How To Clone iPad Settings And 7 Other FAQs

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A lot of folks are thinking about jumping into using iPads for 1 to 1 deployments--or are already doing them!--and sharing what they know. A fascinating discussion has been had on Texas email lists. On a different Texas email list, Jennifer Foster shared a how-to on cloning iPad settings, which, while not as comprehensive a solution as reimaging, does allow you some customization. I've links to her tutorial further below.

Before looking at that tutorial, though, consider the following perspective:
The iPad is not a Macbook; it is a large iTouch. As a result, it has significant weaknesses compared to traditional laptops, unlike Tablet PCs. The advantages of an iPad are weight, Battery and price. I see the iPad for someone who wants a lightweight, cheap, limited device in between a netbook and a laptop. The media playback if flawless, the screen is gorgeous and responsive. iPads are truly a fun device to use when you’re just looking to be entertained. I have yet to be impressed with how the iPad handles real work tasks and provide expandability I’ve grown use to seeing on laptops.
One reply to the statements above included the following:
You can't really image an iPad.  You can create a custom profile with the iPhone configuration utility which covers all of the settings you want on all of them.  In order to get the apps sync'd you have to build a strategy based on which iPads will have what apps (or let all iPads have all the same apps).  Then you have to sync the apps.  You can either do this with usb hubs and a set of iPads, or Bretford just came out with a new iPad cart that will let you sync 30 at a time which looks pretty nice.   
Casper is working on a solution that will allow the management of configurations (and eventually app deployment I think), but it isn't there yet (in my opinion).I think the iPad is a great tool.  There are new amazing apps coming out every day.  As everyone talks about, it is great for media consumption.   
However, I don't think people give enough credit for what you can create on an iPad.  There are lots of apps that allow for creation, and I'm anxious to see how iMovie and Garageband work as iOS app , I think they will be great for student projects.

It just depends on your needs.  What does the teaching/learning require?  No one device is going to solve it all for everyone.

While "imaging" or "cloning" netbooks is not difficult, as you can see from the response above, it's quite a different story to do the same to an iPad. The question about getting creative with an iPad is also important to consider...I've often heard about the iPad being a strictly consumer device, and yet, when you explore links like the one below, you realize there's more to it than that:

Jennifer shared her approach to doing this in an illustrated tutorial. With her permission, I share the PDF document (get it via GoogleDocs | via Dropbox (link fixed) and the intro email she wrote when she published the document to the Campus Technologists Special Interest Group (TCEA):

My school district recently got in 15 iPads that were to be rolled out to various users spread across our 5 campuses.  In order to make this process as convenient as possible, I wanted to find a way to image an iPad. We wanted them all to be able to access our various wireless networks, set up the Exchange server settings, restrict certain applications, and install common apps like iBooks.  Unfortunately, there is no way currently (at least that I could find) to image an iPad.  I did, however, find how to use configuration profiles to basically do everything I wanted to do. This little free utility has saved me a ton of precious time.  I hope some of you will find it useful. I tried to write a quick instruction manual, but please feel free to contact me if you need assistance.

Jennifer L. Foster
Network Manager - New Boston ISD
P:  903-628-8988C:  903-244-6429E:
What's fun to watch is how folks are adapting the iPad, a consumer device, for use in schools. For example, check out the answers to some frequently asked questions:

  1. How do you print from an iPad?
    1. Use Airprint - or 
    2. eCamm's Printopia at 
    3. Active Print -
  2. What apps are you using for network administration on an iPad?
    Although it's difficult to find these kinds of apps because they are prohibited by Apple, some solutions suggested include logmein and GoToMyPC.
  3. What do you need to ask prior to iPad implementation at your school?
    Check out this blog entry.
  4. While trying to initialize new iPads, we're stuck at the iTunes section where it asks for a credit card. How can we move past this without a credit card?
    Create an Apple ID following these instructions
  5. How do you deliver a consistent interface to multiple devices--including iPads--regardless of operating system?
    Use Ulteo OVD to get the job done.
  6. What kind of warranty have you purchased with your iPad?
    The 1-year warranty.
  7. How do I handle iPad licensing of apps?
    Read this blog entry.
What questions have you successfully answered in your iPad deployment?

Disclaimer: Miguel doesn't own an iPad or use one at all. He likes Android better. That said, he wouldn't mind sharing his iPad experiences if someone would gift him with one. 

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Mr. RCollins said…
You can image iOS devices like the iPad and iPod Touch. In iTunes, you back up the iPad that is set up the way you want. Then you connect the other iPads to iTunes and restore that backup onto them.
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