Jamf Blog
February 8, 2018 by Michael Devins

What to do after you purchase Apple devices for your classroom

See why choosing Apple in the classroom is part of a larger strategy that includes selecting a management solution.

You’ve decided to put iPads in the hands of your students. Great! Now what? Choosing Apple in the classroom is part of a larger strategy that includes selecting a management solution. With Jamf, schools actually have two distinct options to select from when building out their deployment strategy: Jamf Now and Jamf Pro.

Jamf Now
Jamf Now is a perfect solution for smaller deployments or for schools with limited IT expertise. With Jamf Now, schools can gain access to Apple deployment programs like the Device Enrollment Program (DEP) for zero-touch enrollment and the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for distribution of apps. Of course, Apple’s ecosystem of apps is one of the most compelling aspects of iPad in the classroom. On top of that, teachers can use Apple’s Classroom app to create classes on the fly without any complex student information system (SIS) integration required.

Jamf Pro
Jamf Pro builds upon Jamf Now capabilities and expands them greatly. Build scaleable zero-touch lifecycle management workflows with DEP and Jamf Pro to ensure each school year kicks off on the right foot. In addition to app distribution, Jamf Pro can deploy books to every student putting a world of resources in the palm of their hand.

Apple School Manager
One of the most significant advances to integrating with Apple in the classroom was the introduction of Apple School Manager. Apple School Manager is a tool that allows IT administrators to more easily manage people, devices and content in a central, web-based portal. Incredible capabilities are unlocked when schools integrate with Apple School Manager.

Consolidated ownership
Schools procure iPads through a variety of channels, which can complicate deployment logistics. Some devices are purchased or leased directly from Apple, making them eligible for DEP. Other devices may be donated or purchased second-hand. Up until recently, these were not able to participate in DEP. Thanks to enhancements to Apple Configurator 2, that is no longer the case. Apple Configurator 2.5 or later now allows organizations to add any iOS 11 or tvOS 11 devices into DEP. This is a huge win for schools hoping to consolidate all devices in DEP.

Another challenge that schools face as they grow and scale with Apple has to do with content ownership. While schools traditionally start with a single VPP account for managing apps and books, additional accounts quickly follow. Multiple accounts work well for segregating content and delegating access, but they also introduce single points of failure. If an individual content owner leaves your school, all content associated with that VPP account can be lost.

Apple recently migrated the VPP experience directly into Apple School Manager with the new apps and books section. This integrates everything schools love about VPP into a more modern deployment portal. Content is now owned by the institution with the option to delegate access to any users in your environment. This makes it simple to involve more faculty and staff without the risk traditionally associated with multiple account holders. Add in new capabilities like license migration between locations and Apple School Manager is a compelling upgrade for schools of all sizes.

SIS Integration
For many schools, the source of truth for all data systems is derived from within their SIS. This makes integration a critical aspect of any scalable deployment. Apple School Manager provides Jamf Pro with direct access to users and classes. This information can be imported and automatically matched to existing Jamf Pro users. It can also create new users and classes for use with the Classroom app or Shared iPad. The beauty of this integration is that automatic syncing keeps all of your classes up to date with the latest information from your SIS.

Streamlined workflows
Apple School Manager handles large-scale workflows with ease. With SIS integration, Apple School Manager will automate the creation of Managed Apple IDs for staff and students. Managed Apple IDs are unique in that they have been built with student privacy in mind. For example, commerce (i.e. iTunes, App Store, ApplePay) is not allowed on these accounts and Location Services are disabled. IT can even specify the initial passcode for Managed Apple IDs, making the first login for students easier.

Putting it all together
For smaller schools or pilot programs, go from zero to zero touch in minutes with Jamf Now in the classroom. For schools that want to take full advantage of all that iPad in the classroom can offer students and teachers, look no further than Jamf Pro.

Watch this video to learn more, and when you’re ready, try Jamf Pro and Jamf Now for free.

Michael Devins
Michael Devins, Director, Product Marketing, Security.
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