New Education Features in iOS 9.3 Include Shared iPads, New Classroom App and Improved Apple ID Management

With iOS 9.3, Apple is introducing a number of new features that are specifically geared towards the education market. Outlined on a new Education Preview site, education-oriented features in the iOS 9 beta include shared iPads for students, a new classroom app, an Apple School Manager feature, and an improved Managed Apple IDs function.

Apple’s new Shared iPad feature is designed for educational systems where a 1:1 student-to-iPad ratio isn’t possible. It gives each student an Apple ID that can be used to log into any iPad in the classroom, with all of the student’s content readily available on any device. That means students can switch from classroom to classroom, logging into an iPad in each class while the iPad remains in the classroom for all students to use during class time.

Students have access to all of their apps, books, and documents when logging on, and for a student that uses the same assigned iPad in a class each day, an intelligent caching system keeps all of their content at the ready. Shared iPad uses a photo login system to make it easy for kids to find their assigned iPad, and a PIN system for logging in makes the system easy for younger children.

Along with Shared iPads, there’s a new Classroom app. With Classroom, teachers can launch the same app on all student iPads at the same time and guide students through the app. A Screen View feature lets teachers see what’s on any student’s iPad at any given time, and it allows teachers to lock apps to keep students on task. There’s also a feature for helping reset student passwords directly within the classroom app.

Apple School Manager, a web-based feature, is designed to give admins a central location for creating Apple IDs, building courses, and managing accounts for students, teachers, and admins. It allows administrators to make volume purchases of books and apps and distribute the content quickly.

Within the Apple School Manager, there are new tools for Managed Apple IDs, which are Apple IDs created specifically for schools. Managed Apple IDs have all of the functionality of a standard Apple ID, but they allow administrators to reset passwords, audit accounts, and assign customized roles to each ID.

Apple has been working on overhauling its iPad in Education program since early 2015, when a leaked email suggested the company was planning on unifying deployment programs, simplifying app distribution, and updating the way student Apple IDs work.

Apple’s new educational features will be available to schools with the launch of iOS 9.3. iOS 9.3 was provided to developers this morning.

Related Roundup: iOS 9
Tags: education, iOS 9.3
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Apple Implements ‘Managed Distribution’, Volume Purchase Program for Mac Apps [Mac Blog]

Following the late October launch of Mavericks, Apple has implemented new changes to its Volume Purchase Program for Business and Education, expanding the program to the Mac App Store for the first time and launching new „Managed Distribution“ capabilities for iOS 7 and Mavericks that allow institutions to assign and revoke app licenses to individual users. The company has begun sending emails to its education and business customers, notifying them of the changes.

Hello Education Technologists,

I wanted to be sure to send this information regarding another part of the iOS 7 and Mavericks updates to become available. There is a guide available as well for more detail. As I’ve discussed with many of you, it’s now time to consider a Mobile Device Management Solution (MDM) moving forward.

Volume Purchase Program for Business and Education:

New features available.

The Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for Business and Education has been updated to support iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks. It now features:

– Managed distribution—Install and assign apps using Profile Manager on OS X Server or third-party mobile device management (MDM) solutions

– Mac apps—Now available on the VPP store

The VPP pages on have updated program information, including direct links to enrollment and program login for registered participants.

Volume Purchase Program: Migrating from redemption codes to managed distribution –

Apple began preparing developers for the launch of the Mac Volume Purchase Program in early October, allowing developers to introduce discounts for bulk purchases as is possible in the iOS App Store.

As noted by Enterprise iOS, Apple’s new mobile device management (MDM) options are compatible with the majority of apps and books from the App Store and require MDM systems to be updated to work with the new options. Assigned apps are downloaded automatically to supervised devices, and app assignment does not reveal Apple IDs.

Apple has also updated both the Business and Education Volume Purchase Program pages on its website to reflect the changes, providing enrollment options and help documents on the Volume Purchase Program and mobile device management solutions.

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