Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Support for Bretford PowerSync Cart

Earlier this year I wrote about my struggle with the Bretford PowerSync Cart. Well, my friend Bruce Ahlborn shared this incredibly helpful resource for those who are trying to wrangle a cart of their own (from Julene Reed, Director of Academic Technology at St. George’s Independent School). Many of her syncing suggestions are the same as those shared in my previous post, however she offers a plethora of other helpful tips -- such as disabling automatic updates (and thereby halting 30 annoying popup windows when you connect your cart). That tip alone made my day - and this document is overflowing with other amazing tips! Thanks to Julene for creating this awesome document and Bruce for sharing it with me!

One tip I would add: If you don't need the iPads to be individualized (i.e., they can have identical images and identical content), then don't rename them after the backup (as the document linked above suggests). I left all of mine named "NTA313"; now when I buy a new set of apps through VPP or want to upload a video to all, I just plug them in and they all sync simultaneously without me having to do anything. Just be sure to select "sync new apps automatically" on the apps window and "sync 5 newest movies" on the movies window. 


  1. Great post & links...

    I'm a little disappointed with the hassles of syncing multiple ipads for the classroom. I was hoping it would be much easier to add/delete apps from each device without having to go through a whole backup & restore from backup process.

    I was also hoping that I could find a way to set up some sort of separate user account system. I knew prior to purchasing the ipads that there was no user account setup, but I am still hoping to find a work around.

    As a secondary teacher with three different classes each day, I don't like the idea of having student work accessible on the iPad by students in another course.

    Ideas anyone?

  2. Agreed - have you tried using Edmodo or Schoology? Students can submit work to these sites and their accounts are password protected. Unfortunately they can't attach files, but they can add and modify text. Otherwise, you can consider creating separate Dropbox accounts for each child and having them share their folders with you so you have access to what they drop. Since they are secondary students, I assume that they have email accounts, which will support this latter option. I'm sorry I can't provide more support, but hopefully this helps!

  3. Thanks for the reply.
    Your second option is exactly what we are in the process of doing. Each student will have their own dropbox account to save work to. I didn't think of them sharing a folder with me, but that is an excellent idea. Obviously, a file naming system will need to be created by myself. Thinking YYYY-MM-DD-LASTNAME-FIRSTNAME
    I also need to experiment with shared folders a bit more in dropbox. I haven't had the need to share a folder to this point. Will I have 90 different shared folders in my own dropbox account? Hmmm... Things to ponder.

    Although we will use dropbox, some PDF annotation programs such as PDF Notes 2.0.0 have the annotated pdf file saved on the "bookshelf" or in the program so to speak. Having students delete their PDF from the bookshelf each day could be a hassle.