Making The Grade Overview Updated February 15, 2020

Making The Grade

A new weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education.

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82 'Making The Grade' stories

March 2018 - February 2020


Bradley Chambers has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 1000s of Macs and 1000s of iPads over the years, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for teachers, students, and knowledge works.

Bradley is passionate about how to make identity management easier to deploy new apps and services along with cloud-based technology.

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You can follow Bradley Chambers on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Read recent Making the Grade stories from Bradley Chambers below:

Making The Grade Stories February 15

As someone who’s been managing iPads and Macs for a long time, I know there are a lot of “nooks” where settings are in various mobile device management systems. I’ve learned a lot of things through trial and error as the platforms have evolved, but that isn’t useful for new technicians. A new book was recently published that I feel is essential for anyone who works with Apple products in the enterprise. I just finished reading Apple Device Management: A Unified Theory of Managing Macs, iPads, iPhones, and AppleTVs, and I think it’s going to become the handbook for Apple device management. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories February 8

I am in the midst of my third year of teaching coding at my school to nine and ten years old students, and I made a significant change this year after reflecting over the last two cycles. As I began lesson planning over Christmas break, I made a list of what I liked about Swift Playgrounds and what I didn’t like. As I began to think through it, I realized that what I didn’t like about Learn to Code 1 in Swift Playgrounds was how quickly the difficulty went up. By class five, students who didn’t naturally “get” the concepts of coding began to become frustrated. As I went to search for some different curriculum, I ended up on Code.org for coding curriculum due to its ability to create classes and monitor progress through our Clever portal integration.

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Making The Grade Stories January 25

2020 is an important year for Apple. It marks ten years since the introduction of the iPad. Even though it’s just a part of Apple’s device lineup, its impact can be felt on macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. In K–12, it ushered in a new era of mobility. Schools went from cart-based computing to 1:1. With every student having a device, Wi-Fi networks went from something that was in conference rooms to needing to extend to every corner of the building. Overnight, IT departments had to become RF experts and figure out how to manage and deploy devices that couldn’t be connected to Active Directory and had minimal management tools. For my Making the Grade column this week, I want to consider the impact of ten years of iPad in K–12. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories January 18

One of the biggest disappointments of the 2010s for me in education was the K-12 digital book market never evolved into much of anything with Apple, Amazon, or Google. They have little leverage with textbook publishers, and in reality, there is very little money to be made for the big technology publishers without making a few acquisitions. When Apple announced digital textbook support back in 2012, they had high hopes, but sadly, not much came of it. Even beyond textbooks, Apple and Amazon, have done little to reinvent the library experience in schools. Amazon would be an ideal partner for schools, but their education offering is weak. Sora looks to be the perfect solution for K–12 libraries wanting to make a digital transformation. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories January 4

After the announcements last year, I wrote about how AirPlay 2 being built into TVs had changed my future A/V plans at my school. After a year of watching software updates, I was ready to test a TV with AirPlay 2 in the classroom. For my testing, I used a Vizio V-Series 55-inch. Read on to learn more about my experience using a TV from Vizio with AirPlay 2 in the classroom. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories November 13, 2019

Piper Computer releases new Sensor Explorer kit with temperature sensor, RGB detector, and range finder

Back in May, I wrote about Piper Computer and its simplicity in bringing Rasberry Pi to students. I loved the entire process of building and using the original Piper Computer. Today, Piper is releasing the Piper Sensor Explorer, an extensive software update for the Piper Computer Kit and the new Piper Protection Plan.

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