Have you been the person who has been plugging in iPads into Apple Configurator for the past few years? Lost weekends and holidays because you are the person in charge of device management? Mobile device management (aka MDM) is the replacement technology to manage your mobile devices wirelessly.
Apple devices (iPads running iOS, MacBooks running macOS and Apple TV running tvOS) can be managed remotely and over Wi-Fi when they are set up using a third party MDM. Devices communicate with a third party MDM server to receive notifications with instructions to update apps, update the operating system or receive custom documents or assigned books. Devices routinely check in with the server to see if there are any updates to perform.
You can find a lost iPad provided that it is still connected to a network.
If you are a school that is managing several hundred iPads you can group devices so that you can distribute apps to a specific set of devices. For example, you could have green screen and movie making apps on Stage 2 iPads and Robotics and STEM apps for Stage 3 iPads.
One of the first steps is to set up and Apple School Manager account and then contact your Apple reseller to ensure that your next device purchases are placed under the Automated Device Enrolment Program (ADEP).
If you are part of DET NSW and have raised a purchase order or opted to purchase under your eT4L credits, these should be automatically added to the Automated Device Enrolment Program. If you look at the Devices section in Apple School Manager you will be able to search for these devices by serial number or device type/model.
Once placed under ADEP, those newly registered devices can then be assigned to your third party MDM server using Apple School Manager Each device must be activated and enrolled. Once this is performed you can start to remotely manage all your devices.
When you trade in your old Apple equipment you should also release your devices through Apple School Manager.
Older devices that have not been purchased under DEP can be manually added. Depending on the age of the device this step might involve setting up Device Supervision. This is when you do need Apple Configurator to perform this step.
If you have used Apple Configurator in the past, then you might know about Profiles and how they are used to configure various settings and restrictions on the devices. Profiles are still at the heart of device management. They are now definable within your MDM solution and are installed remotely.
Apple School Manager is an important piece of the puzzle since it also manages the student, teacher and class information that is used to help with Managed Apple IDs (these are education specific Apple IDs that give you access to iCloud - 200GB of iCloud Drive storage - and Bookstore digital books) and automatically configured classes for Apple Classroom.
Apps can be purchased through Apple School Manager or the Education VPP store. Once your free or paid purchases have been synchronised with your MDM server, they can then be distributed out to devices.
One thing to be aware of is that Educational Institutions cannot make in-app purchases. So when making the purchasing decisions, double check whether the app developer has a version that contains all the in-app purchases in comprehensive version.
The process of uploading your student records information is known to take a while to prepare. The information required goes beyond a basic list of all students. Class membership and associated teachers also need to be defined. UXED can help with the data preparation and upload process.
Did you know that iPads can be setup so that each student has their own sign in? Each student's data is stored in their own account. Photos are stored in each student's account. This has been a great solution that prevented students from modifying other student's Minecraft worlds. This does depend on having student records correctly uploaded into Apple School Manager.
UXED has been helping schools in Sydney region setup Jamf School MDM. We are a certified reseller of Jamf School. We also support Jamf Pro.
With experience from the Apple Distinguished Educator program we help teachers, students and executive teams discover the full value of iPads and Macs in Education.
If you are from a Sydney-based school, contact UXED about your deployment strategy for iPads, Macs and Apple TVs.
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