Thursday, September 13, 2012

It'll Be Even Better When Everyone's Job Depends on Reliably Giving High Stakes Assessments on These Things

Bill Fitzgerald:

Over the last several weeks, as schools have returned to session, there have been a slew of discussions about how to best control the apps on iPads, how to provision student accounts (even though the App store appears to actively prevent mass account creation), how to prevent student work from being wiped out, replacement cycles, and other edge cases as personal devices get shoehorned into an institutional management process.

The stories have been pretty incredible - one school built a Filemaker database (which, even as I say it, feels like a contradiction in terms) to manage redemption codes for apps purchased through the Volume Purchasing Program, and then distributed through the Configurator. Using this custom built system, an app could be requested by a teacher, and it only required around an hour of an IT person's time to push the app to the iPad. One hour to install an app is what success looked like.

Other stories included the Volume Purchasing Program failing unpredictably and intermittently - some of the nicer things said about the Volume Purchasing Program included statements pointing out that you could generally get it to work if you only used Safari, and cleared your cache before every attempted use of the program. This type of flexibility exemplifies the ease of use that Apple is known for.

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