Sunday, January 13, 2013

Setting up Nexus 7 for Classroom Use

I'm working with a teacher who got a Donor's Choose grant for 4 Nexus 7 tablets to use in his classroom.  Before we went in on this little experiment, I made sure he knew that this was going to be an experiment and we were sure to stumble along the way.

Here are the steps I've taken to setup the tablets this far.  Remember, this is NOT a 1:1 device.  These 4 Nexus tablets will be float around the classroom in 3 class periods with about 25-30 students each.

Class setup:
  1. Create a classroom Google apps account with secure password
  2. Login to the device with Admin/teacher Google account first.
  3. Make the admin account the device admin
  4. Create a passcode for opening this account (something other than the default swipe lock)
  5. Add generic class account to device
  6. Login and setup device with generic account
  7. Launch Play store app
    • Play store settings
    • Create a pin to control and lock settings
    • Use a pin to install apps. (Found out this only applies to apps requiring a fee.)
  8. Turn off the syncing of Gmail, calendar, and contacts. (Since this is a generic account we don't want students using the Gmail account anonymously.)
  9. Launch Play store web
    • Settings
    • Settings tab
    • Give a device nickname
    • Write the nickname on the physical device. (This allows the teacher to install apps remotely from the web, rather than touching each device.)
  10. Install the Google Drive App on each device. (Could also use Dropbox. We may use both, for getting content to/from each device.)

  • Other than setting maturity restrictions on apps, we cannot prevent students from installing free apps.
  • Cannot remotely organize/setup look and feel of the device
  • I investigated the Google Apps Device Policy app from Google. However, the app allowed the user to uninstall it. I also didn't have much luck with figuring out how to make the device ring loud (According to the info on the app, the GAFE admin can make the make the device ring loud in an effort to recover a lost/stolen device.) The only real tool I found was to wipe the device remotely.

Do you have similar problems, solutions, etc? Please leave a comment or contact me via G+.