Apple iOS 9.3 Update Improves Device Management for Schools

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 5.44.50 PMThis week Apple® made a major announcement about their upcoming update to their mobile operating system, called iOS 9.3.

My family has been loyal Apple® fans since my husband and I first saw one in a technology lab in the 80’s. So we always take great interest in all the announcements and updates that are released by Apple®.  Yet this update includes a particular upgrade or new feature that we thought we should bring to your attention.

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The features are currently in beta, and will be available and free for current Apple device users upon it’s release. Teachers, administrators or schools who are interested in participating in the beta can contact Apple at educationpreview@apple.com.

The Apple website this exciting and bold statement regarding these changes.

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click on the image above to go to Apple’s announcement page (scroll down the bottom of this page for more information on these features.)

Apple goes on to state:

Technology can reshape education. And iPad, with its powerful features and apps, opens up new, more engaging ways of learning. With the iOS 9.3 beta, you’ll find a preview of new features that will make it even easier for schools to put devices where they’ll have the greatest impact — in the hands of students.

A recent article by Edsurge, provided a more comprehensive breakdown of the new features that will be included with this latest update.


For Students and Teachers

Easier to share iPads with “intelligent caching”

First up, Apple has introduced “intelligent caching,” a feature that the company says was added in response to the large number of iPad carts and necessary iPad sharing they recognize exists in schools around the world. With this feature, students who share iPads regularly can now log-on and reach the same screen that they last left when they stopped using the iPad—the same apps, the same settings and whatever content they downloaded onto the device.

Additionally, students now have the ability to enter a simple four-digit pin that logs them into their device and their iCloud account, right from the lock screen. (That particular feature will sound familiar to any iPhone user.) Or, for younger students, there is now a Photo ID feature where teachers can assign photo log-ins to students.

Classroom App

A second feature is the new Classroom App—which allows teachers more specific and remote control over student iPads and laptops.

In the app, teachers can launch and lock specific apps, websites or textbook pages on every iPad in their class. Additionally, Classroom offers teachers the ability to view any student’s screen as they are working. Additionally, teachers can project student screens to any Apple TV with AirPlay.

And for those students who forget their password? Teachers can now use Classroom to reset their password directly from their iPad.

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For Administrators

New way to create and manage Apple IDs

After hearing from school administrators who wanted the ability to create Apple IDs on behalf of the student, Apple’s third feature is the answer to that—“Managed Apple IDs.” Administrators will now have features to easily reset passwords, audit accounts, create IDs in bulk, tailor privacy options and create customized roles for everyone in a district.

Apple School Manager

Connected to the aforementioned feature is the debut of Apple School Manager, a central place for administrators to conduct Apple iPad deployment from web browsers on any Mac or PC. In the Apple School Manager, can manage IDs all from one central place—including that ability to create IDs in bulk that was mentioned above.

But wait, there’s more. Thanks to integration with student information systems (SIS), schools can pull SIS data directly to create Apple IDs for students. 

Apple has also added a feature that allows for an ID to be “graduated,” meaning that students can take their work with them after they leave a school. According to Apple reps, students have full control of the account and will get to take their Apple ID with them, as well as all associated content and data. 

You can read more of this article here…
Original article written by: 
Mary Jo Madda Jan 11, 2016 for Edsurge


We feel this is an exciting new update, bringing power back  into the hands of the classroom teacher.  If you join the beta, we would love to hear what you think and will do a following article sharing your thoughts on these new features.

Don’t forget that Apple is accepting beta testers of these new features, for more information please contact: educationpreview@apple.com

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