We are researching the possibility of getting classroom sets of Android devices (I'm thinking Nexus 7's) for use in our junior high. We are planning on using Meraki to manage the apps and privileges on them. I would like your input on the following, since many of you have a lot more experience with these than I do. (I currently don't have a Nexus and am waiting to purchase a personal one after the new ones come out. My only experience is messing with a side loaded Nook Tablet to learn about Android.)
1) I was thinking about using 4.2's user profiles (1 for each class period) to keep students' accounts separate (such as Dropbox or Google Drive). Any foreseen issues?
2) Is there an easy way to make a disc image (for restoring after each year)? And with that, is there an easy way to restore multiple devices at the same time?
3) Is there a way to block purchases (app, in app, etc...) on the device?
4) Would we need to have a school account at Google Play set up for each profile? (Some people on other sites have indicated that should be done for mass deployment of paid apps, since apps are licensed to the account and not the device, therefore can be installed on multiple devices.) If so, can that be separate from what the students would log in with gMail? This, obviously is related to #3.
5) What would you consider "must have" apps on the devices. (Such as browsing, anti-theft, readers w/ highlighting/annotating/dictionary functions, etc...)
6) Are screen protectors / cases recommended? (Classroom sets stored on a charging cart for use in class only.)
7) I have researched a program called SmartClass (from Radix) to allow us to monitor all tablet screens, interact with the students, etc.... Any other suggestions?
Anything I am missing?
Thank you very much for any insights you have!
1) You should be able to accomplish separation by adding multiple users, but I will leave more specific comments to users who actually use multiple user accounts on their Nexus 7.
2) You can erase all user data, apps, and accounts with a "Factory Reset". If you wanted to have an image of a current state you would need a "Nandroid Backup", which would require root and voids your warranty. I can see eventually Google licensing ROMS for specific uses like education, but I have not seen any yet.
3) App purchases can be blocked by setting a "PIN" in the user's account that has to be entered for a purchase to complete.
4) Yes you can have multiple accounts setup for the Google Play Store, so the school's account could be setup on multiple devices and contain the devices apps, with purchases restricted by the PIN mentioned above.
5) As for Apps, you will definitely want word processing and a reading program, but each forum member has their own favorites and asking for specific app suggestions will receive multiple responces, so I would suggest that you list the capabilities that you envision the Nexus 7 having, before we start suggest apps.
6) With the multiple user environment you are anticipating, I would definitely recommend cases and screen protectors, to maximize device life.
7) No experience, so I will leave this one for others.
8 ) You may want to consider a breakage warranty, as I would expect devices to be dropped and knocked from desktops, in a class environment.
I hope this gives you some food for thought.