With great rejoicing, a set of 16 iPod touches arrived the other day, along with a clever Parasync case and docking system thingy. The idea is for them to be used as digital still/video cameras with children, plus the use of apps such as Safari etc. I have always been a bit snooty about syncing devices, being rather loathe to spend substantial amounts of money on a glorified USB hub in a box, but I think I am now convinced of their value, if only that 16 devices can all be charged using just one power lead.
Setting them up was a little bit more of a challenge, partly because I was trying to be too clever. I initially tried using Apple Configurator to set them up, which would allow me to set a pretty lock screen with the iPod number on it. However, this didn’t work so well, with several iPods refusing to accept the configuration profile. They also then didn’t allow images to be downloaded to iPhoto or iMovie as the ‘Supervision Mode’ configuration profile essentially completely locks the device down.
I then tried the old-school but tried-and-tested approach of using iTunes (boo!). Which worked really well! The steps were as follows:
- Disable automatic backups
- Download apps etc. on iTunes
- Plug in one iPod, sync across apps and set it up just how you want it (e.g. email accounts etc.)
- Backup that iPod to iTunes (right click on it in the left hand column and select ‘Backup now’), making sure that the backup is encrypted (this saves all the passwords etc.)
- Plug all the other iPods in and then restore from the initial backup
- Rename all the iPods to their correct names
I also used iPhone Configuration Utility to add a configuration profile for the Wifi and for Meraki on each device.
Definitely much quicker!
I showed the iPods to the staff team quickly at today’s staff meeting (after a few Q jokes as I open up a slightly formidable flight case) and people seemed enthusiastic. Hopefully they will get used regularly across the school!