A starter guide to rolling out iPads for schools

loop digital iPad classroom

You’ve chosen to roll out iPads for school – Great Choice! and you’ve done your homework!  Your school already has a solid internet connection and WIFI network setup and you’ve just secured agreement and budget to start testing and using iPads in your school. What’s next? We will cover below some of the steps and processes that you should consider when deciding to deploy your iPads for schools strategy. Let us start by explaining a few simple acronyms:

DEP = Device Enrolment Program.  (Enrols your Devices with Apple)
VPP = Volume Purchasing Program.  (A system for buying, downloading and installing applications individually or in bulk)
ASM = Apple School Manager.  (Helps you manage and assign, devices, classes, students and teachers)
MDM = Mobile Device Management.  (Manages devices, settings, restrictions and many other policies)

Each of these services are designed to help you plan, rollout and use your iPads for school.

Step 1

Enrol your school with Apple.

Follow the Apple enrolment process – this helps Apple recognise your school as a valid Educational Institution and involves several verification steps with Apple. Once complete, you’ll be setup and given a school DEP id that will be tied to your schools Apple ID allowing you many benefits like: educational discounts when buying devices through an authorised reseller or via Apple VPP.

Step 2

Choose and purchase your devices.

Select a recognised Apple Supplier or in the case of the Republic of Ireland an “Apple Premium Reseller” . There are a number of recognised Apple Resellers. It is important that you choose one authorised by Apple as they will assign the devices, at the point of purchase, to your DEP id that Apple gave you in “Step 1” above.  Doing this will allow you, flexibility as an administrator to assign your devices to your chosen MDM solution via Apple School Manager.

Step 3

Choose and setup your MDM solution.

If you already have a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution in place in your school then you can start by assigning your new devices to you MDM and begin the distribution process. If not, there are many services available on the web to choose from. The level of features, functionality and user experience of the solutions will vary depending on your needs, number of devices, budgets etc…  Some services offer robust solutions and features for free, but again this will depend on the number of devices that you want to deploy and manage at a time.  There are also a number of ways to build your own cost effective solution using: Apple Server application, Apple Profile manager… there are several pros and cons to each depending your requirements.  Infiniteloopdigital can help advise you on what solutions might suit your school the best.

Step 4. Tying them all together.

Apple School Manager is a new free service that Apple has launched, it is still in “Preview mode” Its goal is to help Educational bodies better manage and streamline the learning environment. In Apples words:

” Apple School Manager is a service that lets you buy content, configure automatic device enrollment in your mobile device management (MDM) solution, and create accounts for your students and staff. Apple School Manager is accessible on the web and is designed for technology managers, IT administrators, staff, and instructors”

It has many features to support your school. In the context of this guide, we will use it to assign your new devices to your chosen MDM solution in step 3 above.

Device assignment to your chosen MDM can be done directly within Apple School Manager. Once you’ve added in your MDM details, you simply choose the devices that you would like to assign to the MDM in the dropdown menu. Once that’s done you can start to use your MDM to manage all you devices in the way you want. Setting restrictions, Installing , removing Apps, creating profiles etc…

We hope this short guide, on some of the top level processes involved with getting your school up and running has helped. As you can see, there are a few important things to consider when deploying iPads for schools. If you would like any more information please feel free to…

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