Archive for Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Progress made on problems plaguing Baldwin High School iPad connectivity

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

Baldwin USD 348 Board of Education

September 18, 2013

Baldwin school district officials hope that all the glitches plaguing the Baldwin High School iPad rollout have been solved.

The district introduced its iPad initiative at the start of school in August with the distribution of 445 of the devices to the high school’s student body. From the start, the iPads experienced problems connecting to the school’s Wi-Fi system.

District Technology Director Steve Hemphill said Monday that engineers with the firm that manufactures the school’s wireless access points and the company that installed them determined that updated software downloaded before the start of school was faulty. The older software, which had always worked fine, was re-installed Sept. 11 to address the problem.

Before the effectiveness of that fix could be assessed with the return of students the next morning, the school’s fiber network went down, Hemphill said. That problem was traced Monday to squirrels chewing through the line near the primary center. It was repaired but not before students left for the day.

Superintendent Paul Dorathy said Tuesday afternoon that the iPads seemed to bee working as designed at the high school. On Tuesday morning, he witnessed a student demonstrate an interactive e-textbook on an iPad and another download a class schedule, he said.

“Everything with the iPads seems to be working as it should,” he said.

Meanwhile, My Big Campus, the social media platform that allows teachers to post lesson plans, schedules and tests while allowing students to turn in assignments, take test and perform other classroom requirements, continues to experience its own problems, Hemphill said. Some of those problems are related to the platform’s growth since last spring, but the company was searching for solutions to other concerns, he said.

In a report Monday to the Baldwin school board, Baldwin High School Principal Rob McKim said the parents of 25 students chose not to have their children bring the iPads home at night. Those students check iPads out in the morning at the school’s library and return them before leaving the building, he said.

Although the Wi-Fi connectivity problems have prevented teachers and students from using the iPads as planned, he has seen improvement in time management and student-teacher communication, McKim said. The iPads allow students to know what their grades are day-to-day and teachers to communicate directly with students with emails, he said.

Comments

Stacy Napier 7 months ago

This has been a boondoggle from the start. And we figured out the problem at the parent meeting. Steve Hemphill introduced himself and said he had been with the district since something like 1978. Then he proceeds to say that he hasn't mastered everything on the Ipad yet.

I am sure my 70 year old mother could do as good a job leading the IT dept. She has mastered most of Windows 8. Really and this guy is leading the IT dept?

Then they said they were going to push out the apps that they had purchased after students had their Ipads. Now take 445 computers connect them to one network wifi router at the same time and try to have them download software all at one time. Are you kidding me. Now I realize that I don't know what they are using and there are accesses points that can handle this bandwidth but given that it USD348 and the cost they would be I would say the accesses points they have are good for about 12 computers and that is it. They already had to touch each Ipad when they got it buy putting in their admin connection ect. Why wouldn't you just put on the apps at the same time.

Lastly they have not blocked any apps. Children can download and buy any app they want. So now you have every student in school who is connected to the internet while setting in class. What do you think most of they are doing? They ban cell phones in class but now every student has an iChat device. Or an Twitter device ect. even if they didn't have a smart phone to begin with.

And the squirrel issue? If it's near the primary center why would a fiber optic cable be anywhere except underground? And my dog ate my homework.

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Torch 7 months ago

This idea is going to end up costing WAY more than they think it will.

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Stacy Napier 7 months ago

I am all about technology. We have an entire home network but Ipad is a waste. My child had to use my Laptop tonight to type a paper because the school uses google drive for papers but the Ipad doesn't work with google drive.

Complete waste of money and it's time for the IT guy to retire. Apple is not used in any large scale business or government and is way overpriced. Now it doesn't work like they wanted it to. How about being a good steward of our tax dollars.

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DrWho 6 months, 3 weeks ago

This is just the beginning--

New problems surface in L.A. Unified's iPad program

Hacking by students and missing iPads are only part of the problem. Did anyone ask if the teaching software is any good?

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0929-lopez-ipad-20130929,0,2398142.column

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