iPads were originally designed for 1:1 use, with each iPad being associated with its owner’s Apple ID. In schools, however, iPads are also commonly shared by a number of students. The key challenges for schools are therefore:
This information is intended for teachers, technicians, and support staff who have responsibilities for deploying and managing multi-user iPads. It applies to iPads that are in shared use by students.
In order to manage school-owned iPads that are shared by students, we recommend all schools:
As you read this guide, it will be useful to have an understanding of the following terms:
This guide only provides an introduction to deploying school iPads. The following links will provide further details:
ASM provides a web portal at Apple School Manager for schools to access a variety of tools related to managing iPads. We recommend all schools go through the sign-up process explained in this Prepare to upgrade to Apple School Manager article .
Note that if you have an existing VPP account that was created before 2014 then it is considered a legacy account and you will need to get Apple to migrate it to a new account that will be able to be associated with ASM. The safest thing to do if you have an existing VPP account is to call Apple on 0800 387 938 and ask them to check if it is a legacy one. If it is a legacy account they can start the migration process for you.
Like the VPP store, you can find the Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) within the Apple School Manager portal. It works by linking an iPad’s serial number with your particular school so that an iPad is identified as being owned by your school. DEP is used in conjunction with a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform to help automate the deployment of settings specific to your school.
We recommend that schools use the Device Enrolment Programme for new and existing iPads if possible because it allows MDM profiles to be locked and means that stolen iPads are largely useless to a third party. This may require you to find original invoices/receipts for purchased iPads and to gather a list of the serial numbers of your iPads.
DEP allows you to specify which MDM you wish an iPad to be associated with, and makes it possible to lock the MDM management profile onto the iPad so that it can not be removed.
If a correctly set up iPad that is enrolled in DEP is stolen it can’t be reset to factory settings without the school’s management profile being reapplied. This makes the stolen iPad effectively useless.
There are two ways that iPads can be enrolled into DEP:
iPads that cannot be enrolled in DEP using one of these methods can still be added to your MDM either using Configurator or the MDM’s enrolment portal.
Apple’s terms and conditions requires you to purchase one app license for each user or for each device that uses the app. This ensures that app developers are properly remunerated. The best way to purchase multiple copies of apps for a school is via the Volume Purchase (VPP) Store which you can access from within the Apple School Manager portal. Login using the Apple ID that was created for Apple School Manager.
You can pay for VPP purchases in one of two ways:
You will need to obtain licenses in the VPP store for both the paid apps you want to use and the free ones. Paid apps are normally half price if you purchase at least 20 in a transaction.
NOTE: iTunes cards can not be used to purchase apps in the Volume Purchase Programme.
Apple enables you to automate the setup of iOS devices. There are three common methods you could use with school owned devices, listed in order of preference:
For a large quantity of iPads, you could consider using a combination of options 1 and 2 as you can use Configurator to push not only the MDM management profile but also a wifi profile which would save you a entering wifi details on each device.
For the first two options, we recommend that the iPads are put into supervised mode:
Supervision gives your organisation more control over the iOS devices you own, allowing restrictions such as disabling AirDrop or Apple Music or placing the device in Single App Mode. It also provides additional device configurations and features, so you can do things like silently install apps and filter web usage.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions allow the remote configuration of iOS Apple Devices.
Many MDMs can also be used for multiple device types and operating systems at once. So, you can manage other device types such as MacOS, Microsoft Windows, ChromeOS and Android (but with various levels of integration).
You are likely to need technical assistance to set up an MDM.
MDMs are cloud hosted management platforms that an administrator can access via a web browser on any device. They can be used to create and deploy profiles that can then be locked on the device. This lets you do things like disable the App Store, prevent passcodes being set, and many other settings. This makes deployment consistent and quicker. You can push setting changes and new apps to iPads as long as they are connected to the internet: there is no need to use cables to connect them. MDMs are usually billed per device per month so require an allocated budget.
Apple’s Configurator 2 is an application specifically designed to help manage iPads.
Configurator 2 runs on any Mac (Macbook, iMac, or Mac Mini) that is running the latest release of MacOS. It requires iPads to be connected via a USB cable to the Mac that is running it. A suitable USB hub can be used to connect multiple iPads to this Mac.
You may need technical assistance to set up Configurator 2.
Configurator 2 gives you significant control over how you set up your iPads allowing you to things such as:
Any time you wish to make a change, such as a new restriction or App, each iPad needs to be connected to the computer running Configurator 2. This could be very unwieldy for larger deployments.
It is important that the Mac you use to run the Configurator 2 software is completely up to date, for example, you should install the most recent version and updates to MacOS and the latest version of Configurator 2. You should always check for these updates before any large deployment and as part of any troubleshooting.
When deploying a large number of iPads that will be managed by an MDM, using Configurator 2 to initially deploy the wireless network settings and so on, could allow you to reduce the hands-on inputs needed on each iPad.
This is a very simple method but is really only practical if you have a very small number of iPads. It is not recommended by Apple.
An iPad is set up as required then backed up using iTunes. Each of the other iPads are connected to the computer running iTunes and the backup is restored to each of them so that they are identical. You should still use the VPP store to buy sufficient copies of the apps you wish to deploy as buying a single copy and deploying it multiple times is in breach of the licensing agreement.
After the initial configuration, making changes to all iPads is slow and requires a very hands-on approach with this method. You are limited to the restrictions you can enforce because supervised mode is not possible. Users will have more ability to make changes that you may not want, such as changing passcodes and desktop pictures.
If you are wanting to take a sustainable, scalable approach to iPad management, you should consider one of the other two methods described above.
|Comparison of deployment methods:|
|Supervised mode to enable additional control||✓||✓||X|
|Enable restrictions and settings via profiles||✓||✓||X|
|Over the air deployment of apps, updates, and settings||✓||X||X|
|Free to use software||X||✓||✓|
|Does not require an iMac, Macbook, or Mac mini||✓||X||✓|
|Scalable to accommodate larger quantities||✓||X||X|
|Easy initial solution configuration||X||X||✓|
|Easy per iPad on-boarding||✓||✓||X|
|Easy to add new apps, updates, and settings||✓||X||X|
There are many MDM options available to manage iPads. Our recommendation is to consider a product that is proven to work well in schools in New Zealand and that offers features and support most relevant for you at the right price. Use the VLN iPad Group , talk to your technical support provider, or contact an Apple Consultants Network mobility specialist and ask for recommendations.
Since IOS 9.3, iPads have a feature called Shared iPad that works in association with Apple Classroom. This will allow multiple users to have their own school-managed accounts on iPads that they share with others. To use Shared iPad requires at least 32GB storage for each iPad.
There are different types of Apple IDs:
Join these groups to participate in discussions with other teachers/educators about the content here, or that is relevant for you.
Subscribe to the newsletter.
Note: You can manage your email subscriptions using the links provided in the email footer.