Jamf Parent: Technology for parental engagement.

As more schools explore the use of iPad beyond the school day, schools can increase parental engagement by offering powerful, easy-to-use technology for parents.

July 9 2024 by

Mat Pullen

A parent helps a student with work on her Jamf School-managed iPad as they sit in the kitchen.

What is Jamf Parent?

This free app for Jamf School is technology for parents that allows them to manage their children’s school-issued devices through a simple interface.

Parents can:

  • Allow and restrict apps
  • Set a timer for app restrictions
  • Schedule app restrictions on your child’s device based on location, movement and time of day
  • Monitor communication on popular apps like WhatsApp and Messenger

In the same way that Jamf enables educators with Jamf Teacher, Jamf Parent enables increased parental engagement. Jamf Parent allows parents and guardians to take control of school-owned devices when students are away from school.

Empowering parents in EdTech

Jamf Parent might be the most revolutionary of Jamf’s end-user apps for education because it can make such a vast difference in parent engagement in schools.

Research demonstrates how critical it is for parents and families to be engaged in children’s education. However, the shift to remote and technology-enhanced learning models can be difficult for some parents.

So much of student work takes place on devices, and so much of the work is distributed among various apps, locked behind login screens. Parents can no longer look over a student’s homework or open a textbook to get an idea of what their children are learning.

As more devices come home to extend the learning day for students, parents want to know that they can provide support to keep their children focused while on the device. Jamf Parent works similarly to Screen Time on a personally owned Apple device

Getting started is easy.

Depending on how schools configure Jamf Parent and whether they use Jamf Pro or Jamf School for their mobile device management (MDM) solution, there are different ways that parents can get set up using the app.

They may receive credentials from the school’s IT department, or they may be prompted to pair manually to a student device or devices using a QR code. Either way, connecting to one or multiple devices is quick and painless. Jamf Parent is available for iOS, iPadOS or Android devices. You can even get it for Apple Watch, which makes it possible to receive notifications about children’s whereabouts or to manage their devices in real time from a parent’s wrist.

A brief tutorial shows how easy it is to set up Jamf Parent.

Keeping children safe and productive

With Jamf Parent, it’s easy to block certain apps and features either all the time or at certain times or places. Users can select these individually or by category. It can be as simple as stipulating that social media apps or games are off-limits during study times, similar to Jamf Teacher.

Jamf Parent helps students focus on the task at hand. It also helps parents to prevent their students from accessing certain types of content like instant messaging— even when they aren’t physically there to supervise.

On days and times when children are supposed to be doing homework, they can have access to only the apps they need and nothing else, avoiding the many distractions that the technology offers. It’s also possible to set restrictions on how they manage their device settings, so you don’t run into any issues with the hardware itself.

Location- and motion-based features

Where Jamf Parent really stands out is with rules and restrictions based on place and motion.

Location-based rules and restrictions

Parents and guardians can designate school campus, home, and other locations children frequently visit— such as grandparents’ homes or community centers.

Parents can assign different usage rules for each location. Perhaps, for example, a student needs to avoid games and social media at Grandma’s house but needs access to Messages so they can be in touch with parents. It’s easy to customize each location to make sure that only the desired activities happen there at the right times.

An additional feature: Jamf Parent can send parents and guardians notifications when students get to school or to other designated locations, providing peace of mind.

Motion-based rules and restrictions

Parents can also use the app to set motion-based rules, so devices can be set to lock when they detect that a student is walking, cycling or driving between locations. This is a major contribution to promoting safety, much like like an anti-distracted driving solution— but scaled to how students get around.

Planning activities for school and free time

In addition to motion- and location-based rules, Jamf Parent can also schedule out certain blocks of time for designated activities.

Children often struggle with time management and appropriately prioritizing school-related activities. Even when they’re not playing games, students might dedicate too much time on a subject that they find easier or to a more “gamified” app that they especially enjoy to the detriment of their studies in other subjects.

But with Jamf Parent, guardians can choose an hour of their student’s time to be devoted solely to a particular subject, and lock the student device into only the apps needed to complete those activities.

Creating custom rules

Creating custom rules involves simply choosing the type of rule (social time, homework time or bedtime), and then choosing the apps to be available during that time. Then, when the device comes home parents can simply tap on the rule and timing.

Parents can explore Jamf Parent at whatever pace feels comfortable.

The granularity that Jamf Parent offers also means that it has a very manageable learning curve.

Parents can start out by just blocking categories of apps that they don’t want children to use. Then, as the school year progresses and guardians get a sense of their students’ progress and pain points, they can take a very active approach to scheduling out their children’s studies.

The end result is the polar opposite of the alienation that parents can feel when children do schoolwork on electronic devices; now parents have the complete picture of what students are using devices for. And they can lend a hand to ensure study and play times are balanced and focused.

Tools like Jamf Parent can help parents to feel more in control of their students' education, and more involved with their school. And for everyone, that's a win-win.

Increase parental engagement with Jamf Parent.

See how Jamf School makes it easy.