Apple fans unite at MacTechSA

I’m an Apple girl. So I was naturally excited to hear about the Mac Tech SA event in Cape Town on 15 May 2014.

 What it is

It’s an event aimed at bringing together Apple fans and professionals to share ideas, innovations, network and just get excited about Apple stuff in general. Created and run by Lee Balsdon of Apple Domination.

 What I learnt

Armed with Sheckter’s Organic Energy drinks (love those things), we were ‘eased’ into the evening with some updates on what happened in the Apple world over the last month or so and inspired by some innovative ideas coming from Apple.

“You’re more powerful than you think” is a big tagline to live up to. However it is one that Parklands College’s is fulfilling by using Apple devices in their daily education. Parklands College is part of the One2One initiative from Apple, allowing the college to use Apple products in their day-to-day educational activities with students of all grades.

 Here are some stats on Apple usage in their school:

  •  The school boasts 745 iPads in their network
  • Every learner from Grade 1-6 has an iPad
  • In the secondary faculty, they use MacBooks and iPads
  • They have Apple TVs in classrooms, allowing for open sharing of work
  • It’ an Apple-only school
  • The entire school has wifi

It’s amazing how technology has changed education. I still remember going to the library to look up information in real books and photocopying what I needed to take home to post into my project. The level of education that these kids are getting is something we didn’t even dream of back then. These children are going to be entering the working world with such valuable skills – working with iPads and presenting their work teaches them confidence and presentation skills. Most adults are terrified of presenting in the corporate boardroom!

Cavan Lang is the ICT Network Manager at the school and took us through the MDM (Mobile Device Management) system, Casper, which they use to help them with the mammoth task of controlling kids with iPads. It’s an over-the-air distribution of applications, data and configuration settings for all types of mobile devices. Everything (application/e-book downloads/removals, security, access, clearing history etc.) is managed centrally and on the back-end is an Apple Mac mini server. It’s awesome.

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We delved into the world of mobile POS system iKentoo next with Michael Da Silva and experienced the efficiency of a truly cloud-based POS solution.

Automatic backup, wireless printing, real-time stock and time management, consolidated reporting…and loads of more clever stuff going on with this. Think table-side ordering, your waiter never being able to forget you, time between your meal being cleared and your bill being managed, easy ordering/payment on your flight…it’s happening. It even suggests which wine I can pair with my meal. All with Apple products – iPad, iPhone, iPod. Excellent.

iKentoo

What it costs

Entrance fee to a MacTechSA event is R50 and all proceeds go to iPads for Lionhearts.

What else is fun

Prizes! Each event has giveaways and this month Wireless Wipes came to the party. We walked away with a Sheckter’s Energy drink or two and also received promo codes for two featured apps of the month.

What I thought

It was a really informative and insightful event. Apple fan or not, it’s a great one to attend to be inspired by innovation and the power of technology.

When it’s happening again

MacTech SA host one get together every month in Cape Town, with the next one being pencilled in for 10 June 2014. They’re also in the planning stages of bringing MacTechSA to Johannesburg.

Watch this space and I’ll see you at the next one?

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Find MacTechSA on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

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