Monday, September 19, 2016

iPad Setup & AppleIDs Simplified: Out of the Box & Running in Minutes

In the past few weeks we have had over 7,000 students and staff set up an iPad in our new Mobile Device Management system. Half of these students and staff kept their iPad for the summer. The other half turned in their iPad on the last day of school in June and received a new iPad Air 2.

iPad Setup Instructions
For the students and staff who kept their devices over the summer, we provided these instructions on how to erase and self-enroll their iPad into our new Mobile Device Management system, Casper, this summer. Then in August, juniors and seniors came to school early to pick up their new iPad Air 2 and take it home. They were tasked with having it set up and ready to go for the first day of school, September 6, following the same instructions.

Starting on the second day of school and over the following week, we handed out new iPads to all of our fifth and sixth grade students during class. After spending about 45 minutes in class, students had their iPad initially set up (following the same instructions which we also had in the slide deck shown below).

In a later class period, teachers followed up with additional instructions and tips (also shown in the second slide deck below).

Setting up iPads for individual students in 2016 is a much easier task than it was just a year ago because it is now possible to set up new devices without individual Apple ID accounts. This greatly reduced the time we spent setting up devices compared to past year, helping individuals with Apple IDs, forgotten passwords and email addresses. Most students were able to have a working iPad ready to go just a minute or two after turning it on for the first time.
We do still have students use an Apple ID for backing up their iPad itself and Notability notes to iCloud. In the past we had to have Apple send each student’s parent an email for approval, and as you can imagine (or perhaps lived through yourself), spent a lot of time following up with parents to determine if they received the email, resend it, etc. All that headache was gone this year and we were able to create non-commerce Apple IDs for students under age 13 using Apple’s School Manager System without relying on parents’ involvement. Our tech staff even emailed each fifth grader their Apple ID and temporary password to make setup even simpler.

I am thankful for all of the staff who worked so hard this summer and during first week of school to make this year’s rollout run smoothly. I am also thankful for our community and their continued support of technology in our schools.

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