Saturday, January 30, 2010

Implementing Mobile Devices in School Districts

Last week, Roland Rios (Fort Sam Houston ISD) asked, "Do you all have iPhones for your administrators? If so, who is your contact at AT&T?"

Of course, the answer is NO. We're using iPod Touch devices in my District, although an undetermined number of principals are investing in iPhones as a result. Eduphoria Appraise is the product of choice for conducting staff appraisals and walkthroughs, aggregating data, etc.

That said, the question Roland asked was one I didn't have a clue about. So, I sent out a tweet and received some responses!

Ms. Foxworth (Lexington, South Carolina) shared the primary contact for iPhone initiative here. I'm appreciative to the information and ideas shared by those who responded!!

One of the curious responses that jumped out at me was the one by Shawn Roner (EdBuzz.org), who mentions he's using Android phones! I followed up with a few questions, and he's shared some of the issues he is working through...and it seems those issues would be similar to what district iPhone implementations might encounter.

Shawn makes the following points about Android OS Phone:

  • Since he's moved most of his school's communications to Google, he figured using Android phone would improve productivity.
  • The seamless integration with Gmail is a plus, and there are a few great organization Apps. On my side, I like K-9 Email app instead of the pre-loaded Gmail app that comes with Android...but the one that is there works just fine. K-9 just enables me to interact with various POP3/IMAP email accounts and isn't stuck just on Gmail compatibility. For example, if I have a Yahoo Mail Plus account, i can check that via POP3.
He then shares some issues which I expect districts who are seeking to standardize on a mobile device district-wide will have to deal with:
  • Who is the best provider/carrier? (such as AT&T?--yuck, Verizon?, T-Mobile?, Sprint?)
  • What kind of data plan?
  • What staff should get phones and plans?
  • How to broadcast emergency alerts to groups?
What other questions are essential to implementing smartphones in schools?

In the meantime, some examples of educational institutions implementing iPhones:
And others who are building iPhone apps for their schools:



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

1 comment:

doug0077 said...

Hi Miguel,

Our district decided to give a $50 cell phone allowance to each administrator instead of providing cellphones.

Upside is that admins get the phones they want and we don't hassle with contracts, etc. Downside is that we wind up "supporting" a dozen different models to work with out district systems.

No perfect world,

Doug

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Disclaimer

Disclaimer

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure