Following the release of iOS 9.3, Apple have developed a number of education focused features and tools that have significantly improved the management and productivity of iPad devices in a school environment. A significant focus has been placed on improving the management and use of shared iPad which will be of particular interest to many.
The components involved are;
- Apple School Manager
- Managed Apple IDs
- Shared iPad
- The new Classroom app
These are discussed in detail in the recently updated Apple Educational Deployment Guide which is available via iTunes as an iBook or alternatively an online version is available here.
Another useful guide for iOS 9.3 is the iOS Deployment Reference available here.
The purpose of this article is to give you a brief outline of each component and their release status together with our recommendations.
RM will release implementation services to include all these new features once they are all fully released which we hope will be within the next few months.
Apple School Manager and Managed Apple ID’s
Apple School Manager is an Apple hosted web based portal that integrates a number tools for supporting the deployment and use of school managed Apple devices.
Managed Apple ID’s, unlike consumer Apple IDs, are owned and controlled by each school and are designed to meet the needs of educational institutions.
- The ability to bulk create and manage Apple ID’s
- The ability to reset Apple ID passwords centrally
- The ability to manage MDM enrolment for devices
- The ability to buy and distribute apps and books
- The ability to set limitations on purchasing and communications
- Role based administration
- The ability to integrate with Student Information Systems
- The ability to build and deliver courses
- Apple School Manager and Managed Apple ID’s are currently in preview and due for release shortly, you can potentially enrol into the preview programme here.
- In preparation for the release RM advise that you check the eligibility of your devices for enrolling into Apple School Manager, guidelines for which can be found in the educational deployment guide referenced above and outlined here.
- We also recommend you review the programme requirements available here.
- We recommend that you look to enrol your eligible iPad devices into the Apple Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) as soon as possible and that you do this regardless of whether you are looking to use any of these new features as there are many other benefits, here are some FAQ’s regarding DEP which will help, click here.
This is a new feature to support the use of Apple devices in a shared user scenario, e.g. a trolley of iPads that are shared amongst several classes and students. This functionality is enabled as part of the device enrolment process using a combination of your MDM Server (e.g. Lightspeed MDM) and Apple School Manager.
- Multiple students can share the same iPad using their Managed Apple ID to log in to any shared iPad subsequently supporting a roaming user scenario.
- Intelligent caching is used to cache multiple student’s data locally on a given iPad to improve performance.
- Apple Caching Server can be used to accelerate the download of apps, books, iTunes U content and data stored in iCloud.
- Due to the dependency on Apple School Manager, Shared iPad is also in preview and shortly to be released.
- We recommend that you review the Shared iPad system requirements detailed on this page.
- We recommend that you start to consider introducing a Caching Server into your environment, this is part of the Apple Server App that can be purchased in the App Store, click here.
Classroom is a new iPad app that is installed on teacher iPad and uses a combination of Bluetooth and wireless to guide learning, share work and manage student devices. Classroom is available now for download in the App Store.
- Teachers can launch apps, websites and books to the entire class or just a specific set of students using remote control.
- Teachers can view screens, reset passwords and assign students to a specific shared iPad.
- Teachers can lock devices to a particular app or book or they can lock the screen.
- Teachers can share student work with Airplay and Apple TV.
- Classroom App can be used with both managed 1:1 and shared iPad devices.
- There is no App required on the student device.
Full details of the Classroom App can be found in the deployment guide.
- We recommend that you review the Teacher iPad system requirements for running the Classroom App.
- We recommend that you review the infrastructure and iPad requirements for using Classroom.
- Note that the Classroom App can still be used to control devices that don’t meet the requirements for the new Shared iPad feature or the Apple School Manager tool in that if these devices are treated as managed 1:1 devices, as they are in RM’s deployment of the old shared iPad model i.e. each device is supervised using an MDM and has a unique Apple ID assigned to it, then the majority of Classroom App features will still be available for use.
To find out about how RM Education can support you with Apple devices and software, please visit www.rm.com/apple