U.S. Schools Experiencing Issues with iPad Supervision Profiles on iOS 7

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Various schools across the United States are reporting that Apple’s new iOS 7 mobile operating system has removed the supervision profiles they had installed on educational iPads, reports AllThingsD. Specifically, the installation of the new software on educational iPads is leaving them free of filters and without remote administrator privileges, an issue that allows students to access any content they may find on the Internet through the iPad's various apps.

ipad_education_books

A number of schools that have upgraded their iPad deployments to iOS 7 say installing the new OS removed the supervision profiles they had installed on the devices. This rendered those iPads unsupervised, depriving administrators of their remote management privileges and eliminating the filtering protections they had established to protect students from inappropriate content they might stumble upon outside school.

“Apple did not realize that installing iOS 7 would remove our (and thousands of organizations across the country) safety protection measure, which now makes the iPad devices unfiltered when accessing the Internet away from school,” said a memo from the Manitou Springs (Colo.) School District 14 to parents, verified by AllThingsD. “In the short term, the district will be collecting iPad devices at the end of each day until the safety protection measure is reinstalled.”

Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD that Apple is “aware of this issue and will have a fix this month”, with an Apple Support Communities thread spanning two pages for users and administrators that have been affected by the issue. Last week, a similar issue was reported in the Los Angeles Unified School District, in which the home use of educational iPads was halted after students bypassed content restrictions.

Top Rated Comments

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90 months ago
Why is an IT admin worth their pay actually rolling out an OS update this soon after release without testing this first?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

Why is an IT admin worth their pay actually rolling out an OS update this soon after release without testing this first?

This ^

I'll give them a little leeway since this is all new, but still!

As a school, I would have delayed the update for at least 60-90 days. At that point, I would upgrade a few iPads to test before making a deployment.

Looks like this IT guy and many others don't know how to rollout software properly/effectively.

That's the first thing I thought. You roll out on a single device, you ensure everything went smoothly and then you roll out to other devices. Somebody failed in their job and they are passing the buck.

Issue is, the IT guys can't prevent the iOS update.

Reading the posts, the students initiated the update becuase Apple did not block that ability.

The only thing the school IT staff could do was block the URL for the update, but once the iPad was on an open WiFi, then the student could start an update.
(http://mesu.apple.com/assets/com_apple_MobileAsset_SoftwareUpdate/com_apple_MobileAsset_SoftwareUpdate.xml)


This is will be a black eye for Apples education initiative.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

Issue is, the IT guys can't prevent the iOS update.

Reading the posts, the students initiated the update becuase Apple did not block that ability.

The only thing the school IT staff could do was block the URL for the update, but once the iPad was on an open WiFi, then the student could start an update.
(http://mesu.apple.com/assets/com_apple_MobileAsset_SoftwareUpdate/com_apple_MobileAsset_SoftwareUpdate.xml)


This is will be a black eye for Apples education initiative.


Wow, somebody who actually knows what they are talking about. This is exactly correct. There's no way to block end-users from accessing settings in order to prevent them from updating to iOS 7. This is clearly a flaw on apples side.

Yes you can block it firewall level but as others mentioned, you cannot do anything if they take the device to a different network.

For those of you saying they should've tested, keep in mind some iPads it does not remove the supervision profile. So what if they tested 5-10 devices which did not have the issue then rolled it out to the rest of their thousands of devices which then had the issue?

Also please do some research on how apple configurator and MDM solutions work before criticizing an IT admin who is employed by a school.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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90 months ago
There are hundreds of ios software engineering and testing employees in Cupertino. Apple sends the marketing message that "Apple products just work". The education sector is Apple's lifeblood for growing new users. Underserving it is unprecedented and gives eager competition from Mountain View another crack for a toehold up. Speaking of deleted supervisory rights, perhaps additional adult supervision is needed in ios development beyond color palette.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago

Why is an IT admin worth their pay actually rolling out an OS update this soon after release without testing this first?


That's the first thing I thought. You roll out on a single device, you ensure everything went smoothly and then you roll out to other devices. Somebody failed in their job and they are passing the buck.

I'm not saying that somebody at Apple didn't fail in their job as well. Certainly, Apple QA staff should have tried upgrading with supervision/security profiles installed and ensured they remained on the device after upgrade.

However, just because Apple's QA staff failed it does not recuse these school district IT admins from doing their job. It is their job to verify such upgrades in their specific environments.

----------

This ^

I'll give them a little leeway since this is all new, but still!


It being brand new to many of them is the exact reason they should not be doing things in a free-for-all fashion. You proceed with caution when something is unknown. You make these kind of mistakes when you have repeated experience of things just going smoothly and so you gain a false sense of trust that the next upgrade would just go smoothly as well. The company I work for has yet to verify iOS 7 for enterprise use because it is too new.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
90 months ago
As a school, I would have delayed the update for at least 60-90 days. At that point, I would upgrade a few iPads to test before making a deployment.

Looks like this IT guy and many others don't know how to rollout software properly/effectively.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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