Will Apple's new device enrollment program make iPad management easier for schools?


Last week I wrote an article about an alternative method to setting up a collection of school owned iPad's as it is a common problem often overlooked by many schools in the excitement of purchasing a class or school set of iPad's.

Whilst Apple has succeeded in dominating the 'classroom device' market with the iPad, it has had some failures in trying to deploy them in manner in which schools and parents can feel confident they are being used with educational intent and, as though the school has control of the situation. 

Volume Purchasing of apps has not been particularity well received by many schools prompting Apple to rethink the entire program late last year.

Now we have the Device enrollment Program as a result of this process.  The Device Enrollment Program simplifies initial setup by automating mobile device management (MDM) enrollment and supervision of devices during setup and enabling you to manage the devices without touching them. To further simplify the process, it’s now even easier to skip certain Setup Assistant screens so users can start using their devices right out of the box.

Zero-touch configuration

With the Device Enrollment Program, large-scale deployments of iPad, iPhone, and Mac are seamless for IT.  You can automate MDM enrollment for ever y device, so upon activation you can immediately configure account settings, apps, and access to IT services over the air. There’s no need for staging services, and no need for IT to physically access each device to complete the setup.

Mandatory and lockable MDM enrollment

The Device Enrollment Program enables you to automatically manage all your institutionally owned devices.  While completing the Setup Assistant, the device can be preconfigured to require automatic enrollment into MDM. This ensures that devices are configured based on your institution’s requirements, and guarantees that all users get the same setup on their devices. You can also lock users’ device in MDM for ongoing management.

Wireless supervision

Supervision mode provides a higher level of device management for institutionally owned iOS devices.  It allows additional restrictions, such as turning off iMessage or Game Center, and it provides additional device configurations and features, such as web content filtering and single-app mode. You can wirelessly enable Supervision mode on a device as a part of the setup process.

Streamlined Setup Assistant

The Device Enrollment Program makes it even easier to set up users on iPad, iPhone, or Mac. After you’ve configured devices through your MDM solution, users are guided through the activation process with the built-in Setup Assistant. You can streamline the Setup Assistant even further by specifying that certain screens be skipped. See the Deploying Devices section below for a complete list of screens that can be skipped during the Setup Assistant

It is great to see something happening in this space and Apple being proactive to ensure schools feel as though they are getting support around the use and implementation of the iPad in education.

The device enrollment guide can be downloaded here.