Use of iPads in schools and educational institutions worldwide is encouraging creativity and enhancing learning among young minds. Educational institutions are leveraging the power of technology to bring sophistication in traditional classrooms. Since Apple launched the iPad in 2010, many K-12 schools and higher education bodies have adopted iPads. They noticed significant benefits such as improvement in academic performance, increase in student’s engagement and motivation, improvement in content quality, reduction in costs and utilization of resources.
To know the impact of iPads on education, research was conducted by the government of Australia in 2012. The results were amazing; with 83% of primary teachers and 67% of special education teachers observed that iPads helped in improving the literacy level. They also reported that motivation and engagement of students have increased.
Apple has been very supportive in improving education quality. So far, the company has contributed a lot to improve classroom education with multiple teaching assistant frameworks such as the Classroom app, the Apple School Manager Program and Shared iPad. These frameworks help teachers to monitor, manage and control iPads in classrooms.
Apple Classroom app
Classroom app released in 2016, is a comprehensive kit for deploying, managing and monitoring iPads in the classroom. The app is empowering teachers with a set of remote device management tools which enable them to control connected iPads, launch apps, websites or books, create work-groups, lock down devices or apps and keep track of student activities with screen sharing.
- iOS 10.3.2 or later versions
- iPads should be of 4th generation or later
- iPad mini 2 or later
- All iPads must be bluetooth enabled
- All iPads must be connected to same Wifi network
- Students devices must be supervised
Steps to install and configure Classroom app
1. Installation of Classroom App
Install free Apple Classroom app on your teacher iPad Note: Students’ device need not to install the app
2. Creation and name of class
Launch the app, tap Create new class, and give your class a name. You can create multiple classes.
3. Check Bluetooth and WiFi
Make sure that all iPads are bluetooth enabled and must be connected to the same wifi network
4. Add students
Tap on the classes you created to open it. And tap Add Students.
5. Settings app and Classroom Menu option
Ask your students to open the Settings app and look for the Classroom menu option.
6. Selecting name of class by students
Once they have selected the Classroom menu, tell them to look for the name of your class.
7. Sharing Code
Once they’ve selected the name of your class, give them 4-digit code that is displayed on the teacher device.
8. Students name listed on the screen
After this, students will be added to your class and you will be able to see their name listed on the screen.
With Classroom app teachers can:
- Open the apps on student devices
- Lock the apps for a particular device
- Open websites on student devices
- Lock all student iPads, to prevent use of iPads or inviting them to connect with teacher commonly called as “eyes on teacher mode”
- Mute all iPads
- Get a live preview of all student screens at once or can tap on any student device to view full screen
- Create groups of student
- as per the projects they are working on.
In the case of shared iPads, teachers can assign students individual login credentials to access the same device. Students can just tap on the image on the iPad screen and enter their login credentials and access the device to see their assignments and homeworks. In this case, the iPad will be the same but, the apps might be different depending on the specific need of students and as assigned by the teacher.
Configuring Classroom app through MDM
When you set up Apple Classroom through MDM without the Apple School Manager, classrooms are defined and set up through MDM as admin-created classes. Configuring the classroom application through MDM provides the same set of functionalities that configuring it manually does.
Why do we need an MDM?
- Installation and set up of Classroom app manually by teachers in the classroom can be time consuming.
- Elementary students may find it difficult to follow the instructions given by teachers to add a class or to put 4-digit code given by the teacher. This could mean that the teachers need to perform tasks from student’s device as well, which could be again time consuming activity.
What does an MDM do?
If the school is using Mobile Device Management (MDM) to manage devices, the school’s IT admin can fully setup and configure all iPads with roster data for classes and students. This reduces setup time and allows you to get started right away. Additionally, it can also support the school’s policies made for mobile devices by putting appropriate settings and restrictions in place.
- Create teachers and students profiles
- Create classes and add appropriate students on teachers’ behalf
- Push apps allowed to students for use in classes
- Make necessary settings to provide teachers full controllability on students devices
- After getting all the necessary arrangements in place, MDM sends the Classroom app to the teacher and once the teacher clicks the app, the classes appear with the students rostered.
Configuring Apple School Manager in 1-to-1- iPad environment (ASM+MDM+CLASSROOM APP)
Users can set up Apple Classroom by syncing the MDM with Apple School Manager (ASM). It is the combination of DEP, VPP and Managed Apple IDs which are making ASM a complete package for classroom education.
ASM= DEP+VPP+Managed Apple IDs
Combing the capabilities of these programs will make the ASM perform functions as they do:
DEP – Device Enrollment Program (DEP) allows over the air supervision of iOS, macOS devices.
VPP – Volume Purchase Program (VPP) allows access to purchase managed distribution licenses for apps from the app store.
Managed Apple IDs – They do not require end user consent or management.
Why ASM should sync with MDM?
ASM further reduces the steps that MDM does and saves time. Synchronizing MDM and ASM reduces the amount of setup effort an admin has to put in for configuring classroom. Once, schools receives the iPads, they just have to open and power on the iPads and right away start using it without any further inputs from teachers, students or IT admins.
Steps to configure ASM:
1. Configuring ASM
Configure the users and classes on ASM, set the users as teachers and students. Confirm that they are in the class.
2. Sync the owner
Sync the owners in System Manager, allows system manager to see all users on ASM.
3. Assigning the iPad
Set the owner for each iPad.
4. Profile creation and installation
Create the education profile and install it on iPads.
5. Launching Apple Classroom
The teacher iPad launches the Apple classroom app and will be able to control and monitor the student iPads.
Classroom app is one of the best framework provided by Apple to educators. However, its synchronisation with MDM and ASM makes a complete package. Additionally, these frameworks can be integrated well with a different set of environments from 1-to-1 iPad to Shared iPad environment or from BYOD to company owned devices. Furthermore, in BYOD cases, teachers are empowered with limited controllability on devices.
Apple supports many MDM/EMM vendors to deploy iPads in Education. 42Gears Mobility Systems also helps to deploy Apple Classroom app on iPads with its solution SureMDM.
Learn more about SureMDM for iOS here to deploy Classroom app in iPads
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