Apr 12

iPads at Clevedon – next steps

iPad Project Update


Although we know that news about the iPad project has gone quiet over recent months, this is because there has been a great deal of movement behind the scenes.

The first task has been to ensure that we will have a network and WiFi which will cope with the demands of up to 1400 iPads connecting simultaneously.

We have firstly, successfully negotiated to upgrade our Broadband connection to a 200Mb connection for a similar price to that which we currently pay, this will more than handle the extra demands which will be placed upon any outward facing connections.  All internet connections will be filtered through our WiFi control.

Secondly, our core network infrastructure, including switches and fibre is having to be replaced to ensure a speedy flow of data connections around the school.  This, together with the WiFi requirement and the fact that our project is entering a new era of 1:1 devices has meant that we have spent a great deal of time researching and tendering for the best WiFi network possible.  We are very proud to announce that at a greatly subsidised price, we are installing a state of the art Aruba network.  This will be the most advanced WiFi network and highest specification of any WiFi installed in any UK school.  The only other location in the world in fact that has had a similar WiFi network installed is Walt Disney theme parks Florida.  We are very proud and pleased that Aruba see our site and project as the gateway to showcase their state of the art WiFi solution in readiness for the 1:1 digital era.  The new network structure and WiFi is being installed over the Easter holidays and will be fully operational by the end of May.

Thirdly, now that the New iPad has been announced, we are concluding the process to secure the supply and support for the iPads themselves.  We have already secured priority status with Apple themselves, and are now finalising the costs, insurance and finer details.  We are very hopeful that we will be able to pass on to you, the most advantageous prices that it is possible to achieve for a very comprehensive package.  We intend to launch full details to parents in further information and launch evenings in term 5 around the end of April or start of May.  The first wave of iPads will be made available to staff from June and then for students from July or September.  If you are not already on Twitter, we have recently launched the @iClevedon Twitter account with full updates about our iPad project.  Through this medium, we recently notified everyone that with the iPad 2 remaining on sale and with the New iPad (3) only being a subtle upgrade, we intend to make a range of iPads available at a range of price points.  We have also listened to parental feedback and have in place a range of measures to help with discounted costs for multiple children, etc.

Finally, in our research now, over many, many months we are now even more firmly convinced that this is the right direction for all schools.  We currently have around 3-5 schools contacting us weekly and are aware through Apple that there will be very many schools across the UK pursuing similar schemes from September.