Over the past four weeks a number of staff have been completing a trial of the new Apple iPads for the Catholic Education Office. Initially we felt there was little the iPads could offer however as the days went by we were able to see more and more the great potential they have for the classroom.
Our chief technical support officer, Mr Duong has been doing a lot of exploring of the iPad and has made a number of discoveries. He has been able to connect the devices to the network and from there access all relevant folders and documents needed. He can save to the network as well as retrieve documents. He can also print from the iPad. Basically he has been able to do just about all the things we can do with the MacBook by finding apps that expand the capabilities of the iPad.
The only issues we have had have been around some apps not working behind the proxy settings of the Catholic Education Office. We have also not been able to get around the Flash issue which has meant that Scootle and HotMaths cannot be accessed. There is a way around this issue and that is to ‘jailbreak’ the iPad. This has recently been deemed legal by the US Courts however this is not a long term solution to the problem.
We have a week of the trial to go before the machines get passed on to the staff of OLSH Kensington. At this stage as much as we think there is great potential for their use in the classroom they are not quite ready for us. (Unless the Flash problem is sorted quickly) It would be best to wait for the next generation machines where some of the issues may be sorted.
This trial has come about as a result of the upcoming ‘leasing program’ being implemented in CEO schools in the Sydney Archdiocese in 2011.