After the iPad rollout on Wednesday and Thursday, we invited Cubic Computing- the vendor that we purchased the iPads from, to provide guidance on iPad use. The hope for this session was to get our 5 apps downloaded and working on the iPads.
Until the afternoon of the training, we were still hoping for a volume purchase option for our Apps and still had not gained the help needed from our Apple representatives. This didn’t happen. There is not volume purchasing in India, and you cannot buy apps in one store and gift to another store. Most of Friday was used to determine all of this.
On Friday afternoon, our session did not go as planned. It was fun and interesting, but focused on Mac and Apple products, without the hands on learning that teachers were most interested in. The facilitator was not comfortable with questions and didn’t respond well to the enthusiastic questions of our staff. As we have all heard a million times, teachers do not always make the best students. Each teacher had already generated a lot of questions and was eager to move on in their iPad discovery. We were spirited and enthusiastic. We scared our workshop leader.
We did get a great introduction into iBooks and its capabilities. We did get a plan to distribute the apps over the weekend. We gathered all staff Apple IDs, so that we could gift their purchases to the correct account. Mailing the gifts to their school email wouldn’t work, as we encouraged everyone to use their private emails for their Apple IDs. In hindsight, it would have been easier to have all teachers with their school email address as their Apple ID, but then again some staff members already have iTunes accounts and just want to keep on using that.
During the weekend, Prakash and I will get teachers gifted with the 5 Apps. iTunes gifting doesn’t allow you to gift multiple apps at once, but you can gift the same app to many people at once. Some teachers will purchase their apps using their own credit cards, as all gifts must be purchased and used in the store that they were purchased in. We have credit cards to gift from the India store and the Canada store, but not to other countries… so they will self-purchase.
Lessons learned: Keep planning ahead, the rollout was planned meticulously, but this offer of guidance was last minute, and therefore felt last minute.
We learned a lot about creating Apple IDS (without credit cards), and about the purchasing and gifting of Apps. We wished we had learning this just a bit earlier.
But not to worry, we have smaller group training on Monday with Education Representatives from Apple, so for three hours on Monday in groups of 15-20, we will gain the inspirations and insight to help us bring our iPads into our classrooms…