textbooks, and for subject-related applications,
such as astronomy software for science classes.
But all tablet applications must be approved by the IT department or by “content
supervisors” within each school building,
says Tim McDade, director of technology for
the district. Anyone is free to suggest applications that have educational value.
“We don’t want to hinder either teachers or students [from
using] what’s out there; we don’t want to put up barriers,”
McDade says. Allowing people to suggest apps enables the
district to keep up with the constantly changing landscape of
software, he says. About 100 apps that users recommended are
now in use, and a great number of them were free.
Schumacher Group, a Lafayette, La., company that provides emergency-room management services to hospitals, also
gives users latitude in selecting applications for tablets. The
company recently launched a tablet pilot program through
which about 35 iPads have been deployed, says CIO Doug
Menefee. Schumacher Group lets individuals deploy and
manage their applications.
The IT department works with users to determine whether
particular applications will meet their needs; if they will, it
procures the apps. “I’m a big believer in not trying to control
the user population,” Menefee says. “I feel that by putting too
much control on users, you don’t get them exposed to other user
interfaces and other solutions. I like it when
users come to us with a business problem
and say, ‘If it just acted like X app, then that
would meet my needs.’ ”
On the spectrum that ranges from total
control to total freedom, Marist College in
Poughkeepsie, N. Y., is on the freedom end.
The IT department
does not want to be
the app police.
BILL THIRSK, VICE PRESIDENT OF IT,
Craybuildscomputersthatacceleratesolutionstoscience and engineering’s toughest challenges. Since 1976, Cray systems have brought unparalleled performance and processing capability, enabling countless scientific breakthroughs. And with solutions ranging from the deskside to the datacenter, Cray has the answer for you.
The Way to Better Science.™