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Apple Overhauling iPad in Education Program to Simplify Sharing Devices and Apps

Apple will be making significant changes to iPad deployment for education during the upcoming school year that should eliminate some of the hurdles that school districts face when adopting iPads for use in the classroom. In an email obtained by MacRumors, the company outlines plans to make app distribution easier by eliminating the need for an Apple ID to load apps, tweaking the Apple ID for Students program and unifying several deployment programs into one.

iPad Education
Apple plans to simplify app distribution by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID this fall, reducing the number of steps needed to set up an iPad. Schools will no longer be required to create generic Apple IDs solely to load content on the tablet, and teachers and administrators will have the option to block students from making personal purchases without approval.
"To simplify large deployments, including one-to-one and shared use, we want to make app distribution even easier. Today, Apple IDs are required in order to deliver apps and books to students. We are working to change this in the fall by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID. As currently planned, this will greatly reduce the number of steps needed to setup a device. This change should eliminate the need to create generic Apple IDs solely for the purposes of getting content onto iPad. Schools will also have the option to prevent students from making personal purchases without approval."
The email also outlines changes to the Apple ID for Students program to roll out during 2016, including schools gaining the ability to create and manage Apple IDs for students under 13 that can be used to access iCloud. System administrators will also be able to reset student passwords. The new approach will continue to meet COPPA requirements for children's online privacy in the United States.

Apple will also be improving its Apple Deployment Programs by unifying several programs into one for a simplified administrative experience, making it easier for school districts to enroll, manage, and support large iPad deployments. Apple hopes the changes will continue to result in increased student engagement, better attendance and higher test results at all grades and levels of education.

Related Roundup: iPad Air 2
Tag: education
Buyer's Guide: 9.7" iPad Pro (Caution)


Top Rated Comments

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23 months ago
Multiple users per iPad, get with the times apple
Rating: 14 Votes
23 months ago
The entire back-end of how Apple currently handles large deployments of iPads is very un-Apple & actually quite poor. Between the volume purchase program (VPP), DEP, and MDM, it's a giant kludge. It shouldn't have ever been this hard. Never mind the Apple Configurator which also sucks. Google's management of its Android & Chromebook devices kicks Apple's a$$ ten ways to Sunday.
Rating: 6 Votes
23 months ago
Give the users the ability to have multiple profiles to access the ipad. Not just for schools, but for work, or even home. THis OSX feature is sorely needed, along with multi tasking.
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago

The entire back-end of how Apple currently handles large deployments of iPads is very un-Apple & actually quite poor. Between the volume purchase program (VPP), DEP, and MDM, it's a giant kludge. It shouldn't have ever been this hard. Never mind the Apple Configurator which also sucks. Google's management of its Android & Chromebook devices kicks Apple's a$$ ten ways to Sunday.


David I must agree with you. using Google's various education services is a far easier way for my students in my division. My school does not have 1 to 1. We have a class set that is dispersed throughout the school. The VPP is terrible. The hoops that have to be jumped through to get an app on the iPad is ridiculous. We do not use the iPads to their full potential. When this new system of doing things makes it way into Canada, I will be the first one in my neck of the woods to jump on it and make it work for my students. In the meantime google ed. is the way to go.

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why would they want that? apple IS in the business of selling hardware.


One possible reason is Google is investing rather heavily into the education market with chromebooks and more importantly, cloud computing. It is far easier for student collaboration with Google than it is with Apple. Apple does have a very large presence in the the education sector, but is losing ground to Google. This would be a good reason for the evolution of their policy in my opinion.
Rating: 5 Votes
23 months ago
User accounts or profiles on the iPad would help a lot more people than just the education market. At minimum, a 'guest' profile without privileges to existing user data would go a long way to making iPads more shareable...
Rating: 4 Votes
23 months ago

David I must agree with you. using Google's various education services is a far easier way for my students in my division. My school does not have 1 to 1. We have a class set that is dispersed throughout the school. The VPP is terrible. The hoops that have to be jumped through to get an app on the iPad is ridiculous. We do not use the iPads to their full potential. When this new system of doing things makes it way into Canada, I will be the first one in my neck of the woods to jump on it and make it work for my students. In the meantime google ed. is the way to go.

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One possible reason is Google is investing rather heavily into the education market with chromebooks and more importantly, cloud computing. It is far easier for student collaboration with Google than it is with Apple. Apple does have a very large presence in the the education sector, but is losing ground to Google. This would be a good reason for the evolution of their policy in my opinion.


Very true. Our school has a 1:1 program with iPads. But it's a hassle at the beginning of the year setting up separate Apple ID' and linking it to iTunes - seems like there are always multiple issues to work through.

Google is killing it with Google Apps. The kids love collaborating using their software. It's easy to use, connects easy and is efficient. After a few years using it, my kids prefer it over MS products. My 7th grader uses his chromebook more than the school issued iPad.

Let's be honest, Apple and Google are both looking to win the hearts and minds of consumers while they are young. Apple has to make their stuff easier for educators and students to use to stop losing ground. Google wasn't even on the radar 10 years ago, now kids see them as a mainstream option...and on even ground (and in some ways superior) to Apple.
Rating: 4 Votes
23 months ago
I think Apple will have trouble competing with Chromebooks in education. They can't compete on cost (unless they halve the price...or more), they lack hardware keyboards, they've been slow to accept the necessity of multiple profiles, administration of deployments is a pain, and Google apps/classroom are being tailored for education.



I wish Apple wouldn't have ignored this market for so long, but they felt like they didn't need to cater to it. At the time they didn't, but now there is a better choice for districts and classrooms. Apple has one year, at most, if they're going to turn this around, and it may already be too late.
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago
iPad has so much potential in education-- hopefully they can get the formula right to make these pilot programs more successful.
Rating: 3 Votes
23 months ago

Multiple users per iPad, get with the times apple


Literally the only reason I haven't upgraded my iPad 2. I can't justify buying a new iPad Air 2 that won't have two logins (that I will inevitable constantly share with my wife). We don't use our existing iPad enough to warrant getting an iPad Air but it would be nice to get the speed boost.

Plus, I want to buy one for my kids but they can't 'share it' because each one would want their iMessage accounts/Facebook/etc linked but you can't do that...

why would they want that? apple IS in the business of selling hardware.


See above. Also, Apple sells Macs but allows multiple users - so I'm not sure how that's different.
Rating: 2 Votes
23 months ago
Been saying this for so long and now Apple wake up?? what the hell are they doing in Cupertino, I keep thinking there must be one massive sand pit with their heads firmly stuck in it!
Spoke to a US google rep a few months back who phoned our small UK school just to see if he could help with setting up their free google apps for education! They have a tablet coming out later designed just for education where apps & setup can be deployed from a master device simply by NFC..
As an education creator I keep trying to fly the Apple flag against all he anti-Apple IT admins but they keep shooting me & themselves in the foot, with such poor support...they have known about deployment issues for so long. Chromebook's are arriving in UK schools in waves now, supported by a well put together free Google service..I hate it but looks like they will be come the UK school standard but this time next year, by then Apple will be too late..
Rating: 2 Votes

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