Apple's 'iPad in Education' program getting overhauls to fix deployment obstacles - report

Posted:
in iPad edited March 2015
Apple is working on "significant" evolutions to the iPad in Education program that should solve some of the barriers schools encounter when trying to deploy iPads in the classroom, according to a new report.




An official email obtained by MacRumors states that in the next school year, Apple will allow schools to distribute apps without assigning Apple IDs to each tablet.

"This change should eliminate the need to create generic Apple IDs solely for the purposes of getting content onto iPad," the company reportedly wrote. "Schools will also have the option to prevent students from making personal purchases without approval."

Sometime in 2016, schools will reportedly be able to create and manage Apple IDs for students that can be used to access iCloud. Administrators should additionally be able to reset student passwords; Apple promises that all of its new measures will comply with the US Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

The company is meanwhile said to be streamlining its Deployment Programs by unifying several of them into one. Ideally, this should reduce the work needed for large-scale deployments.

Apple has had mixed results with deploying iPads to schools. Although the company has signed a number of deals worldwide, a major agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District was scrapped after cost overruns, problems with students bypassing browser restrictions, and concerns about officials favoring Apple products without considering other options.

The USD is now working on deploying Chromebooks and Windows devices. Some other schools are going a similar route, citing cheaper prices and, in some cases, easier administration options or features like built-in keyboards.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    Quote:
    Apple has had mixed results with deploying iPads to schools. Although the company has signed a number of deals worldwide, a major agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District was scrapped after cost overruns, problems with students bypassing browser restrictions, and concerns about officials favoring Apple products without considering other options.



    The USD is now working on deploying Chromebooks and Windows devices.

    Because it is way easier to lock down a chromebook or windows device from students :no: 

  • Reply 2 of 17
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    Word on the street is that Google Chromebooks are very easy to manage for institutions like schools while Apple's iPad solution is a royal pain to manage - such as updates and adding apps. On top of that is the lack of multiple user log-in on iPad.And once you get an iPad, you need a keyboard and probably a case for the two components.

     

    They probably would have sold a lot more iPads if not for this shortsightedness.

     

    Our school district, which covers several cities and most of the county's population is moving to deploy Chromebooks to many of its students. The district probably has 20,000-30,000 students.

     

    iPads seem good as auxiliary devices, such as for art classes, while low cost laptops, such as Chromebooks, should be the primary device. Windows - generally too many issues and Apple laptops are expensive (for most all school districts).

     

    The Chromebook is a stealth device. Microsoft had to counter by working with HP to make and sell the HP Stream for $199 ($229 without adware). This achievement is a great solution in the arena of affordability for families who cannot afford Apple's premium pricing. Which is all good, because for $200, nearly anyone can afford a competent computing device.

     

    Note: I am typing this on my MacBook Pro.

  • Reply 3 of 17
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    It should become clear to everyone that the iPad was designed in part to be both very easy to use (which it is) and severely handicapped so as to protect Apple's margins and laptop market. You can't blame them. 

     

    However, if they want to sell iPads to schools, you would think that infrastructure of iPad management in institutions would be mature and simple. Schools must not bring in much revenue due to discounts?

     

    Nonetheless, with IBM as a partner for iPads in business, the corporation really needs to buckle down and bring ease of use (and lower costs) to the iPad administrators. Particularly, the iPad tablet market does not appear to be growing - it has either matured/plateaued or they are making problems for themselves as institutions avoid using them and instead going to devices on other platforms which cost less to manage.

     

    Hopefully, they come out with a full-fledged iOS laptop, which is nothing more than an iPad in a laptop form-factor. It would be a really cool device and I'm sure people would be snapping them more than the iPad + separate keyboard solution (which we own - Origami stand + Apple Bluetooth keyboard).

  • Reply 4 of 17
    arlorarlor Posts: 478member

    I'd be delighted if they'd make it easier for parents to manage their kids' devices, too (password control, app restrictions, etc.). This initiative could develop tools that would help with both school and home markets.

  • Reply 5 of 17
    topstops Posts: 2member
    Couple all of this with the fact that apple insists on releasing it's software on the first day of the school year and you can see why school districts across the country are walking away from this product as an enterprise solution. This fact in and of itself should cost a Sr. exec his or her job. (Pure Stupidity).... We are abandoning our iPad efforts as a district wide solution for two simple reasons, cost, and ease of deployment. Sorry Apple you missed a very big Boat!
  • Reply 6 of 17
    topstops Posts: 2member

    After purchasing approx 600 ipad 2,a 3,s 4,s and Airs, and working for 2 years to overcome configurator issues, and then having Apple release huge software upgrades on the first day of school each year, we have made the decision to go to chromebooks. We bought 600 of them this year and they are GREAT! Easy to deploy, support, and keep updated. Couple that with Google classroom and google tools, and Apple has lost this districts, and probably many, many, others... Sorry Apple you missed this very large boat by not LISTENING to your customers. I personnaly brought these issues to the Sr. Apple rep, but your ego has gotten bigger than your common sense. You think you can take your time being responsive, well many districts (and Students) have moved on...

  • Reply 7 of 17
    Is student privacy not important enough to pay for? And at what point in the curriculum do students begin to learn how to conduct themselves without censorship and threats of punishment?
  • Reply 8 of 17
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

     

    I'd be delighted if they'd make it easier for parents to manage their kids' devices, too (password control, app restrictions, etc.). This initiative could develop tools that would help with both school and home markets.




    Apple has made it easier to manage apps with family sharing, it works great.  All of the apps my kids want to buy on there devices have to be approved by me or my wife.  It works very well.  I think the same kind of thing would work very well for school districts too, having the admin approve all app purchases or installs.  I think this sounds just like an extension of that functionality that is already in iOS 8.

     

    From Apples website:

    Quote:

     Family Sharing makes it easy for up to six people in your family to share each other’s iTunes, iBooks, and App Store purchases without sharing accounts. Pay for family purchases with the same credit card and approve kids’ spending right from a parent’s device. And share photos, a family calendar, and more to help keep everyone connected.


  • Reply 9 of 17
    Wow. I had never thought about the Apple ID issue.
    That must have been a nightmare. I can imagine the time burned on that. Good they ditched it.
    Listen to the teacher/students and don't wait a year to change it. These things need to happen snap snap.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    ...



    The USD is now working on deploying Chromebooks and Windows devices. Some other schools are going a similar route, citing cheaper prices and, in some cases, easier administration options or features like built-in keyboards.

     

    I get that real keyboards are better than on-screen keyboards, especially for touch-typists, but considering how adept kids are today with even the tiny on-screen keyboards on phones, why is the lack of a real keyboard that big of a deal? Nothing to break, nothing to lose.

     

    I myself suck at touch-typing, so the iPad on-screen keyboard doesn't slow me down. I use it for taking notes in meetings all the time. I think I'm actually a bit faster on touch keyboards, but that's not saying much...

  • Reply 11 of 17
    pfisher wrote: »
    It should become clear to everyone that the iPad was designed in part to be both very easy to use (which it is) and severely handicapped so as to protect Apple's margins and laptop market.

    There is nothing handicapped about the iPad. I view iOS as still locked down compared to where it will be in a couple more years. I think the educational market embraced the iPad too completely before Apple and the school management fully figured how to manage the iDevices.

    I also think the Chromebooks will turn out to be too cheaply made to stand up in a classroom environment while Windows boxes or Surfaces have always been too hard to get configured and keep operational without having an IT person on each school site. At the end of the day, Apple will be the iDevice of choice.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    Is student privacy not important enough to pay for? And at what point in the curriculum do students begin to learn how to conduct themselves without censorship and threats of punishment?

    It's usually begins in the second year of college. However some students take a bit longer to mature. Girls, for example will continue to send nude selfies until several years after their undergrad years.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    danoxdanox Posts: 355member

    Businesses, schools and people for that matter if you ask them and then design a product you will never move forward or get anything good nor have a worthwhile product, Apple has to say no at the end of the day. (Look no further than Linux or Android for what happens when you don't say no).

     

    Note: the upper end area's/schools will use OS X, iOS, iPads, iPhones, and Mac's while the lower end won't.

  • Reply 14 of 17
    d4njvrzfd4njvrzf Posts: 797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

     

    Because it is way easier to lock down a chromebook or windows device from students :no: 


    Group Policy is pretty granular and battle-tested and presumably familiar to many admins given the prevalence of windows in the enterprise. I remember back in school the windows machines were locked down to the extent that you couldn't even right-click anywhere on the deskop (presumably to prevent students from changing the wallpaper).

  • Reply 15 of 17
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member

    Originally Posted by pfisher View Post

    And once you get an iPad, you need a keyboard and probably a case for the two components.

     

    They probably would have sold a lot more iPads if not for this shortsightedness.


    You mean they would have sold a lot more if they could build more of them.

  • Reply 16 of 17
    blah64blah64 Posts: 885member
    pfisher wrote: »
    Word on the street is that Google Chromebooks are very easy to manage for institutions like schools ...

    I beg to differ. See this document:

    http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental Content/school board/14-15 agendas/101514agenda/20141015_Computers_Recommendation.pdf

    I'll quote the section where they document the reasons for NOT choosing chromebooks:
    OTHER IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
    : The following items were also considered in our recommendation, and our concerns regarding the use of Chromebooks at SPS.

    Managed Network: Due to the way that Chromebooks are configured and centrally
    “managed” by Google, it would be extremely difficult to utilize them on the SPS
    Managed Network. For instance, Google does not allow for easy modification of the
    Machine ID (Name) which is critical for maximum benefit and ease of management. For
    example, filtering is based on a unique Device Name. The result would likely be that all
    devices would be filtered to either the most restrictive or least restrictive level ... neither
    being ideal.

    Information Security: SPS has historically been extremely concerned about the potential
    misuse or access of personal student information. Google managing this centrally and
    (per latest reports) will disable tracking and “data mining” for a cost of $35/device/year.

    Guest Network: Proponents of using Chromebooks have stated that they would simply
    utilize the SPS Guest Network, thus bypassing the SPS Managed Network. Not only
    would this be viewed as a violation of use, but the “Guest Network” has a higher level of
    filtering which would further reduce the usefulness of the devices.

    Limitation of Chromebooks for “Application Use”: Chromebooks are limited in the
    applications that they can utilize and are, for all practical purposes, unable to utilize the
    most common/standard Business Applications in use today (Microsoft Office, etc.). The
    Chromebook is basically an Internet Browsing device.

    Factory Reset: Newer Chromebooks have a 3-Key Sequence Factor Reset which
    automatically resets the devices to the default factory settings. This sequence would
    delete all custom settings (as needed) to make them devices work on the SPS Managed
    Network, thus requiring extensive rework and support by DoTS personnel.

    You can take what you want from this, but clearly there are issues with using these devices in a managed environment. What really concerns me, and I'd love to see more information about this, is the $35/device/year option to not be data-mined. That implicitly says that KIDS who are using these devices in other school districts are being data-mined, does it not? There's no way financially-strapped school districts are going to pay that kind of money in yearly charges for something like that. For that particular district, that would be $1.8 million/year.

    In any case, google, nor any other commercial data-mining company, should NEVER have students' personal information or classwork. That doesn't belong in their databases, and many parents would never sign off on something like that (not that they'd need to, given how neutered FERPA has become, but that's another story by itself).
  • Reply 17 of 17
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    There is nothing handicapped about the iPad. I view iOS as still locked down compared to where it will be in a couple more years. I think the educational market embraced the iPad too completely before Apple and the school management fully figured how to manage the iDevices.

    I also think the Chromebooks will turn out to be too cheaply made to stand up in a classroom environment while Windows boxes or Surfaces have always been too hard to get configured and keep operational without having an IT person on each school site. At the end of the day, Apple will be the iDevice of choice.

    Further, Apple doesn't protect its protects against cannibalism. "Kill your darlings" and everything. Anybody who says something like Apple is protecting one SKU from another simply doesn't know what the **** they're talkimg about. They certainly don't under Apple very well.
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