Creating a smooth borrowing procedure for iPADS
Submitted by Deborah Armstrong on Thursday, November 29, 2012.
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I work for disabled student services at a large college. After lobbying hard to discourage the department from buying inaccessible Kindles for students to borrow, I need to now recommend a tablet that's accessible for everyone. My pick, of course is the iPAD, but I'm the resident tech, so I'll be responsible for both preparing the devices for new borrowers, and wiping them after the loan period expires. With iDevices being so personal tied to an iTunes library, Apple ID and other accounts, I need advice on how to smoothly manage this process, especially as I'm a voiceover user. How have other institutions handled this and have any of you blind users been in charge of the process before?
Will you only be using one or multiple iTunes accounts?
Whether to use a single or multiple account is one of the many questions I have. I'll want to put some paid apps on the devices, but I want them to get free apps they need easily. On the other hand, they cannot have access to our school passwords. I will be putting textbooks and other study materials on the devices, but that will betailored for each student of course. My administrators aren't computer savvy and expect an iDevice to behave like a simple flash drive, which, unfortunately, it doesn't. I'll have to deal with the technical complications while simultaneously insulating others from these limitations. I'm expecting low-vision people to use it like a mini-magnifier with camera, physically limited people to work withvoice dictation, for blind people to read their textbooks in iBooks and for a variety of people with disparate disabilities to access dictionaries, textbooks and classroom handouts with the device. And of course they'll want to take notes using video, audio and/or typing text in to a note-taking app appropriate for their needs. My students have learning and cognitive challenges, visual and hearing disabilities while some of them simplly have back problems and cannot carry heavy books around! I cannot believe I'm the first person to try to come up with a borrowing procedure. How do libraries, or families with pre-teens handle this? It should be simple, but iDevices aren't going to be as easy to loan as a hand-held magnifier or a Victor Reader Stream! On the other hand, if I can make this work, my boss will stop trying to buy inaccessible Kindles!
iPad definitely best choice. I'd even recommend new iPad mini , due to the easier size for a blind person to navigate. When fresh out of box, voice over is activated. By clicking home button 3 times you deactivate it. To turn it back on, 3 home button clicks again. If they will all be using own iTunes account and Apple I.D., restoring iPad is just as easy. You go into settings, press the general tab. Scroll to bottom of page, press reset tab..the second option is erase all content and settings. This restores the iPad as if fresh out of box with voice over activated. Hope this helps.
I haven't experimented with them much myself, but you can do things like restrict iTunes purchases, etc. Also, for your students with learning disabilities, try using Guided Access. I hope this helps and feel free to ask me if you need me to go into it in more detail.
Since you will want special apps in some cases. You would be better off contacting Apple education..you get better app pricing for multiple devices.i would tell you to call the special accessibility number 877-204-3930,they could get you to best person.
Although my expertise in the educational setting aren't Numerous, I am a college student who uses an iPhone and other devices in order to complete work successfully. The implementation of the iPad in a college setting is a noteworthy idea, particularly because it has a number of features That can be accessed by Everyone. I would also recommend that you contact Apple to ask them about whether you should create one account or if each student should have his Or her individual account. I'm hoping that they can be of assistance and alleviate any concerns that you may have about this decision. Equipping each Device with a couple of useful applications can also Be beneficial, And you will not have to fret over The Repetitive installations and Deletions of applications at the end of the semester. Just as computers are furnished with a set of applications when they are first purchased, you can install apps Ranging from iBooks, Learning Ally, and The recently accessible Nook. (The nook and Learning Ally seems to be Relative to countries such as the United States, therefore You may need to see if your Country supports the Nook If you were Outside the US.) Aside from iBooks, students Who are blind or Have other learning disabilities May be able to use the Learning Ally app Or an application called Read2Go. The first app is freely available, but the second one costs $20 in the App Store. Each service requires registration, but when registration has been completed, the applications can be used without difficulty. Another service called course Smart is available, but the accessibility of the app is unfortunately nonexistent. However, the books can be read with Safari, so there is a bit of a solution. If you would like more information about what I described, please don't hesitate to comment. I hope I have been of some help to you. Before I finish, though, I would like to go back to the question of accounts: You might be able to use the cloud with multiple devices. Again, I would suggest that you contact the company in order to obtain More invaluable information. All Apple products are wonderful in that they are accessible for everyone. The iPad, when first used, can be set up with VoiceOver by going to settings, general, accessibility, and VoiceOver. All of the other settings for accessibility are conveniently in one area, which makes it great. Best of luck with everything.
It seems that iCloud would help you put accounts in order, particularly at the start if the students have their own apple accounts, apps, etc. Restoring goes very quick, as the device waits until all settings are up, and then simply redownloads the apps stored in iCloud automatically.
I appreciate all the warm and thoughtful replies. I guess I'll have to speak with Apple education. iCloud would be the best way of course, if it will sync without needing a password, but I think it will. All the relevant apps, from Read To Go to Voice dictation I've tried myself using my own iDevices. But I don't have to worry on my device about security, because it's my account, and nobody else uses it. Also I'm confused a bit about the difference between syncing with an apple ID and syncing with an iTunes library. One thing I discovered, with my own device was that even if I kept my iTunes media and the library database on an external drive, that iTunes would refuse to sync with more than one computer, even though I always have used only a single Apple ID. This made me concerned that a device which was repeatedly erased and set up again would run in to unforseen trouble that I was unaware of. I really wish Apple was a bit less restrictive.