Staff have been invited to participate in the trial. An email outlining the Innovation has been sent to all staff requesting interested staff to reply by August 31st. Depending on the numbers a model of use will be determined. Currently the thinking is 12 classes with 8 devices each. This is due to the fact that each trolley has 4 baskets of 8 devices and staff can simply lift a basket out each morning and
Ordered the black and silver model . have just been informed from the supplier that 100 white ones are available. Do we wait longer for the Black and Silver or take the white ones now. Didn't want the IPad look....
Three trolleys manufactured by PC Locs have been ordered from CDM Computers. The units have been just been released after testing. Will be essential for the storage, security and charging on the Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Hopefully delivery will be soon. These units have been jointly funded from the school and P&C.
All android devices access a repostitory of applications from a site called Google Play . There are thousands of free apps available as well as paid for applications from developers.
It is hoped that we able to have one account with Google Play and synchronize all the free apps seamlessly onto our devices.
Presently devices can't access Google Play from the DET's network as it is blocked on their firewall. We have a request pending with the DET to unblock the firewall by opening up the relevant port.
This is going to be very important if the DET will not open the port then the only alternative might be to pay for another wireless broadband connection into the school where the devices can connect and download the applications. Lets hope not .
Rostrata Primary School is working with the developers of GroupMap in trialling new sofware on the tablet computers which enables the sharing of ideas collaboratively in brain storming situations. The software located online at www.groupmap.com.au . Jeremy Lu the developer and lecturer from Curtin has been out to Rostrata Primary on several occasions working with staff and students while trialling the software. I can see this software as being a great tool in the classroom environment.
Probably the biggest issue will be the management of a large number of devices.
Three trolleys from PC Locs which enable the charging, security and synchronization of the Galaxy Tabs will be ordered with financial support from the P&C. They are quite expensive at $3600 each but will be necessary . The trolley is set up with four baskets of 8 devices which is handy for group work in classes.
I am currently investigating software capable of managing portable devices . Research online has revealed three companies with software capable of controlling applications installed and other funtions on the Galaxy Tabs.
They are Airwatch , Maas360 and Zenprises.
They all work on a cloud based solution and are used in large corporations to control and managing portable devices in the corporate environment.
Trial of the software is being currently undertaken but with difficulty. The major issue is The DET's firewall which blocks communication with the software from the cloud environment. Ports need to be opened but after requests this is deemed as a security threat and so the trial is crrently suspended. One possible solution is an installation of the software on a server at Rostrata Primary School thus not having firewall restrictions. Negotiations are being carried out with Zenprises as to this possibility.
We have received one Galaxy Tab to test it on the wireless network. The device was connected to the network using the SSID provided by the department and a password. Proxy settings were also needed to be put into the advanced settings for the connection. This will have to be repeated a hundred times when the all devices arrive.
There is no setting where authentication can be turned off or on in the Galaxy Tab and authentication appears when you go to browse the internet for the first time.
Unfortunately authentication is quite cumbersome requiring the server name login name and password which could be quite challenging for younger children.
Testing the device over the past week has shown that the Galaxy is dropping out of the proxy at times. The only way to reconnect seems to be restart the device , sometimes several times before the device finds the proxy and browses the internet.
Another issue is that the device seems to retain the authentication in its settings and asks for renewal sometimes and other times not. In the settings can't find any rules for authentication to make changes.
The device browses quite quickly and will be interesting to see what happens when multiple devices are running from one access point.
The major issues that needed to be addressed in the initial stages of implementing the Innovations project included
Purchase of 100 Galaxy Tab 10.1
Sourcing of 100 Samsung Galaxy Tabs 10.1 is made more difficult with the release of a new model. Maybe it is possible to get the older model at a reduced price.
Dick Smith . $440 older model all GST inc
JB Hi Fi Commercial $445 new Model
CDM Computers (1st) $479 new model
CDM Computers (2nd) $420 new model
We weren’t aware that there was a mandatory contract with CDM to supply the devices. This was only recently introduced in June 2012. Initially the quotation from CDM wasn’t competitive as the recommended price through the Government contract is $479 GST inc .
Having a better quote from JB Hifi , help from the State Manager of Samsung and buying power of !00 devices managed to get the prices down to $420 GST inc.
The other complication is the new model is yet to arrive in Australia. Expected to arrive August 2012.
Find solutions to the management of the Galaxy Tabs
The two major issues to do with the management of a large number of devices is the charging and the synchronization of all settings and apps on the devices.
We a little research it was found PC Locs with their partner Cambrionx had a solution. They have a 32 bay trolley that will charge and synchronize mobile devices. Unfortunately at the moment this is only available for the IPad but a model for the Samsung Galaxy will be available later this year. At a cost of around $4000 they aren’t cheap and the synchronization part is not fully sorted.
Rostrata Primary School through the efforts of Ric Johnson assisted by Terry Keesing submitted an application in June 2012 to trial the use of Samsung Galaxy Tab2s in the classroom focussing on the use of the portal "Improve" .
The school was successful and was awarded $42,000 to purchase the Tablets.
The trial is will be carried out to the end of 2013 in which time the School is to report on the success and failures of the project.
This blog is being set up to primarily record the steps involved in implementing the project and gather information and comments from people involved in the project.