Sunday, January 27, 2013

apple configurator angst

I\\\'ve tried to be patient with apple configurator and not blog about it in the midst of a strife full moment (so it has taken a while to find a good time :p)...

The THEORY of Apple Configurator is awesome. A free software that runs on a Mac that allows you to update all your iPads at one time. The joy theory is that it saves you oodles of time because you don\\\'t have to do each individual iPad every time you want to make a change on all thirty iPads (in my case).

The FACT of Apple Configurator is that it is complex and quirky. I am hoping I am finally in a place where I\\\'ve worked (not twerked) out the quirks and I can feel comfortable and confident in using it each week.

Little weirdnesses that I\\\'ve experienced:

A) setting it up and configurating it each time with my apps takes approximately an hour...that has to be added into your work week planning. So far, I am having trust issues with it as well because of how it has treated me, so I\\\'m using about 3 hours to make sure everything works.

B) if you supervise your iPads (which we chose to do for security and control purposes), you have to unclick all the apps then choose the option to ALLOW APP INSTALL, then go back to apps and choose the ones you want to install for all the iPads you want to install them on. After they are installed, then you can go back to the supervise profile and click off ALLOW APP INSTALL.

C) I\\\'ve started just creating one iPad the way I want it to be, and backing up that iPad to Apple Configurator. I then connect all the other iPads and under PREPARE, I have all the iPads copy that backup. This seems to be a lot easier but sometimes Apple Configurator doesn\\\'t realize all the iPads are hooked up and plugged in (even though the cart recognizes them all)...this caused big headaches one day. Teaching technology classes without any technology is tricky!

D) Apple Configurator has quirks with recognizing the iPads plugged in. Always, always double check that all are being recognized by the software, not just the cart. This will save you big headaches the next morning when the app you want to use isn\\\'t there.

E) I have accepted that Apple Configurator with all it\\\'s quirks is still better than updating each iPad individually each week for lesson plans BUT I\\\'m hoping that it gets more user friendly as time goes on or that I begin to have a better understanding of its quirks.

F) The help manual for Apple Configurator is complex, hard to read, and not user friendly.