iPads are Here! Setup, syncing and storage

After months of waiting and hoping I finally got my iPads!
Through a district “model technology classroom” grant, I received 15 iPads and a set of ActivExpressions (more about those later) to add to my existing collection of tech stuff. Most of my weekend was spent getting them set up, and there’s a lot to it, so I’ll share as much as I can in words and pics (with my new camera, yay!!!)

I took the advice of many iPad teachers on the internet and created custom numbered wallpapers for each unit. I left a lot of empty space at the edges–this is to allow the screen art to be visible in landscape and portrait mode:

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I found an iPad wallpaper template online that I brought into Photoshop to make sure nothing was cut off. Here it is–feel free to use it how you wish!

Syncing was good and bad–good because iOS 5 allows wireless syncing, but bad because I still had to plug each iPad in for initial setup and to update them to iOS 5. Please don’t try to set up more than five iPads by yourself. My husband and daughter helped me with syncing, adding wallpapers and creating Gmail and Twitter accounts for each device.
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After spending two days installing apps, creating Gmail and Twitter accounts (I had to use two different computers and three different phones to create and verify 15 Gmail accounts), setting up Parental Controls (no porn on my iPads!), syncing apps and books and emailing wallpapers, I now had to figure out how to store and transport these babies.
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My principal has asked me to look into security options for the iPads, but until we get that taken care of, I need a cheap, compact way to transport them to and from school and the various trainings and conferences I present at. This Wednesday, I am going to North Louisiana to present at the state math teachers’ conference on iPad Apps for Secondary Math. I needed an easy way to carry the iPads around, so I went to my “super-cute storage headquarters”, AKA Target.
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For about $25, I got a storage bin, a smaller one for cords and plugs, and two packs of bubble wrap sleeves to protect the iPads until I get some cases for them.


I’m pretty proud of the bubble wrap solution, although it was more of a “what-can-I-do-with-no-money” fix than a bright idea. The sleeves fit the iPads perfectly, and protect without adding too much bulk for compact storage.
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The little container fits 15 power bricks perfectly, with room on top for the sync cords. I expect to only use this for charging, and I store the iPads in the bin upside down with the 30-pin connectors exposed for easy charging. All I need now are a couple of power strips and a luggage cart to roll these bad boys around, and I’m ready to go!

Update
I couldn’t resist letting the kids get their hands on the iPads after all my hard work setting them up. So, today, I let my smallest class check them out. Hopefully, I’ll be able to implement them with all my classes next week after we handle getting them secured.

One thought on “iPads are Here! Setup, syncing and storage”

  1. Thank-you so much for posting this (and posting pictures!! I’m so visual; I need to see it to understand:) ).
    I would love to know how it’s working so far. I’m currently scouring the Internet for tips on DIY storage/syncing solutions for 30 iPad2s. This definitely helps:)!

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