Setting up Classroom Sets

If you're getting ready to order, or have just received, a classroom set of iPod Touches, get ready for the setup process! Here are some lessons learned...

1. Order some cases and screen protectors. The ipod touch is a sturdy device, but it will get dropped often, and the screens can get scratched with lots of use.

2. Be VERY careful about which free apps you install on student ipods. Some apps look great the first few minutes you browse them and play BUT after a while, ads appear. Most of the time, apps built for children don't contain inappropriate ads but this is NOT always true. The free dictionary.com app, for example, contains ads for Beer. :( So, just because an app has a good review on the itunes store, or looks fun at first glance, play with it a while before installing it on a student ipod to make sure the ads don't take over the screen, or display inappropriate material. Non-free apps don't contain ads, usually.

3. Allow HOURS of time to set up a batch of ipods the very first time out of the box. Go ahead and plug them in, one by one, and go through the entire registration process for each ipod. If you just hit 'remind me later' it will remind you later - over and over, and annoy you and/or the classroom teacher every time they're plugged in. It's best to get that whole process done right away. It takes quite a long time, so plan to spend a day going through the whole initial setup process.

4. Go ahead and check for updates on each ipod right away as well. You might as well get this process done and out of the way. I estimated about 10 minutes per ipod for the registration and update installation. NOTE - for some strange reason, many school Internet filters block the apple update website (it's something to do with a random port that the updates need unblocked. Here's an explanation.). So, if you're having trouble getting your ipods updated, or connecting to the itunes store, that might be why. You might check with your network administrator to see if the link above provides help.

5. You really need to play around with apps, and have some already downloaded in iTunes before you start syncing the ipods. That way, while you're registering and updating, you can go ahead and install a chunk of apps at the same time. You'll find tons of apps, of course, but it's a good idea to start making your definitive list ahead of time so you can get them all installed right away. Here's a good list to get you started.

6. Installing apps in bulk can take a while. Plan accordingly. Even though the ipod sync carts are good, they can't make the process of installing apps any quicker. The ipods all show up in a nice row in the itunes window, but the apps still install only one by one, per ipod. If you're installing 6 apps to 30 different ipods, plan on spending several hours doing it. I've noticed also that with each ipod you plug in, itunes hogs up that much more ram. So, you may only want to actually plug in about 4 at a time, sync them, let them do their thing, eject those 4, then move on.

PASSCODE issue?
If someone tries unsuccessfully too many times to use a passcode, your ipod touch can become disabled. If this happens, proceed:
1. Know that you will lose all content because the steps below will restore the ipod.
2. Plug the ipod into the computer
3. Hold the power button and the home button until the ipod powers down completely.
4. Now press the power button and the home button until the logo appears
5. Once the logo appears, press only the home button.
6. The ipod should now appear in iTunes restored, and ready to go.