Thursday, September 5, 2013

Managing iPads in the Library Media Center

Our elementary library media center is the proud owner of 50 iPads (2 class sets of 25).  I scoured the web for ideas on how to manage them.  I was surprised by the very few resources out there for managing a large number of iPads.

So here's how I'm managing in our library to date.
I'm using chrome/metal dish racks to hold them.  
These racks ran about $10 each and they hold about 11 iPads. They hold the iPads quite securely.  The iPads pictured don't have cases (yet) but our other set have slim cases that fit in the rack just fine. 
 


We've barcoded each iPad for inventory purposes.  But we didn't want to have to scan 25 iPads every time a teacher checked out a class set.  
We labeled and barcoded a cart for checkout purposes.  
We just checkout the cart to the teacher and count upon checkout and return.  Since each iPad is numbered if one were to go missing we could identify which iPad it is.

Teachers sign up using a Google form. 
 I've made it available for 4 weeks at time.  Teachers can sign up for their desired slots.  Since we have 2 sets of iPads, there's 2 slots for each hour available.  I've made myself available to pick and/or deliver the iPad carts in the event that the teacher can't leave her classroom.  

Plugging in all of these iPads is a job in itself.
We have a locking large cart that has outlets built in.  We're using about 6 power strips. We will have a high school student come and plug them in at the end of each day.

I've asked teachers to give me 24 hour notice to install desired apps.  
I've also asked that they send me a screen shot from their iPad of the app they want me to install so I can make sure that I'm putting the right one on each iPad.

We're 3 weeks in and this management system is working great!

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