I currently work in a role in which I assist over 60 schools with technology and learning. The overwhelmingly most popular device for schools looking to purchase new equipment for either 1 to 1 teaching and learning or as class sets is the iPad.
This has not gone unnoticed by Apple as they intend to make the largest overhaul in iOS history when they release iOS 7 in September.
iOS 7 provides powerful new ways to configure and deploy devices across institutions and features to help schools purchase, distribute and manage apps with ease. App Store license management, seamless enrollment in mobile device management (MDM) and single sign on are just some of the capabilities in iOS 7 that make it ideal for education.
App Store license management.
The App Store Volume Purchase Program now offers institutions the ability to assign apps to users while keeping full ownership and control over app licenses. Institutions purchase app licenses through the VPP website, and can use their MDM solution to assign apps to students, faculty, and staff over the air. Students can enroll with their personal Apple IDs without providing it to their institution, and apps are placed in their purchase history for self-service download, or are installed automatically via MDM. Apps can be revoked at any time and reassigned to other students. In addition to iOS apps, VPP now also supports the purchase of Mac apps and even books, so students can be provided all the tools they need to get their work done.
New MDM options.
The MDM protocol in iOS 7 includes a number of new commands, queries, and configuration options that make third-party MDM solutions even more powerful. Wirelessly set up managed apps, control which accounts and apps can open certain documents, configure accessibility options and AirPrint printers, and restrict changes to accounts. Teachers can remotely lock or unlock iOS devices into a specific app, such as an assessment app, ensuring that all students are on the same activity at the same time.
Streamlined MDM enrollment.
With automatic device configuration, new devices purchased by a school can be wirelessly enrolled into their MDM system during setup. In addition, new devices can be placed wirelessly in supervised mode, which enables enhanced management options. With streamlined MDM enrollment, users can be up and running quickly without the need for manual configuration by IT.
Single sign on.
Authenticating into your institution’s apps is now as simple as doing it once. Single sign on (SSO) means user credentials can be used across apps. Each new app configured with SSO is able to verify the user is allowed access to institutional resources and login without requiring them to enter their password again.
AirDrop allows users to transfer photos, videos, or documents between iOS devices making it easy for teachers and students to collaborate. Users just tap the Share icon within an app and select the person they want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Transfers are encrypted, so all their work is highly secure.
Enhancements for Apple TV.
New management options aren’t just for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Now Apple TV can also be enrolled in MDM, allowing configuration of settings like Wi-Fi and default language. iOS devices can be pre-configured with AirPlay destinations using configuration profiles. And MDM can prompt a student to mirror their screen on a specific Apple TV, so teachers can easily put their work on the big screen.
Enroll students of all ages in iTunes U, iCloud and more.
Students with Apple ID can have an enhanced personal experience with access to great online services like iTunes U, iCloud backup, and the ability to receive licenses in the new Volume Purchase Program. And now schools will have a program to facilitate Apple obtaining verifiable parental consent for personal Apple IDs for students under age 13.
Caching Server 2 supports iOS 7.
Caching Server 2 speeds the download and delivery of content through the App Store, Mac App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store. By caching purchased content on an institution’s OS X Mavericks Server, your students and faculty get faster downloads of all their content including software updates, directly to their iOS 7 devices.