iPad Rollout tips

Sunday, February 26, 2012

MACE presentation Links and Notes

I wanted to make it easy to find links that I refer to in my upcoming MACE presentation. I've really enjoyed helping schools deploy iPads, but it does require everyone to Manage Different!

One of the first stops for anyone considering an iPad deployment is Apples excellent iOS 5 Education Deployment Guide.  There are really good recommendations and resources to be found there.

Depending on how you deploy - for instance if you want the school to buy apps for users - getting enrolled in Apples VPP or Volume Purchasing Program is something to get done well ahead of distribution.

You will almost certainly want to use some sort of management on your devices.  The simplest is Apples iPhone Configuration Utility or IPCU.  There are Windows and Mac versions of this software.

A more robust and extensible management method is Lion Server.  A Mac Mini with Lion Server works well for smaller deployments.

I found this book to be a valuable resource to use in setting up your Lion server to manage your iOS devices.  Managing iOS Devices with Lion Server .  The link goes to Amazon's page on the book.

If you are going larger scale, even on a smaller scale if you can afford it,  you will most certainly want a Mobile Device Management (MDM) server.  Casper by JAMF is probably the most popular of this genre.  This web page has a nice comparison of the many MDM systems available.

I stress heavily the importance of an excellent, well planned wireless network when you deploy iOS devices.  There are many resources, but this is a complicated field - the building structure, existing wireless devices, selected frequencies and interference all play a part.  It may be wise to have a survey done and find a contractor who specializes in wireless networks.