With the release of iOS 9.3 earlier this year, Apple announced a number of education focussed tools to improve the management and productivity of iPads in school environments. This doesn’t negate the need for a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution, or a Management Information System (MIS), but works in conjunction to put the devices in the hands of students and teachers.
To help you understand what this tech can do for educators we’ve provided a brief overview of what’s new. For a more in depth read, Apple have provided an Education Deployment Guide to detail all the new features.
If you’d like any advice or consultancy around these new features, or how to successfully implement and manage Apple devices in general, give us a ring on 01323 404040, or email your enquiry through to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange a call back.
Apple School Manager and Managed Apple IDs
Apple School Manager is a web based system containing a fully integrated set of tools for managing school Apple devices. After enrolling in Apple School Manager, a school’s MIS and MDM systems can be linked. This is still in preview mode but expected to go live with the mid-September release of iOS 10.
Managed Apple IDs are owned and controlled by each school and are designed to meet the needs of schools, allowing for bulk creation and management, central password resets, ability to manage MDM enrolment for devices, purchasing, communication and distribution limitations, role-based administration as well as the ability to deliver courses.
Mobile Device Management:
Many MDM solutions have already enabled support for iOS9.3, including our chosen provider, JAMF Software. Apple School Manager has been developed to deliberately work in conjunction with MDM, enabling schools to set up iPads and Macs wirelessly.
MDM is invaluable for automating setup and enrolment, managing device settings throughout the year, scheduling software updates, enabling/disabling certain apps, tracking down lost devices, applying restrictions and rights.
Shared iPad solves the problem of students sharing devices, where a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible. Teachers can assign iPads to students at the start of each lesson with no need to wipe any data at the end, enabling a simplified management workflow.
Students can find their own iPad either by photo or initials, and login via their own Managed Apple ID with a range of passcode options. This then gives them a completely personalised experience whilst logged in. When they log out at the end of the lesson their information is saved and the iPad is ready for the next student.
The learning experience is uninterrupted as data is synced to the cloud in the background (for apps that support cloud storage). Multiple student’s data can be intelligently cached locally to improve performance. Additionally, Apple Caching Server can be used to accelerate the download of apps, books, iTunes U content and data stored in iCloud.
Classroom for iPad
Classroom is an iPad app that gives instructors a powerful tool for managing and guiding their students in class. Only the teacher needs to download the app and they can then use this with managed 1:1 devices, or shared iPads.
With Classroom, teachers then have the ability to launch apps, websites or books to either the entire class or a subset of students. They can view screens, lock devices to an app or book, or lock the whole screen. Student work can be shared through Airplay and Apple TV, and passwords can be reset or students assigned to a specific shared iPad.
Note: Before proceeding we’d recommend you either check yourself or consult with us on the eligibility of your devices and the systems requirements for each of the new features.