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Apple is Going to Make it Easier to Put iPads in Classrooms

12603381845_b0aceff6b1[1]Apple’s insistence of one device per user per ID may have made sense for the consumer market but the gadget maker is finally realizing that it isn’t working in schools.

Apple sent out an email on Friday with the news that they were changing the rules for the academic market. The company plans to reduce the number of steps needed to set up an iPad by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID.

The new rules and procedures should make it easier to to deploy iPads en mass and manage the apps, and is expected to go into effect this fall (in time for the new school year).

To simplify large deployments, including one-to-one and shared use, we want to make app distribution even easier. Today, Apple IDs are required in order to deliver apps and books to students. We are working to change this in the fall by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID. As currently planned, this will greatly reduce the number of steps needed to setup a device.

This change should eliminate the need to create generic Apple IDs solely for the purposes of getting content onto iPad. Schools will also have the option to prevent students from making personal purchases without approval.

We realize the complexity of obtaining parental consent for Apple ID for students under 13 can be a challenge, especially in large districts. We are working to change the Apple ID for Students program in 2016 – during the upcoming school year. With these planned changes schools will have the ability to create and manage Apple IDs on behalf of students that can be configured to access iCloud. It will also allow system administrators to reset student passwords. And, the new approach will still meet COPPA requirements.

It sounds like Apple is finally noticing that PCs, Chromebooks, and Android devices are all a lot easier to deploy than is the iPad. The problem, as it has always been, is that Apple ties many of its services to the hardware in the hopes that you’d buy a new device. That makes managing the devices a nightmare, in the words of one parent.

Or at least that is how Apple used to do things; what with the change to iWork for iCloud, and this email, it looks like Apple is finally figuring out that its decision to tie services closely to specific hardware has been holding it back.


image  by flickingerbrad

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Michael W. Perry March 8, 2015 um 1:24 pm

Why just one? The best solution would be to allow Apple devices to have multiple identities including:

1. Individual
2. Household
3. Multiple group IDs.

fjtorres March 8, 2015 um 2:22 pm

Account controls is but part of the solution and often the least problematic.
Configuration control and remote administration are bigger issues. Odds are, Apple will have to rely on IBM to provide those features in their contract bids which will in turn limit their reach to sites working or willing to work off IBM-managed systems. Which is an improvement but still a minority of systems.
Penetrating the glass house isn’t something you do in weeks or months.
By the time Apple gets the iPad up to today’s standards, the market will likely have moved on to the next phase.

Richard Dean Starr March 9, 2015 um 1:46 pm

Apple will ultimately lose this market the same way they lost the education market after the Apple II.

Unless Apple is willing to cut the price of their hardware by astronomical amounts, K through 12 schools just can’t afford to own and maintain Apple products.

That’s why they’re adjusting the terms: so they can get the most favorable position possible while still raking in piles of money from the education market.

I remember probably 25 or 30 years ago, while I was still in high school, I remember watching the progression of PC’s into the curriculum. It wasn’t uncommon to see the school’s Apple II’s being used by early Castle Wolfenstein fans, young kids, and pretty much no one else.

Don’t get me wrong, the Apple II was a great and revolutionary machine. But Apple completely dropped the ball on the education market then. I don’t see them doing things much differently today.

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