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ICE invested in iPads and services by T2 Computing to feed students content in a more engaging way.

Richard Simpson says the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) needed a better way to serve content to students.

That solution was batches of brand new iPads implemented by T2 Computing.

Simpson says the iPads replaced students’ big, clunky textbooks and better engages them with the content.

“The idea of using iPads was born from the desire to deliver content in a more meaningful way,” says Simpson, Director and Vice President for Education at ICE. “That’s what made them attractive. We also began to think about better ways to deliver content to students that would make them more prone to interacting with it. We realized we could make what used to be a heavy batch of books into an easy-to-carry iPad.”

Simpson also says iPads were ICE’s device of choice because they were used successful at other institutions. Plus, he says iPads supported the school’s IT limitations.

“iPads seemed better suited to our application than any other tablet did,” Simpson says. “They were already used in [other] educational institutions. We also knew we had to choose a single device because of our own IT limitations; we were not in a position to be device agnostic.”

Simpson says the iPads integrated smoothly with instructors’ workflow, and created more interactive teaching opportunities during class time.

“We added a whole AV component to our school to enable our instructors to lecture and show their own content through the iPads that are linked to video screens in the kitchens,” he says. “It’s a lot better way to deliver content.”

Jerry Gepner, CEO and president of T2 Computing says the iPad implementation and ICE had an efficient system to get students’ devices configured, even when the implementation started three years ago.

He says students can now configure their own devices.

“Today, all of the setup is done by the student, but done by using videos we’ve produced,” Gepner says. “They actually log in and we don’t do any reconfiguration of the device. They’re given instructions where to find the videos, and the videos walk them through the configuration of their mobile device. It also installs mobile device management (MDM) software, so it installs an MDM client that we administer as the “super administrator.” The school is the day-to-day administrator of it, which is how they can push content, apps and other things to the students’ iPads, and they can keep it as current as they want.”

Gepner says one of the challenges ICE faced was weaving the iPads into instructors’ teaching styles.

However, he says this hurdle was jumped by constant communication with instructors’ about their needs.

“With the instructors, it was more about us learning about them and their environment to allow us to customize a solution for them,” Gepner says. “How you approach your customer and what you know about what they do will make all the difference in the world as to whether or not there’s a big challenge for you.”

Since implementing the iPads, Simpson says students are excited to learn and use their new devices inside and outside class.

“Our students’ evaluations indicate that they are positive about the iPads,” he says. “And while we are still growing into the full potential of the iPad, we know that when we tell students in the admission cycle about it, they’re very excited that they can have their content delivered this way.”

Gepner says ICE’s iPad implementation was successful due to the partnership the school had with T2 Computing.

He says this relationship will continue to contribute to ICE’s future iPad-based teaching endeavors.

“As they evolve, we’re partners with them,” Gepner says. “As they evolve their content and offerings, they meet with us regularly and want to know what’s new…They’re great people to deal with because they’re always receptive to good ideas and are the first ones to tell us when something is working well, and when something is not.”

Tips to a Successful Device Implementation

Know your goals

Simpson says colleges looking to implement universal devices to teach students should establish why they want these devices to begin with.

That way, administrators are about to measure the implementation’s success, and chances of gaining instructors’ support increases.

“You have to begin by determining what your goals are,” Simpson says. “If you don’t know why you’re doing it, you don’t know how to measure if you were successful…If you’re trying to install something to solve a problem that’s not really a problem, you’re going to get resistance from people absorbing the technology. The first thing you have to figure out why you want to do it, and make sure other people think it’s a worthwhile goal.”

Talk to instructors

Gepner says vendors helping with an implementation should honor the culture an instructor has built in their classroom.

That means talking with instructors and customizing the technology to support their workflow.

“Sit in on a lot of classes, talk to the instructors, talk to the leadership and administration of the school,” Gepner says. “You have to be sensitive to the culture of the place, the history, what the sensibilities of the instructors are, what their objectives are. What are they trying to accomplish? That’s what really makes it work.”

Make sure IT can support your solution

Simpson says colleges should make sure they select a solution that can be supported by IT.

If not, the implementation will flop, cause technological disasters and waste the school’s money.

“You have to have a lot of buy-in from your IT department,” Simpson says. “You have to make sure they have the bandwidth and infrastructure to support you. Our whole Wi-Fi system had to be ripped out and redone to have sufficient bandwidth to have 400 people downloading simultaneously. There are all these pieces you need to figure out before you jump in.”

Source: Higher Ed Tech Divisions

Jessica Kennedy ·July 30, 2015