Apple Computer Inc.’s iPad family of iOS-powered tablets have been popular in many educational settings for several years. Today, technologies from Apple and Ivanti are helping educators and classroom technology administrators to ease and speed deployment, management, sharing, and integration of iPads in classroom settings around the world. 

Apple in the Classroom: A Rich History 

Apple has actively pursued the education market since the company was founded, a pursuit that was accelerated by the introduction of the iPad. The company has for years offered educational institutions a Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for purchase and distribution of multiple copies of apps and books. Apple has also long offered a Device Enrollment Program (DEP). As respected IT market watchers Enterprise Management Associates® (EMA™) wrote in an April 2017 white paper, Managing Apple Devices in a Windows World, the DEP “allows organizations to set up configuration profiles before deploying iOS and Mac devices.” The DEP also “simplifies the onboarding of new devices through integration with third-party management platforms.” 

Apple has also attempted to simplify issuance and management of Apple user accounts via its Apple ID for Students Program. Each of these initiatives can deliver significant benefits to those deploying Apple devices in classroom settings. However, classroom technology administrators who wanted to take advantage of all three could spend significant amounts of time accessing, logging into, and switching among various web sites and portals. 

In 2016, when Apple introduced iOS 9.3, it also introduced Apple School Manager. This solution provides a consolidated portal for deploying and managing classroom iPad deployments, including DEP, VPP, and Apple ID for Students Program accounts. The software enables administrators to manage, distribute, and reclaim application licenses that were assigned to specific users or devices under the VPP. Apple School Manager also supports Managed Apple IDs, the ability for schools to assign and retain control over Apple IDs that previously required students to obtain parental permission, then sign up individually. 

Also in 2016, it also introduced its Classroom iPad app. That program enables teachers to manage and see a classroom full of iPads. It also supports multiple user accounts on each device for easier sharing, which can expand iPad access where providing a dedicated device to each student is impractical.

In March 2017, Apple introduced version 2.0 of its Classroom app, which adds the ability for teachers to create classes and invite students to join them manually, with no IT intervention required. (Teacher and student iPads must be running iOS 10.3 or newer, however.) That same month, Apple partnered with case manufacturer Logitech to produce a ruggedized iPad case for the education market. In addition, Apple lowered iPad prices, making them more competitive with alternatives.

Teachers and classroom technology administrators can expect Apple to continue delivering solutions and enhancements designed specifically for educational institutions for the foreseeable future. However, teachers and classroom technology administrators can also expect the same from Apple’s competitors, which means a future of continuing device diversity, with all the management challenges that implies.  

Apple School Manager + Ivanti = More Simplicity and Control 

Ivanti offers a fully cross-platform solution that combines endpoint management for Mac and Windows and mobile device management for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices. Specific capabilities include the following. 

  • Complete inventory of more than 700 information items related to the hardware, user, and installed software 
  • Ability to attach custom information items for tracking cost centers, class information, class schedules, and other items useful for better reporting on, and configuring, computers 
  • Deployment of OS upgrades and updates across all Mac and Windows platforms present and future, including patented technology that images Macs while in use 
  • Complete remote configuration of devices, easing reliance on non-technical people, as well as full screen-sharing and remote control 

Ivanti solutions are driven by smart policies and incorporates integration features that make it an ideal complement for Apple School Manager. Using Apple School Manager and Ivanti solutions in tandem, IT administrators can order devices through the Apple Device Enrollment Program, pull data into the Ivanti console, and visualize and manage the configuration of those devices. Instead of IT staff having to configure thousands of devices, they can configure a dozen policies, customize the out-of-the-box user experience before the district receives the devices, and hand out devices literally still shrink-wrapped. 

Apple School Manager enables rapid, easy deployment of iPads ready for students to use and compliant with district and school requirements quickly and easily. The combination of Apple School Manager and Ivanti solutions gives teachers and classroom technology administrators comprehensive, granular control over all leading classroom computing platforms, today and tomorrow. 

Download the Ivanti white paper, Teachers in Charge, IT in Control, to learn more about Ivanti solutions. You may also be interested in this white paper from industry research firm Enterprise Management Associates titled Managing Apple Devices in a Windows World. Then, contact Ivanti to see how we can help your educational institution broaden and deepen the benefits of Apple School Manager and the iPad to your school, classrooms, and students.