The students have begun to get their iPads at school.  It has been a slow process to get them all out and with only a few glitches to slow the process down.  All in all, I am very impressed with the organization of the distribution.
One disappointing note- on Friday the IT guy announced that Facebook and Twitter would no longer be blocked on the VPN- allowing students to access them both at home- and school.  I was so against this that I actually sat down and wrote a quick email with all the reasons why I thought it should be blocked- at least during the school hours. I felt that as a student of technology I had learned so many times that change happens slowly, and the process takes time for all, so I felt that this was too much too soon.  My email can be viewed here.
By the end of the day, students were telling me how they had been on Facebook all day long, whenever they had access to a computer.  I found this disappointing but not surprising.  My email has since been forwarded on from the principal to the higher-ups- hopefully they will take notice and block it - at least while we are in school.  
Students were originally told that they would not be allowed to take home their iPads until the VPN apps were installed and working.  However, when the time came, students were given a handout and told to install the process at home.  Many students have not yet done this.  No surprise there.  I have offered to work with students during ATL and after school in order to get it done.  At some point they should be checked and the students without it should lose the privilege.  
Today was the first day most kids had their iPads.  Today's glitch- the wireless system seems to be topping out and won't let new users onto the internet.  This means that many students can't set up their iPads at all, while others are able to get on Facebook and Twitter, or download apps.  Hopefully that problem will be solved in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, I will assign downloading apps as homework and not counting on the internet.  The kids are very excited about their new iPads, but not realizing the educational possibilities of having one.  It will be interesting to show them new things they can do to help them learn.  In the meantime, we will all be suffering "growing pains" as we learn to function in the new technology world.
 


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