iPad Deployment: This Time with Students

iPad Deployment

Stacks of iPads for Deployment

This summer marked my 4th summer prepping an iPad deployment. Every June I think, “Yes, this will be the smoothest year. We finally have it all figured out.” And then, inevitably, an update to our MDM or the iPads or both throws us into a frenzy of hair pulling, late night fixes, and frantic emails asking for work arounds. So this summer we decided to approach our deployment from a completely different angle – this year, we are turning over the setup to the students. Let me explain…

Every other summer we have spent our time wiping and restoring iPads. This tedious process has involved logging each iPad into the MDM, assigning it to a user, downloading a huge payload of apps, and customizing configurations. Even with a cache server and an ethernet connection, the process still was painstakingly tedious.

So this year the process is being flipped. Students wiped their iPads before handing them over in June. All students, even if they were getting back the same iPad. We then cleared out the MDM of all app licenses, and set up a basic payload of Google apps, a couple creativity apps, and a web clip to our MDM. We also created a basic configuration profile in the MDM for wifi and restrictions.

When students receive their iPad, they will name it, set a passcode, and connect to wifi. The key is that they will then use that web clip to associate the iPad to their student account.

iPad Policies

Once the iPad is connected, apps and restrictions will load. Because of the new features in our MDM, one of the items to load will be a Self Service Portal. This portal will allow students to download additional apps they need when they need them so that we are not bogging down our bandwidth, and their device, with apps they may not ever need.

We’re hopeful that this process will not only reduce the summer exhaustion of the techs, but will also create a more personalized learning tool for the students. Will keep you posted!

iPads: Almost 5000 iPads are processed every summer by 2 IT techs. This includes physical cleaning, wiping, set up, inventory, and delivery.
Policies: Policies are locked down for the initial distribution, but are then loosened as students complete Digital Citizenship lessons

Digital Passport

DigitalPassport: The Digital Passport is auto-generated from our SIS and provided to students with the iPad. This is so students can set up the iPad on their own, thus reducing IT Tech prep time. The document was made to be cut in half so that students could store their needed information in a safe place.


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