A lot of the hard work associated with our 1:1 trial happened before the devices even arrived in the school. We spent hours and hours trying to think about everything that could go wrong and planning for it. What made the project so exciting and frightening was that we couldn’t find a comparable project running in an authority secondary and we had no idea how things would work out. Our planning group was a mix of educationalists and geeks, which turned out to be ideal as the introduction of tablet computing brought both technical and social challenges within the school community.
There were two distinct schools of thought on how to take the project forward. One involved technical solutions revolving around power and control. The other option was to trust the pupils to look after the iPads and not to misuse them. As it happened, we were forced to take the middle ground as we discovered that with Apple’s iPads the is just so much you can do to control them centrally. This was certainly the case before new software tools like Ciscos Meraki started to arrive in the market a year ago. Our rational became to use technical control solutions wherever we could and, if that were not practical, to legislate in the Acceptable Use Policy.
In the background section of this site we talk about how we planned and set up the project focusing mainly on the social side with technical information coming in its own section.