The classroom has changed. The days of blackboards and overhead projectors are far behind us, and teachers across the world are using technology to transform the education experience. And with the launch of iOS 9.3, Classroom and Apple School Manager, the progression toward more advanced classroom practices through iPad is stronger than ever before.
In today’s JNUC session, Jamf product expert, Michael Devins, discussed how Jamf simplifies the processes around device enrollment, app deployment, class configuration and Apple ID management.
“We’re at a point in time where IT professionals like yourselves have an instrumental role in helping create classroom success,” Devins said. “Utilizing Jamf to empower your teachers is a direct link to creating stronger educational opportunities for students.”
Devins went on to discuss key features that will help transform the learning experience for students.
iOS 9.3 for education and beyond
“There was a ton of value for both commercial and education customers with the iOS 9.3 release,” Devins explained. “The timing was different from traditional major OS releases, but it was awesome because it allowed us to build these capabilities into the JSS ahead of the summer deployment season. That meant many schools got to take advantage of these new capabilities for the upcoming school year. And we continue to build upon these capabilities.”
Devins showed the “Enable Education Support” setting that turns on the Educational Profiles – a simple check box that unleashes great capabilities.
Apple School Manager, Shared iPad, Classroom app
Lots of capabilities here! Among other things, Devins took a look at how the JSS integrates with Apple School Manager by leveraging the Device Enrollment Program instance, as well as how to import users and classes from Apple School Manager. He additionally discussed the various settings related to sync frequency.
Devins then toured the upgraded Classes within the JSS. “Users are now fully represented, not just emails,” he explained. “That’s because we make use of all of the associated information. We display full names in Classroom app and Shared iPad login. We deploy Managed Apple IDs for users to easily log in on Shared iPad.”
There are also new user-level capabilities for Shared iPad directly on Classes. Devins discussed App Usage Restrictions to customize which apps are shown (unique per class or student), as well as an upgraded Home Screen Layout, which allows IT to define a consistent arrangement of the apps.
Education workflows with Casper Suite
“Building upon the Classes framework ensures compatibility with Casper Focus,” Devins said. “And Apple School Manager powers some massive automation on any imported classes, keeping every student and teacher updated and ready for the day.”
Of course great functionality only goes so far without successful workflows. Devins took a look at the improvements in key workflows that matter the most to you and called out what you need to know. Comments included, but were not limited to:
- “We’ve made it so easy for existing Casper Focus users to migrate to Classroom. But if you’re not ready yet, that’s OK – Casper Focus still works,” Devins said.
- “There’s great value to importing by classes, not just importing users,” he said. “By importing a class, the JSS will automatically monitor changes and automatically import new users added to the class, triggering updated education configuration payloads.”
Also worth noting is the importance, and differences, in the educational profile. Devins showed the new kind of configuration profile that’s obfuscated and built into Classes, as well as the Summary of Elements within the EDU profile.
The session ended with examples of key workflows that deserve your time and attention.
“At Jamf, we believe in enhancing teacher effectiveness and student learning,” Devins said. “These new capabilities empower teachers to focus on teaching, and the new technologies allow students more access to highly personalized learning. It’s all driven by a line of integration starting with your Student Information System, processed through Apple School Manager and the JSS, and ending with iPads in the hands of your students.”