We love our Android tablets. So many uses in our district for our 500+ and counting devices. From our Maintenance Department using Samsung Galaxy 10s for their ticketing system to using Nexus 7s to assess students in reading, we use them regularly. The largest issue with these is management. How do you lock down the Play Store so students (or teachers) cannot download whatever. How can you do a device wide inventory? How can you push content or apps to a device? Lots of tough questions to answer before wanting to go full into a 1:1 or large scale deployment. We use Meraki’s free mobile device management software to do some of that, but not all. We continue to look for something though.
So I found Tab Pilot. Right off the bat, I will say this is NOT a free product. You can demo up to two devices free, but to use it on a large scale you pay a $50 per device fee. This gets you a license to use forever, which you can transfer to new machines. I am going to go ahead and try the free test, and then report back what we find.
I recently saw a review of Go Class on Android 4 Schools. This app definitely provides something we have been looking for. Just to summarize, my district decided on Android a few years back, first utilizing the Samsung Galaxy Tabs and now with a few hundred Nexus 7 among all the nook HDs and other devices. So one question that always comes up is how to push content to the devices. Go Class explains what it does:
Built to support the classroom dynamics, GoClass aids the instructor in delivering rich content effortlessly and effectively. You can achieve so much more in your classroom by doing very little. It brings you power of technology combined with the time tested teaching methodology of SHOW-EXPLAIN-ASK. It allows you to create, deliver, evaluate, and update content all from the same application and store it all on the Cloud. See how it works!
Sounds pretty good, yes? Before going forward though, I would slightly warn they are in a free beta. That could mean they will stay free, they will go away without explanation, or they will come back with an exorbitantly high price after the beta. So how does it work? Well, first you need to create your class. Your typical data entry of student names, emails , and information. You then begin creating your lesson plan. Really, this just organizes your content. You can add media (images, movies, etc), weblinks, pdfs, and other documents. Once you finish, you can create some questions for your students. When time to teach, you can project your content or push it out to your devices. Pretty cool. With all the 1:1s, BYODs, and the like, I can definitely see this being a good way to share content. Similar to what a Course Management System (Moodle, Blackboard, etc) does, but maybe a little quicker and cleaner. I will continue to play around with this to see how it works. Can’t you see this working for teacher professional development as well?
Yeah, I can definitely relate to this!
Who out there still does not think we should have video game design in the curriculum?
Infographic used under Creative Commons license from Statista