Back to school already?

This school district issues iPads to its teachers for classroom use -- and they're allowed to take them home over the summer break, according to a pilot fish in the loop.

"Three weeks before school starts, I got a frantic call from a teacher who's at home," says fish. "She had been searching her house for hours and still couldn't find her district-issued iPad."

It seems the teacher had to run an errand the day before, and didn't trust the friends of her college-age son. So she hid the iPad so they wouldn't play with it while she was gone -- and now she can't find it.

She knows about the "Find My iPad" app -- a co-worker's iPad was stolen, and that tracked it down promptly. But for some reason it's not working for her.

Fish politely explains that if her iPad is turned off or has a dead battery or is otherwise not connected to her home network, there's no way to locate it because it's not communicating with the Apple servers.

He tells the teacher that the only thing he can think of doing is to check the school district's mobile device management server to see where it was the last time the iPad made contact. He hangs up with a promise to call back as soon as he's done that.

But a quick check of the server turns up pretty much what fish expects: The teacher's iPad last contacted the server about a week earlier from an IP address that he's pretty sure is the external address of her home router.

"I was about to call her back when my phone rang," fish says. "Turns out her son is better at finding things than she is at hiding them -- and he got angry because she hid it from him, so he hid it from her instead!"

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