store/ charge / sync solutions, one from another US manufacturer. I am looking forward to their introduction. I have viewed their rough prototype. It will provide a compact and secure solution for iPads and all eReaders.

Overall this is an exciting (to me) and evoling market. I am closely following all manufacturers and product development.

John J Caprice, Visualedtech

 

Dear Sam,

I've discussed this issue with Datamation, urging them to construct a more elegant solution.

They are working on it. I'll call them again.....just to be a pest.

JJC

Sam Gliksman said:

I'd echo John's comments above. We are using the Datamation 49 USB hub solution. It looks like it's being held together by rubber bands but it actually works pretty efficiently.

I was speaking with Anthro about heir new line of iPad carts and cabinets. I asked them why they did not offer a syncing solution. The answer was simple. It is no longer needed with the new iPad software release.

Here's a link to an Oregon School District's WIKI that is using a wireless sync to handle up to 80 ipads at one time.

http://wiki.canby.k12.or.us/groups/ipodusergroup/

This capability will provide schools many more economical choices for storage and charging.

The new Anthro carts and cabinets are functional and stylish, and are reasonably priced.

I have not seen them in person, but I was so impressed with them, that I became an authorized vendor.

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