Mobile Device Management MDM … A brief overview of what I use.

MDM is pretty much required if you have more than 50 devices to manage. I’m going to do a brief look in to how I use it and go in to more detail in sections later.

I use Meraki (It’s Free)! I was set to use Casper but they needed like 2 months to come to our site to configure a few thing so I started looking at other options and found Meraki.

I can’t get in to to much detail here but setup was easy, no one had to come to our site and the tech support was great. Their idea is, that if you youse their MDM then maybe you’ll buy their hardware. Anyway…

You can see we are looking at details of my iPad, I blurred out some cause, I don’t know you… All of the content is created for you when the device is registered with the MDM. After, it’s registered you can search for any device by almost any detail. Serial #, name, tag (like Student, Teacher, whatever you can think of). I have all the students name their device, last name, first name, home room (HR6P). I want to see all the students in 6th grade that are in Mr. Potter’s home room, I search hr6p. I then have many options I can apply, including locking the devices to a specific app.

But the most common use is the clear lock code. Kids forget this ALL THE TIME…

You can see here that I can also see all the apps installed. More on that in another post.

A big misconception: you can push apps over the air to devices. No you can’t. Your actually going to be suggesting someone install an app. The only thing you can do is add an app to your list that has a tag, you can then add the tag to people who you want to have the app, they are then notified by pop up message to install the app, touching the OK button will open the App Store and using their account, download and install the app. Now, if you are buying the app for the students then you can insert serial numbers which they can automatically redeem via the App Store through the push but you lose all rights to the app, it is now accociated with the apple id used to redeem it. If you are doing this, please see my post on VPP Configurator… The same applies to when using MDM.

More bang for your buck?

Casper suite and the others you pay for would like you to believe you get more from them. Truth is they are all the same. Apple only allows so much you can do from any MDM and Meraki has it all covered and will save your school Thousands of dollars. I think Casper is around $2000 a year for our number of devices.

BTW, I use Mercury Browser on my iPad when doing anything in Meraki. Mercury saves the password and I can jump directly to certain areas in Meraki without having to enter the pass each time.


15 thoughts on “Mobile Device Management MDM … A brief overview of what I use.

  1. Using Meraki, Is there a way to push suggested apps to their devices but retain the rights to the app? Looking at a meraki demo, I saw that there is an option to remove apps when the management profile is removed. Why would you want to remove an app if you didn’t own the rights to it anymore?

    • No, you can not push the apps and retain the rights. Who ever redeems the code will own it. You can manage the apps if they are installed, however. So, if I had people tagged with Pages and they have it installed, if I remove the tag it uninstalls the app. I might not be explaining that well. Maybe I can do a long form post on it. See Beware the VPP post I just did for a little more info in the mean time.

      • This may require more than a short reply but is there a way to let teachers have their own apple accounts set up on their ipads but the school can also be able to push out their own apps while retaining the rights to those? Is this something that Configurator will do? Thanks

      • Configurator can not be done OTA. It must be plugged in via USB. So with Configurator, you install the school owned apps and then hand it to them. I hate Configurator but I use it. If you are doing them one by one you can just use iTunes.

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  6. Thank you so much for this post and for your whole blog. I’m wondering: did you have to set up Meraki in a particular way to enable students to backup on iCloud? Do they each have their own AppleID? We have institutional control of our 7th grade students’ iPads through Meraki and are having trouble figuring out how they can back up their devices. Thanks!

  7. One thing I’ve wondered about Meraki- it seems to work by installing a profile to the device. Isn’t it true that the students can just go to the profiles section and delete the profile? I know you’ll be noted of this in Meraki when you log in, but in the meantime the device can run just fine and unrestricted, correct? I believe this was the problem that the LA schools encountered last fall when the kids all figured out how to bypass the security set up. I know that there is a different way to set up security where you manage the device via the Apple Configurator and it basically then creates a custom ROM for the device that includes the your control which thus cannot be disabled via a setting change. Have you any experience with kids deleting the profile and ways to prevent this?

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