Apple School Manager Web portal enters beta ahead of iOS 9.3 debut

Posted:
in iPad edited February 2016
Apple is inching toward a launch of major additions to its iOS in Education program first previewed in iOS 9.3 beta, the most recent change being this week's beta activation of the forthcoming Apple School Manager Web hub.




As seen in the image above, the Apple School Manager portal now sports a beta tag, suggesting the one-stop-shop for educator control over Apple ID creation, course building and mass iPad deployment is live for registered users.

Apple School Manager is a central cog in Apple's iOS in Education machine that gives administrators the tools necessary to set up and manage large-scale mobile device ecosystems. Accessible through any Mac or PC Web browser, the portal includes assets for creating and monitoring Managed Apple IDs, manage MDM enrollment, buy and distribute apps and e-books, build custom courses and more.

Designed for schools, Managed Apple IDs offer greater control over student and teacher accounts than their consumer counterparts. Through Apple School Manager administrators can reset Managed Apple ID passwords, create customized user roles, track specific accounts and control course enrollment, among other high-level functions.

Apple teased Apple School Manager last month on a dedicated iOS in Education webpage published to coincide with the first iOS 9.3 beta release. Aside from the remote management tool, Apple is rolling out specialized on-device software designed specifically for the classroom, with features ranging from easy to remember four-digit PINs for students to "Shared iPad" account transport functionality.

Also new is the Classroom app, which grants teachers comprehensive control over and access to student iPads. For example, educators have the ability to launch or lock out specific apps on student devices, while a feature called Screen View provides one-to-one monitoring by mirroring what's on a student's screen.

Educational institutions looking to test out Apple School Manager can apply directly with Apple via the program's enrollment webpage.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    This would also be great for parents to manage their kids' devices.
    john.b
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Hallelujah!
  • Reply 3 of 10
    sandorsandor Posts: 505member
    This would also be great for parents to manage their kids' devices.
    And even better for businesses!

    We have 20-25 iPads funning in the office everyday, and managing them is relatively straight forward, but would be even more streamlined with this.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    I wish Apple would create a truly compelling and comprehensive learning platform for schools, colleges and universities, something far more functional than iTunes U. It could be such a game-changer compared to the clunky, low-level nonsense that's currently out there. 
    edited February 2016 tallest skilpalomine
  • Reply 5 of 10
    It would be useful in your comments about classroom manager and apple ID manager to ensure readers know that it is only available in the United States. This is sad as in New Zealand Apple has missed the boat with the whole online classroom approach with great tools such as pages and keynote as most schools Have gone with google classroom. They use all the google apps on their ipads and use chrome on desktops and so miss out on the great apple tools we have been using for years. This is from 35 years as the IT leader in my school taking it from 1 apple II to 100s of iMacs, Macbooks and iPads.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,007member
    verndemp said:
    It would be useful in your comments about classroom manager and apple ID manager to ensure readers know that it is only available in the United States. This is sad as in New Zealand Apple has missed the boat with the whole online classroom approach with great tools such as pages and keynote as most schools Have gone with google classroom. They use all the google apps on their ipads and use chrome on desktops and so miss out on the great apple tools we have been using for years. This is from 35 years as the IT leader in my school taking it from 1 apple II to 100s of iMacs, Macbooks and iPads.
    Have you contacted Apple and asked why they don't support New Zealand? It might have to do with local policy restricting some of the capabilities. As for the use of Google products I have to wonder if anyone has investigated the amount of data capturing Google performs. Does your school have a documented security requirements and plan covering this? 

    This is from someone who retired after 33 years managing several hundred Macs and other devices while also dealing with cyber security requirements. 
  • Reply 7 of 10
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,821member
    I wish Apple would create a truly compelling and comprehensive learning platform for schools, colleges and universities, something far more functional than iTunes U. It could be such a game-changer compared to the clunky, low-level nonsense that's currently out there. 

    iTunes U isn't meant to be used as a learning platform, it's basically just a free distribution platform. But you're right, it would be nice if Apple could leverage that and build on it. iTunes U, iBooks, new iPad features and tools, and now this new website - looks like they're still making an effort for education. It would be really great if they hired Laurene Jobs for a new education initiative - she has worked hard and has done a lot for education.

    I think they could also do a lot to drop the price of the iPad for the education market. Perhaps lease them instead of sell? This would allow them to upgrade as needed.
    edited February 2016
  • Reply 8 of 10
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    I wish Apple would create a truly compelling and comprehensive learning platform for schools, colleges and universities, something far more functional than iTunes U. It could be such a game-changer compared to the clunky, low-level nonsense that's currently out there. 
    AGREE    does apple have an alternate to google classroom?   my school wants to ditch the iPads go to chrome books
    but google classroom works on iPads 
    can someone provide links to alternates to google classroom??

    also my tech director wants microsoft---because kids are using flash drives to keep their stuff  
    need to move to the cloud
    so what's apple's solution????
  • Reply 9 of 10
    Nofeer, Edmodo is probably Google Classroom's biggest competitor. It is much more robust than Classroom. Classroom has only basic features whereas Edmodo has some great features that many wish Classroom would implement. Edmodo has also been around longer than Classroom though. I am sure Google is continuing to add new things all the time to Classroom. Since you mention your Tech Director using Microsoft, with Edmodo, you can use your Office 365 log in without students having to create another account. This may help you integrate Edmodo easier. Otherwise, Edmodo offers a ton of documentation on how to roll it out across a school or even a district. Currently, Apple's solution is iTunes U. iTunes U allows you to create a private course with up to 50 people enrolled in it. iTunes U is extremely powerful and can really transform what you are doing with online learning; however, sadly, iTunes U Courses only work on iOS. I wish Apple would make an iTunes U App for PC and Mac so courses can be accessed anywhere.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,717member
    This would also be great for parents to manage their kids' devices.
    I logged in specifically to say the same thing.  Now that they have an implementation of user profiles for education customers, they need something similar (based on Family Sharing?) for home users.
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