Monday, December 16, 2013

Wifi Preferences for iOS

WIFI is a great thing.  iPads, iPhones and iPods all love WIFI.  But, these devices will often stray from your WIFI.  I live in an apartment building, and most of my neighbors have unprotected WIFI.  My iPod Touch will often connect to their network, and I need to switch to my network.

Most computers will allow you to set a preference as to which WIFI to connect to first, second, third and so forth.  But in iOS, not so much.  Unfortunately, this cannot be done on the device.  Here are some quick tips as to how to set up a preference for this on an iOS device.

What do you need?
  • A Mac or PC
  • iPhone Configuration Utility for that computer (MAC , PC)
  • iPad / iPhone / iPod cable for your device.

All of these steps are done in iPhone Configuration Utility.  Other applications that support this procedure include Apple Configurator and Jamf's Casper Suite.  The other applications may look a bit different, but essentially are the same settings.

See the image, and follow the instructions below it.

1.  Add a new Configuration Profile.  Click on "New"

2. Give the Profile a name, I called mine, 'WIFI Credentials'

3. Identifier.  This is an identity for the person that wrote the profile.  It is derived normally from a person's web profile, but it is backwards to a normal web address.  This typically can be anything.  

As this is a local (personal use) profile, it does not matter exactly what this identifier is, but it is a required field.

4. Security.  If you are setting up this profile for yourself, leave it as Always, but for others, it may be appropriate to change this setting.

5. Click on Wi-Fi

6. Add the Name (or SSID) of your First Wi-Fi network.  This is the name of your network that you click on to join on your iOS device.

7. Security Type.  If this is a home network, Choose "Any (Personal)".  

8. Password.  Enter the Password associated with this wifi network.  If there is none, leave it blank.

If this is an Enterprise Wi-Fi, you may need to add any certificates associated with the security.  On a Mac, this wifi security certificate can often be found in the "Keychain Access" app.  In the next screen shot, it shows the location to put this certificate.

Continue to work in this manner, in the order of service for Wifi Networks for your iOS device.  

9. Once done, connect your device.  if iTunes launches, quit iTunes.  If this is the first time connecting your device to your computer, on the device, you may need to click on "Trust this Computer".

10. Click on your device.

11. Click on Configuration Profiles.

12. Press Install on your Wi-Fi Profile.

13. You may need your Passcode entered on your device, and follow the prompts on your device.

When this is all done, your device should use the networks you have added first, as a priority.  You can still join networks, but it takes these first. You can add this profile to all of your iOS devices you own.

Best of Luck!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

KIS Mobile Device Manager, with Casper Suite

At KIS, my edtech team and I have had the task to find alternatives to re-imaging computers.  Re-imaging is stressful for all involved. You want all of your computers up to date, with the software that is needed.  With Re-imaging, computers are collected, connected to a server, and computers are overwritten.  Folks often forget to backup their computers, tears flowing over lost data.

I work in a 1:1 Mac environment, with many iPads.  Many teen agers who are new to Macs, and often have a problem making sure their computer is up to date.  A big issue:  lots of iPads, in little hands.  We are also trailing 1:1 iPads in grades 3 and 4 this year.

My school also wanted an alternative to Apple Remote Desktop.  A system that allows for monitoring Macs.  At my school, it did not work.  Due to networking issues, it was nearly impossible to find all students in your class with ARD.

We were able to find solutions, but ultimately, we chose JAMF software's "Casper Suite".  After the first few days, mostly positives.  Staff now can download software from Casper's "Self-Service".  A live demonstration of Macbook screen sharing was successfully shown to staff.  Our server now is accessible from the homes of our staff & students.

With Self Service and the control of JAMF's Casper Suite, we now can ensure that all computers download their updates.  A policy has been added to the managed computers, to automatically download software updates.  Which never could have been done with traditional re-imaging.

Casper's Remote, allows us to "Screen Share" computers, Casper can also give us reports of suspicious activities.  There are many ways that our Parents can feel that the Macs at KIS are managed well, now that we are running Casper.

More to Come, including iPad Management with Casper.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

App review: Super Stretch

After discussing his term in Physical Education with his teacher, Miss Early, we talked about what my son enjoyed in Class. The Yoga unit was one of his favourites, and living in a small apartment, can be done in a small space. But, I am not some yoga master. Miss Early suggested we look at an iPad app for Yoga for kids.

My son is a first grader at KIS, where they use iPads from a cart in the classroom. Santa had brought him an iPad mini for Christmas, and we have already been using it for him to be more organized for school. He uses it for recreation, and a bit for school related tasks.

I came across two apps, but Super Stretch became his favourite. It has pleasant animations, video clips of kids doing the poses, a reward system, and a code of ethics. My son decided that everyone in the house needed to do the Yoga, getting his little sister, Gran, Pop, Mom & Dad to join in.

Here is the AppStore link:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Mac won't load the Users & Groups preference pane: Fix

I had recently had a Mac on Lion unable to load the Users & Groups Preference Pane. 

 Like this:

My IT support had suggested reimaging the computer.  Reinstalling the Operating System, reloading the applications, and transferring back the User information from Time Machine Backup.

Well, after doing all of that, the problem reappeared immediately.  I scoured through Apple Support Communities and found this fix.  For some reason, some transparent users are showing up in your system.  They need to be deleted.  But since you cannot load Users & Groups... it becomes a problem.

Here is the solution / procedure.
Quit System Preferences.  
Launch Terminal.  (Applications/Utilities/Terminal)  

Copy & Paste these commands.

sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest
press enter
Terminal may ask for your Administrator Password, enter that.
sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest1
press enter
Terminal may ask for your Administrator Password, enter that.

Relaunch your System Preferences.  All should be back to normal.

I recently had a colleague have this issue.  Through her experimentation, she continued with the above sudo commands.  She had 4 guest accounts.  If the above fix does not work, continue through the above commands, but changing it to add other numbers, like listed below.  If Terminal gives you a "no such path" error, just continue.  Thank you, Amalia Kingsbury, for letting me know.

sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest2
sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest3
sudo dscl . delete /Users/Guest4

Friday, March 8, 2013

Working with 3rd Graders and iPads

At the Pangyo Elementary School, 3rd graders have been working in teams to create 'Mission Briefings' about Planets in our Solar System. Students needed to use traditional and Internet researching methods, team collaborative creativity, and the iPad to make their mission video.

Teachers, like Annette Welpman, have invited Edtech Specialists to their class, to assist them with the technology.  But, as the students became accustomed to the technology, the creativity began to flow.  Students quickly adapted to the new technology, and were able to nearly independently, create their mission briefing.

I assisted Annette and her students, for their first time using the iPads in a group project.  This was a rewarding experience for the students, the teacher, and myself.

Ms. Welpman working, and photographing, her student.

An example of one group's work on the Mission Briefing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

AirDrop Not Working? This fixed mine!

AirDrop, Apple's somewhat unknown feature, works on most modern Macs.  What it does:  It allows you to drop a file to another Mac, over Wifi.

Want to know more about it?  Look here:

But, you need to be able to see other users to use it.  For some reason, my Mac, running Mountain Lion, just stopped showing other users, I couldn't see them & they couldn't see me.  I was worried that I would have to reinstall my OS, which may not have fixed it.  Then, I found this script for Terminal.  Now, I am Not a Terminal expert, but this was just a cut / paste fix.

To find Terminal on your Mac, go to Applications / Utilities / Terminal.  Cut / Paste this code and press Enter.

defaults write BrowseAllInterfaces 1

Launch Airdrop as normal, and you should be back up and running!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Siri Voice Commands

Siri maybe an overlooked piece of technology on the iPad. She is quirky, and doesn't always understand you, but the more you use her, the better it gets.

In my life, I've used Siri to help my seven year old to have limits with his iPad. This has also helped him manage his time, and to remind him to do his chores, and get organized for the next day.

I use Siri to check the weather, schedule appointments, and do some dictation when I cannot be bothered tapping it out.

But you may wish to know all of her voice controls. Why not just ask her? Open Siri (hold the home button for a second) and say, "Siri, what can you do?" And she will tell you.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Graphic Novels on the iPad

As an Edtech Specialist, my main role is iPad integration in the classroom.  I make many tutorials, but this is my first, of many, that I will be posting about the iPad.  This is a bit of a complicated one, but it is a unique one.  The YouTube Links below are embedded in the ebook, and the ebook follows.

The iPad apps used are as follows:  Comic Life, ArtStudio, & Book Creator

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

My new blog!

This is my new blog, to post my creations and thoughts about technology.  I am an Art Educator, Educational Technology specialist, parent, and husband.  I am an avid photographer, and trained radio broadcaster.  There are lots of places I would like this blog to take us, so follow along!