Updates from June, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Andrew T Schwab 3:59 pm on June 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    The Road to #ISTE12 

    Six years ago I attended NECC in San Diego. The two things that I remember from my very first edtech conference are the 4th of July fireworks show and Steve Hargadon‘s Open Source Pavilion. NECC 2006 was one of those pivotal moments in my professional education career where I realized there were a bunch of other educators out there that believed technology was important to education. It set me on a journey of exploration and discovery of  technology in education in my role as an education technology leader.  It’s also probably where I first saw Jim Klein’s Life 2.0 presentation which fundamentally altered my view as an IT Director of technology and education. I went back to my district and immediately started setting up open source LTSP computer labs and installing Open Office.

    Fast forward six years and I’ve become fully engaged in the edtech community. First I started by attending conferences where I saw David Thornburg speak about the future of technology in education and was told that I teach kids and not business apps by Chris Lehmann. I watched Jon Corippo demonstrate 100 free web 2.0 tools in 50 minutes. I’ve seen Jim Klein‘s message about Life 2.0 become ever more relevant and watched teachers like Chris Scott, Diane Main and Matthew Schwartz grow into their own as edtech influentials. I created a twitter account in 2007 and then took about a year to figure out how to use it to build my Personal Learning Network (PLN). I became a classroom teacher, joined CUE, became a presenter at IT and edtech conferences on google apps, IT, open source and other topics, I started a podcast about edtech with my former co-worker Danny Silva and implemented 1:1 linux #ubermix netbooks and 1:1 iPads. I was selected to become a Google Certified Teacher and met awesome edtech leaders like Adam Bellow and James Sanders. I got taken to school on YouTube and Video for the classroom by Mr. Video himself Jim Sill. I had my teachers classroom’s flipped by Ramsey Musallam and his flipteaching.com website.

    NECC 2006 got me excited about edtech and helped me see the possibilities that were out there.  It ignited a passion and a drive to do something more. Since then it has been a roller coaster ride of new technology and new experiences. My primary focus has shifted from keeping servers up and running to empowering teachers and students with technology in the classroom. The zero server server room is within reach for schools of all sizes and with limited resources it makes sense to focus what little we have where it matters most. In the classroom.

    Now I’m back in San Diego for ISTE 2012. With my recent job changes, I almost didn’t make it but I’m really glad that I did.  While the name may have changed from six years ago, I’m confident the impact this experience will have on me won’t. There has never been a more exciting time to be talking about technology and education. We’re solidly into the 21st Century.  Technology is becoming disruptive and enabling pedagogy and learning opportunities that didn’t even exist five years ago.  I have been privileged to be the IT Guy with access to amazing California ed tech professionals that are redefining education through the innovative use of technology every day. My plan for this international experience is to further broaden my horizons, meet twitter friends in real life, listen, learn, connect, take back and share. I hope everyone attending does the same.

    • John Schuster 10:46 pm on July 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing your story Andrew. You have been a great source of knowledge and vision for me in my own path to enhance technologies role in education.

  • Andrew T Schwab 11:46 pm on June 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    AppleTV + iPad 

    A Pre-ISTE12 Find

    Using AppleTV +iPad in the classroom slide deck from Jon Corippo‘s ISTE CUE Rockstar presentation – http://www.slideshare.net/jcorippo/apple-tv-i-pad-the-digital-swiss-army-knife

    If you’re not buying projectors with HDMI inputs on them, make the change. iPads are coming.


  • Andrew T Schwab 8:41 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    iPad Resistance Is Futile 

    An Ask Andrew Reply:

    Fellow #ubermix aficionado and CETPA Certified CTO @_NOD55 asks, “I’m buying 50 iPads. Now what?”

    Well, first off welcome to the party. I think at this point iPads in the classroom are inevitable and I’m guessing what comes out of WWDC next week will only cement that sentiment further. Or as the Borg like to say, “Resistance is futile”.

    iPad2 or “The New” iPad. That’s up to you. Going cheap with the 16GB Wifi Only iPad2 may be tempting but take into consideration the camera kind of sucks and the updated iPad apps are taking up more space so they can look pretty on the Retina display. 16Gb might not cut it anymore depending on what apps you want to run.

    Buy the 10-Packs. You get a slight discount. Also ask for the 10-packs that include the free engraving. (I hope they still do this for us). You can have your school name, program name, motto, etc… etched as long as it will fit on two lines. The etching text needs to be on the PO that goes to Apple. Check your spelling. This is a nice feature because Asset Tags can be removed but etching lasts forever.

    For your shared classroom environment, the exact environment iPads are not designed for, you are going to need secure classroom storage. Apple sells Bretford PowerSync carts. These are nice but in my opinion, overpriced. Check out this alternative from D&D Security. While not required, I do suggest a cart that can both charge and sync, otherwise you’ll be plugging and unplugging iPads quite a bit. Of course, you could forgo the expensive cart options all together and go the MacGyver route like these folks did.

    You can’t MacGyver your way out of setup and management however. You need a Mac to initially setup and manage the carts. And no, you can’t (and I do mean can’t) try and manage them with a windows machine. Apple Configurator only runs on OS X. If the carts will be separated by great distance and the teachers will be managing them in the classrooms, I suggest a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro per cart. Otherwise, one MacBook should suffice.

    If you want to use profiles to manage the iPads over the air after you’ve released them into the wild and you don’t want to spend a fortune on 3rd Party MDM solutions, you’ll also need a Mac Mini Server running the Lion Server OS (Mountain Lion is around the corner, plan for the cost of the OS upgrade). You’ll want this if for no other reason than to clear pass code locks without having to reset iPads. And be sure to ask your Apple SE to come help setup the server. They’re there to help. Also, since these 50 iPads have opened the breach and more will soon follow, you need to start planning for a district management strategy. Deployment is the first step but you also need to be thinking about long term management, updating and Apps.

    Apps. My favorite part of the evolving iPad management experience. Apps are going to be a pain no matter how you do it. For 50 iPads it won’t be too bad. Just be sure you put a process in place for when you have 1000 iPads. Because you know you will. And sooner than you think. Sign up for the VPP program, designate Program Managers and Facilitators and make sure every app is purchased with an iTunes account tied back to a school email address. Buy some gift cards for easy (ie. unencumbered) teacher app experimentation.

    Buy some extra iPads. One for your IT guy to get to know and use as a master image iPad. You’ll want a few more for cart spares so when one or two get hosed (technical term for “become inoperable”) you can swap them out and not affect student to iPad ratios in the classroom. All in all, if you plan on having 50 active iPads in use, I’d buy 55.

    Get a good case. One that has good corner protection. Don’t go cheap here, even though the temptation is there. Get a case like this one or this one (ask for the education price). Just make sure the iPad will fit in the Cart with the case on.

    Your wireless better be rock solid. (I Like Ruckus!)

    Get your teachers iPads. If they are going to have 50 students using them in class, they should at least be familiar with them. The best way to accomplish this is by having them use one on a daily basis. Preferably months before the students get them.

    Profesional Development, Professional Development, Professional Development.

    The sea has receded from the shoreline. You know what that means. The tidal wave is coming. Prepare for it and Good Luck.

    • Charlotte Briggs 8:12 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      I’m wondering if the photo in this blog post (table full of iPad boxes) is yours, and if so, whether I might include it in a presentation for a professional organization, Educause, that will be archived on the Educause website. If so, would you please let me know your preferences for attribution?

      Best regards,

      Charlotte Briggs
      Director of Teaching and Learning Support Services
      Bay Path College
      Longmeadow, MA

      • Andrew T Schwab 8:16 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Yep, it’s mine. Use away. Thanks for asking.

        • Charlotte Briggs 8:18 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink

          Much appreciated! Thanks!

      • Andrew T Schwab 8:19 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Oops, attribute my twitter handle please @anotherschwab with a link to my blog if you can.


    • Charlotte Briggs 10:58 am on March 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Will do!

  • Andrew T Schwab 1:39 pm on June 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    No Chromebook For Me! 

    With the release of the Samsung Series 5 550 chromebook  I have been seriously considering going google for my next mobile computer. But As I started evaluating what it is I need from a mobile workstation, I realized I won’t be able to do everything I need with the chromebook. While I do spend the majority of my time in a chrome browser using cloud apps, I’m also an IT guy that needs to be able to access Windows Servers remotely. The most basic and universal way to do this is with RDP. Chrome OS does not support RDP and the HTML 5 options that Google points to are pay to play and require installing more access infrastructure on my servers than I care to.

    While there is a native Citrix ICA client, I’m not running a Citrix environment. My school district has invested heavily in VMWare View and I don’t see us moving away from that just so that I can connect to a few servers. Not having a native RDP client in Chrome OS (or a VMWare client) also limits the opportunity to give my users chromebooks because I can’t provide access to those legacy windows applications they use daily  without adding another layer (and more costs) onto my current infrastructure.

    Having provided Teachers and staff first Ubermix Netbooks and then MacBooks as we migrated away from locked down Windows laptops, I was always able to provide access to those pesky legacy Windows apps through a generic RDP session back to a Terminal Server or a VM of their old desktop. I could easily do this because both Linux and Mac have free RDP clients that can connect directly to the server without additional components. So why isn’t there a native RDP client for Chrome OS? We all live in a Windows world. To pretend otherwise is silly. This is shifting, but not providing native access in the short term is frustrating. I don’t see what would be so hard about porting rdesktop to Chrome OS since Chrome OS it’s basically linux. The only people that can do this of course are at Google, since they control the OS. It would open up an entire migration path for users to switch quickly to Chromebooks without having to invest in expensive infrastructure just to connect to legacy windows apps.

    It’s very disappointing in a way. I’m basically being forced by Google to buy a MacBook. PC Hardware (and battery life) is all just Blah to me after having been on a MacBook for the past year. I was hoping the Chromebook Series 5 550 would be the one to free me from Apple’s clutches. I really do use Chrome 90% of the time. Unfortunately the other 10% is invariably spent in RDP rebooting a Windows server…

    • Karl L Hughes (@KarlLHughes) 1:58 pm on June 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I’d have to agree with you. I think the Chromebook is still a novelty for techies. Someday, it will be great to have everything in the cloud (IMO), but as of now, it’s too bare bones for developer and IT use. If my mom were looking at getting a new computer I might turn her on to it since she basically just uses the internet and word processors.

    • Andy 2:10 pm on June 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      We’re going to evaluate the newer Chromebooks and the Chromebox for use in our school system. It just seems like users are more like 99 percent in the cloud now. Staff that need Windows or Mac specific software will stay on those work stations, but the vast majority of our students seem to have use patterns that could be well-supported with browser-based applications. Chromebooks also seem to have the added benefit of being less attractive for thieves… a real issue for us. Roll outs and maintenance also seem too dead simple to ignore. I can see the limitations for power users, but for average student/faculty use, Chromebooks look rather compelling.

    • MPS 1:31 pm on August 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think the idea with Chrome OS is to lock down users as far as possible for security and ease of administration purposes. For sysadmins who want to access servers, the best option is installing Linux on your Chromebook using the developer switch and RDPing from that.

    • MPS 1:48 pm on August 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Having said that, it is quite possible that someone will come up with a local server based RDP application for that. In other words you go to a web page on a corporate Linux web server, and log into a server based HTML5 RDP web application, which logs you into your Windows server via RDP. This would be a much better way to control access security in an enterprise setting, and also the way the Ericom remote access for Chromebooks work now (see http://www.ericom.com/AccessNow_DemosIntro.asp and http://www.ericom.com/demo_AccessNow.asp ). However for server access, you probably would want to run your own server rather than do it through Ericom’s.

    • MPS 1:58 pm on August 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      PS there is another way of doing remote desktop on Windows, Mac or Linux using Chromebooks. You can use Chrome browser installed on the remote machine to control it. For security reasons, someone has to log into the remote machine and accept your request and give you a PIN over the phone for you to gain control.

      This is really best as a desktop remote help tool. You can get it from Chrome Store as a Beta.

    • Andrew Schwab 6:31 pm on January 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I have been using the Chrome Remote Desktop app. My only issue with it is again, I have to install something on the server to connect to it. And on Windows Servers, you can only have one Chrome RDP session running. No Multi-user support. So I would still like a native RDP client that just worked with plain vanilla RDP in Windows.

    • Jim 1:32 pm on April 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    • Shawn 1:19 pm on June 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you all, Chromebook with RDP is a pain.

      Chrome RDP works well but you have to pay for it. Come on Google you should have something already made up (or buy them up).

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