Top 5 things to think about when introducing Ipads into the classroom

So, your about to introduce ipads into the classroom, on the surface it seems a simple task but as you uncover the capabilities of the devices you will start to appreciate it’s not always as straight forward as it should be, what management software will you use? how to you ensure the ipads stay secure? whats the strategy for hardware replacement? Theirs lots to think about!

below we have listed the top 5 things to think about when introducing ipads into your school….

Number 1 – what ipad management software will you use?

Its a great idea if your using over a handful of devices in your school to start thinking about management software, firstly its a good idea to sign your school upto Apple school manager ( this is the place where you can register all your ipads, and also start to roll out apps accross the devices, Apple school manager was formed from DEP (Apples device enrollment program) and VPP (Apples Volume purchasing program). At its most basic level you can enroll devices onto this platform either through the reseller you have purchased the devices from, or if you have bought the ipads either graded, refurbed or from a non education reseller these can be added through apple configurator 2.

Once on ASM you can add your MDM (multi device management) platform token, this is where it starts to get abit technical, but put simply the MDM will take ownership of the setup and general management of the ipads. for example if your school buys 100 ipads and you want to push a profile to the devices which might include icloud accounts, proxy setting, parental guidance settings, the MDM will allow you to do this seamlessly. MDM’s will also allow you to carry out hundreds of tasks on your ipad estate, including things like remote wipe of data, de-activation PIN numbers, reviewing activity logs and so on…

Some of the better MDM’s in the market include, Zuludesk, Jamf and lightspeed, but there are many to choose from, most have similar features although pricing does vary between these platforms.

Number 2 – Think about storage, charging and protection

Although usually a secondary thought, storage, charging and protection can make the difference between a set of ipads that are used effectively in the classroom to them being thrown in a cupboard and forgotten about because the staff loose confidence in their ability to deliver.

A Good storage trolley will offer upto 30 ipads charged at once,

Number 3 – Wireless infrastructure

You have to remember when introducing more mobile devices across your school, you will be adding extra load onto your wireless network. if you wireless settup is already shaky at best, dont expect to add more devices without an issue. Ipads download apps, upload photos and update IOS’s pretty much all the time, so you need to make sure your wireless network is upto scratch. Check for blackspots, check that your access points are on updated to the latest firmware, and ensure you are utilising your access point controller to manage traffic over the network.
If your using on onsite storage location for images, think about the additional traffic and load this will add.

Number 4 – Hardware rotation

Its a fact Apple don’t want you holding onto ipads for too long, apple actively write off hardware that is aged, so you need to build a long term plan for iPad rotation. typically look at a 5 year rotation on the devices and you will get the best use out of them, you may also retain some value in the device at the end of the 5 years to help you purchase the next generation devices.

Number 5 – Apple schol manager / VPP / DEP

If your not already signed up to apple school manager (ASM) i would suggest doing it now, it takes a few days for the initial sign up process as apple have to ring and confirm the school is 100% a school, then when you register for VPP (volume purchase programme), there is also a short delay to get the VAT status logged with Apple. Once you have done this you can start to add users, buy apps in bulk, link MDM’s and generally manage you ipads estate much better. If your looking at purchasing new ipads, buying them from an authorise education reseller this will help when adding them to your DEP.