Step One: Preparing an iPad

It is best to begin with an iPad right out of the box. Through Configurator, you can skip certain steps and provide some basic information about your institution by preparing your iPad as brand new. Here is where you have the option to supervise your device—if you choose not to supervise, some options may not be available. So, let’s explore the Profile option.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 11.46.11 AM

Prepare iOS Devices

If you have an MDM server, you can actually create a profile that configures to the wifi network and the server and load this profile directly onto the iPad. I do not have one of these, so we’ll be using the Manual enrollment for now and continuing on past the ‘Enroll in MDM server’ page.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 11.48.41 AM

Supervise Devices

These options will determine whether or not your users will be able to sync and pair with their own computer (at work or at home). There are pros and cons to both, and it really depends on how you intend the iPads to be used.

Assign to Organization

This information will show up in your settings and is a way to claim ownership over the iPads. It’s good. Do it. If you’re setting these up from a central library branch, you can fill out the information for wherever you want them to belong or be returned to, etc. The options are endless!

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12.01.56 PM

Configure iOS Setup Assistant

Ahhhh, my favorite window. When you open an iPad and go through the setup process, it forces you to go through a bunch of steps that can be a pain to undo later on. If you’re setting up a bunch of iPads, ain’t nobody wanna do that for every device. So just set them all up here and safe yourself the trouble. Again, what options you choose all determine how much ownership your users have. Once you’ve selected the options you want, you’re done with this process!

Once the iPad is prepared, we can dig into the Blueprint.


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Yes, I’m still around.

In the last year and some change I have completed my MSLIS and landed a pretty awesome big girl job for the local community college as a technical specialist in a subject library. There are some pretty great parts of the job, and one of my favorites (and most frustrating tasks) is setting up and deploying technology. We received ten iPad Mini 4s around holiday break, and since then we’ve been going through the process to get them into our students’ hands.

There have been a few bumps in the road, but nothing that some creative thinking can’t get around. When technology fails, the librarian rises to the challenge… in this case, with a fine-tip sharpie and a smile. However, there has been one difficulty that keeps getting under my skin and refuses to reconcile.

Apple Configurator.


It’s a friendly enough program, if you know what you’re doing. Which I sort of do. I guess. In short, it’s a program that allows you to create profiles and blueprints and apply them across your iOS devices. You can also create specific profiles for people and create those, so you don’t have to have Tom enter his same information every time he wants to borrow an institutional iPad. We can restrict access to certain apps and the iTunes Store, set the wallpapers, apply a passcode, subscribe to calendars, all this great stuff! It’s a pretty snazzy idea. In theory.

In practice, I know Apple products and I know the configuration I want, but Configurator doesn’t necessarily work like I want it to. The simple problem with this is my expectations. Again, I know Apple products. On some level I expected to be able to pick up and use it with minimal difficulty, but that has turned out to be a huuuuuuuge false assumption.


About two weeks ago I went to Computers in Libraries here in DC. It was great just as it was last year, and I learned a lot and had a blast networking and meeting long-time Internet acquaintances. On the Thursday I attended (the last day, sadface), I grabbed my coffee and yogurt and found an empty table where I could stand and not have to do the awkward “chair table” routine that I usually do. The first person to approach me and start chatting was Andrea Puglisi (@asterismsky), who IT TURNS OUT BY TOTAL RANDOM HAPPENSTANCE is also working on a similar level with iPads at her library. I love library conferences. The best stuff happens. We had a lot to talk about and share with each other, and it’s been nice to be able to tweet back and forth about our obstacles since.

Yesterday (two days ago?) a post crossed my tumblr dashboard asking about managing iPads, and specifically restricting access to Game Center. Google only told us so much, and even signal boosting the issue to the rest of the tumblarian community didn’t give us an answer. So today when I got to work, I checked on the laptop and LO AND BEHOLD—guess what Configurator does with a single little check box.


In all my hair-pulling, swearing, and furious gritting of my teeth at Configurator, I’d forgotten how much I’d learned by messing around in it. I’d forgotten how much I love problem solving and processing through my learning by sharing obstacles and victories on a blogging platform.

And so, it begins again. Coming soon—a series of posts about Apple Configurator and iPads in an educational setting. They will be basic. They will help me learn and distill what I’ve learned and go back to the beginning so I can reset my own knowledge to a more solid foundation.

If you have any insight or if you see a place I’m going wrong, please feel free to comment and discuss—I came into this mostly blind and am still correcting the assumptions I adopted with my expectations.

If you have questions, you are happily invited to ask them. I’m more than thrilled to do what I can and help others as much as possible.


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Customize Your iOS Device to Fit Your Needs

Source: Customize Your iOS Device to Fit Your Needs

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Responding to “On Trigger Warnings and the Halberstam Affair: a Panel Discussion”

Neil F. Simpkins

In August, I participated in a radio show interview with Natalia Cecire and hosted by Karma R. Chávez and Anders Zanichkowsky about trigger warnings post-Halberslam. A few weeks later, Madison Mutual Drift published a transcript of the interview, along with two written responses by Dan S. Wang and Brigitte Fielder. I wanted to write some reflections I’ve had after this experience, so I thought I’d do it here.

One thing I’m learning from this whole experience is that what Catherine Prendergast calls “being disabled rhetorically” happens by refusing to address disability and its rhetorical productions on their own terms. Prendergast describes how having a mental illness affects one’s “rhetoricability”–when a rhetor is or is perceived as mentally ill, their rhetoricability is lessened and often negated. I’m struck how in the roundtable I participated in that disability was only tangentially discussed and not brought up in either of the written…

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LSC874—One Last Thing…

If anyone wanted to see what the spreadsheet looked like for the TimelineJS project, I have made it accessible on my Google Drive.

With that, I end blogging with the LSC874 tag and begin my vacation from schoolwork.

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Using Diigo To Prepare for Comps


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LSC874—Bamboo DiRT: Useful Google Earth/Maps Skillz

I’ve already written about Google Earth and Maps to some extent during this class, but as I did use it for the last assignment I should write about it, and it’s come to my attention in the last week or so that I am not the only person who has experienced this difficulty.

Importing a map from Google Earth into Google Maps.

How do?

Here’s how do.

  1. First off! Get your kmz file which you created in Google Earth. Got it? Awesome.
  2. Next, let’s dig through Google’s options to take us back to Classic Google Maps.
    1. Go to and click on the question mark in the bottom right corner.Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.00.48
    2. Select “Return to classic Google Maps” and confirm when prompted Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.06.17
  3. Now, let’s import that KMZ file:
    1. Select ‘My Places’Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.07.26
    2. Click on “Or create with classic My Maps” [note: if you click on “CREATE MAP” it takes you back to current Google Maps -_- ]Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.08.11
    3. Select “Import”Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.08.49
    4. Click on ‘Choose file’ and navigate to the file on your computer. Confirm your selection and select ‘Upload from file’Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.08.55
    5. Wait forever for your file to uploadScreenshot 2014-05-07 15.09.00
    6. Enjoy your feeling of accomplishment
  4. Convert the old map into new Google Maps
    1. Go back to
    2. Click on the search bar and select “My custom maps”Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.09.05
    3. Select “see all my custom maps”Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.09.09
    4. Select the one you created a few minutes agoScreenshot 2014-05-07 15.09.14
    5. When prompted, select ‘Import’Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.09.19
    6. Voila!

[note: while Google Earth does, Google Maps does not support image overlays and so will present you with an error, as seen below.]Screenshot 2014-05-07 15.09.25



Special thanks to Kim Hoffman for permission to use her Google map as an example in this tutorial.

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