Next week (February 3-5) I have the privilege of attending the iPad Summit in San Diego. I have had the opportunity to attend all previous iPad Summits, which I live-blogged (you can see those posts here). In addition to live-blogging the event, I will also be presenting during the second session on Tuesday, February 4. If you are in attendance, I hope you will check out (and maybe live blog) my talk: “Retroactively Managing an iPad Program: Centralizing an iPad Program that Precedes Policy”
The iPad has been adopted faster than any other technological tool in education. Consequently, iPads have been adapted at different rates and manners in many schools. Administrators find themselves with an iPad program before they have developed an existing policy. Often times, these policies evolve sporadically and in different ways. For example, students may bring their own iPad as part of a formal or information BYOD program; faculty may use school funds or grant monies to purchase individual or classroom iPads; iPad carts are often purchased without full implementation processes; department chairs may designate iPad deployments for their subordinates – these are but a few options.
When I was hired at Ransom Everglades, I was inadvertently placed in charge of an existing iPad program that did not formally exist. It quickly became my job to develop and implement the means to catalogue, manage, write app purchasing processes, and formalize best practice policies of an iPad program after the fact.
I then navigated the good, bad, and ugly of the process of implementing an iPad program after dozens of iPads had been purchased for faculty, staff, and students. I’ve learned much from the achievements and shortcomings of my experiences, including how to develop effective best practices that tackle taxation and legal concerns as well as how to effectively address the apprehensions of administrators and staff when employing policy after a tradition of informal practice. During my presentation, I’ll also discuss how to execute policies that are flexible and adaptable enough to fit current and future needs of a school. In retroactively developing an effective iPad policy, it is necessary to focus not only on the ins and outs of management, but the concerns of school personnel, incorporate flexibility, and take into account current needs and practice.