Some additional Apple Care Thoughts

Aron Nelson, developer of unrealBook (One of the pro-level PDF Music Readers for iOS) reminded me that, for phones, AppleCare + is not the only option.

Specifically, he mentioned:

  • If you pay your phone bill with a Wells Fargo CC, your entire family is covered – up to 4 phones with only $25 deductible and up to $600 per incident per year.
  • If you use SquareTrade, you pay $129 or so and get genius bar fixes with deductible.
  • If you have T-Mobile, for $10/month you have Apple Care and theft coverage.

I would simply add that AppleCare plus is $129 to $199 (depending what device you buy) up front.  AppleCare+ for iPhone extends your coverage to two years from the original purchase date of your iPhone and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $29 for screen damage, or $99 for any other damage, plus applicable tax.

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All Better…

It was a little touch and go for a while, but a replacement iPad Pro is back up and running.

The touch and go wasn’t Apple’s fault…it was mine.  I called Apple and verified that my Apple Care + coverage covered accidental damage (i.e. stupidity on my part).  It did.  So I went online and scheduled a time at the Apple Store at the Mall of America (about a 30 minute drive) at 3:20.

I arrived early and checked in…and there was no record of my appointment.  So…I pulled up my e-mail…and I had registered for 3:20pm on Monday.  Oops.  Apple was still able to put me into a cue for “walk-in” appointments, and I was texted a little less than an hour later for an appointment.

I didn’t have to explain what happened, and I didn’t make any excuses or demands (some other customers did around me, however, which was interesting to listen to).  The store had one more Apple Care iPad Pro 12.9″ unit with 256GB in stock–and was able to replace it.   The cost?  $49 plus tax.  If I didn’t have Apple Care?  $600.  The $149 I have paid for Apple Care and this repair have now paid themselves back by $450.  Two incidents are covered…so a next repair (let’s hope it doesn’t happen) might make the insurance worth $1100.  I’ll trade you $150 for $1100 anytime.  Just send me an e-mail!  🙂

The moral of the story?  Buy Apple Care.  The Apple Genius recommended Apple Care on iPads and Apple Watches in particular.  I had it on my MacBook (now 9 years old and counting), but have not had it on my iPhone or my wife’s iPhone.  I didn’t get it on my boy’s iPad Mini’s (we’re going to have to replace screens).   I might just get it all the time now.  There were no lectures from the Apple Genius–only kindness…and only kindness shown to the other customers around me as well, on a very busy afternoon at the Apple Store at the Mall of America.

So…I’m set for tomorrow.  I can work on some small changes to my lesson plan tonight when I publish this post.  I have learned a lesson about where to store my iPad in my car.  And I will now recommend Apple Care to everyone on every device.

Have a great week (It is Sunday night)!


Ouch. iPad Pro.

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This morning, after church, we went out to lunch.  My iPad is my note-taker (Notability) and Bible (Olive Tree Bible), and I put it in my customary location when driving…between my car door and driver’s seat.  After lunch, I got back in the car, and took a bad angle…basically snapping the iPad Pro.  My wife realized it before I did…and it was a long drive back home.

I bought Apple Care + for this reason–just in case something happened.  I didn’t think that I would be “clipping” the iPad getting into the car–I thought I would drop it (big screen and a portable device).  The iPad Pro hasn’t had any problems, even tucked into my carry-on bag on Spirit Airlines or in my over-the-shoulder bag for school.  It has also survived many (many) trips being tucked into that same location in my car.

Well, it won’t power on–but Apple does print the Serial Number of every device on the back of every device (it is small–you might need a magnifying glass).  Now I have to wonder if I set things up correctly.  Did I have iCloud Backup turned on correctly?  I can’t back up because the device isn’t responding and you need to be able to authorize a device to do a wired backup to iTunes.  I’m going to lose what I did this morning…but I wonder about all my files in places like Luma Fusion (video editing) and forScore which do not use iCloud syncing.

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We’ll find out.  My Genius Bar appointment is at 3:20.  I wasn’t planning on heading to the Mall of America today…but today HAS to be the day.  We have concerts or events every night this week, and I have my tri-annual observation in the morning.  I would have rather worked on another video or two today, as well as look at some of the new job openings in the field of music education–but today becomes all about the iPad.

I’ll blog later about how the restoration process goes, as well as how Apple handles this.  I’m sure they have seen worse.  I know they have.  Other than the bends in the aluminum case, the exterior glass and the rest of the device is spotless, so it is clear that it has been cared for.

I have a few other bits of news to write today…but I also wanted to write to verify that accidents happen to everyone–even people that are “techy” and if you are going to buy an iPad Pro, I think Apple Care + is a VERY smart investment.  I don’t have it on my phone…I probably should think about that next time.


MET Podcast #012

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

The latest episode of the MET Podcast is out…a delightful interview with Dan Scott, an orchestra teacher from Jenison, Michigan.  Check out the show notes as the interview references a presentation he has given on 50 ways to use technology in a performance based classroom!

link to show notes: https://metpodcast.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/episode-12-dan-scott-orchestra-teacher-in-jenison-michigan/

link to audio: https://archive.org/download/METPodcast/MetPodcast012.m4a


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Showbie and Schoology

Last year, my 1:1 iPad School decided to have every teacher use the free version of Schoology. The free version lacks a number of features–and as such, I kept using Showbie in my classroom even as I used Schoology.

This year, our district is piloting the full (enterprise) version of Schoology, which has a greater number of features. I am still using Showbie in my classroom–but at a much reduced level.

Showbie now calls itself a “light” learning management system. Originally an iPad app (and growing device agnostic year by year–a growing solution for Chromebooks, too), Showbie allows you and your students to share all kinds of documents–as well as to invite parents to see them. You can grade submissions in Showbie using a quick grading tool (I still had to transfer grades into Infinite Campus by hand). If a PDF is used in Showbie, either the student or teacher can annotate the document–which is a wonderful feature (Schoology currently only allows teachers to annotate). Showbie can also accept audio, video, GarageBand, and more file formats. Someone asked how a GarageBand file could be shared by a student or teacher…and Showbie is an option for that. There is a free version of Showbie, as well as a paid version. I have paid for the program for the past three years, with a renewal coming soon.

In my early days, students completed worksheets in Showbie, I used Showbie for their music (you can create a folder that only class members can access and upload music–and page turns are left/right and allow for annotation), and I eventually used Showbie for audio and video assessments. I would upload a PDF of a rubric and have students submit audio or video recordings (most recorded in class during an ensemble rehearsal), and later grade them using the rubric. I even had students assess themselves on a rubric (I cannot figure out how to do this on Schoology). I call this methodology a “light” approach to red note/green note software–my friend Paul Shimmons at ipadmusiced.wordpress.com uses SeeSaw and Google Classroom in a similar way.

Last year I moved away from having students write answers to daily questions in Showbie (from the S-Cubed Sight Reading Method) and instead used Schoology’s quiz feature (self grading). And this year, Schoology’s enterprise version allows students to submit audio recordings, and rubrics on Schoology work great (we are also using Schoology as a grade book and only copying end of term grades to Infinite Campus, our actual student management system). This year, rather recently, I have temporarily abandoned the written part of S-Cubed (sticking with the content and tasks)…so I am not using any system to grade written work.

I am still using Showbie for student music–and it is worth every penny of the annual subscription ($125?). Admittedly, for my current use, I wouldn’t need to pay–but the service is so useful (and we use it with so many students) that I want to make sure we are supporting the company. With Showbie as our music folders, I can easily send out new music, delete music (or an entire folder), and students still can flip left/right and annotate their music. Schoology can’t do that–yet.

How do I make sure students are using Showbie instead of messing around on their iPads? That’s a tricky question–but generally the answer is that I use Apple Classroom to monitor their app use. I could look at screens…but I figure if they are in the right app, that’s most of the battle. Some kids doodle throughout the hour on Showbie…but they would be doing the same with paper music.

Some readers may wonder why I wouldn’t use forScore, unrealBook, NextPage, Newzik, or PiaScore (free) with my students. There are two reasons. Showbie only allows my students to see their music, turn pages, and annotate. All of the other programs include too many options for my students–they press every button. Cost is also a factor. If forScore is $9.99 (worth every penny), it would cost 50% of that for an educational version of the app which can be withdrawn and reassigned). For my 300+ students, it would cost $1500 to get forScore on every iPad. Showbie is $125 per year. And finally, I love being able to quickly assign and withdraw music from a classroom “assignment” (it is really a folder). No other app has this level of management (although forScore has played with groups and Newzik is working on solutions). I should also add that Showbie is super-simple for students to use and to figure out. It isn’t surprising that Showbie is popular for all grades, K-12 (I don’t know a single math teacher would wouldn’t love Showbie). All of this may change if Schoology offers annotation and left/right page turns in the future.

With the enterprise version, our Google accounts work for Schoology–removing a barrier–and Showbie still works with GAFE accounts. The non-enterprise version to Schoology was a mess with e-mail accounts and passwords.

Ultimately, what I want to convey is that we are in our 5th Year of 1:1 iPads, and due to external influences, my workflow continues to adapt to both available resources and the expectations of my school/district. If you have the enterprise version of Schoology…try in-class or out-of-class (band/orchestra) use of the audio recorder and a rubric for assessments. And if you are in need of a super-easy solution to digital music (not perfect, as page turns require swipes and there are no “hot spots” to allow for repeats or DC/DS markings) look at Showbie.


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