Replace a student or staff iPad in 10 minutes or less.

With a school of 350+ iPads, there are going to be breaks. When one of our iPads is damaged we are quick to replace it. We started off with 5 spares to be swapped out so the student didn't miss anytime. As we are trying to go as paperless as possible and have as much school work done on the iPad as possible, downtime is bad for everyone. Now that I have exhausted our spares they are swapped for repaired iPads. We have a local repair shop replacing the screens.

This process used to take me quite a while when I was using Apple Configurator to help manage the lot but now just using iCloud and Meraki MDM, I have this down to just a few minutes handling the device.

I created a simple form that the student and teacher can fill out before bringing me the iPad that needs replacing.

I spent way too much time receiving an iPad from a teacher or front office only to then need to track down the student so I could make sure the iCloud Backup was up to date and could be restored.

As I've said before, I used to use Configurator to backup and restore but the process was very slow and the device needed to be plugged in to the Configurator computer and it really did take too long, sometimes, 30 minutes to restore an iPad. Then after the student received the replacement iPad they, then, had to go to the App Store and download all their personal apps, (I don't know what apps the kid was using for their history report). (I am slowly taking each iPad off Configurator, here's why.)

So, now, using iCloud I can backup the old iPad and restore the new with a few simple steps.

First, I'll open the old iPad and backup to iCloud. If the backup is full, look to the camera roll, I have had to have students remove pictures and video in order to meet the 5 GB free iCloud storage limit. (Sorry kid.) Once complete you can set it aside.

Second, bring out the replacement that has been completely wiped, brining it to default factory settings. Run through the paces and setup wifi. Next, enable location services (needed for, find my iPad), and now choose, Restore from iCloud Backup. Type in the student's apple ID and password, agree to the terms and choose the latest backup. Process should only take a minute or two unless there's a lot of pictures…

After the iPad reboots you will be presented with a nice note.

So, it's going to start downloading the students apps first and just to be sure you will be asked for the Apple ID password for the student's account again. After, you will be asked for the Apple ID password for any apps that are not owned by the student but were there when the backup was created, including apps, originally installed by Apple Configurator. In my case the Apps that the school has installed and owns the license for. We keep the rights to any apps that are paid for by the school so that when we pass the iPad on to a new 5th grade student from a graduated 8th grader we do not have to spend all that money again. If you get a message stating you have restored to the max number of iPads, just hit cancel and delete and reinstall the apps from the App Store using the school ID. This can be done while everything else is still downloading, once you have touched to install the school apps you want, you can sign out, you do not need to wait for the downloads or installs to complete.

Student's Apple ID

School's Apple ID

The hard part is over. The iPad is downloading all of the school apps and the student owned apps, (this can take a while depending on the number & size of the apps and your Internet speed), you do not need to wait for this to complete to move on. If you followed some of my previous posts on using iCloud capable apps and settings the students can open apps like “Pages” and all their work will be automatically restored inside the app.

So, while the apps are downloading, we can install the MDM profile so we can keep track of this one. I have setup a quick web page that is just a link to my Meraki MDM profiles which you can get from the Meraki Dashboard or whoever your using. With Meraki I just emailed myself a link to the profiles from the dashboard and copied the link in to the page.

So, I just touch the one I want and I can install the Profile right from the iPad.

That's it. I can give the iPad back to the student as it continues to download the apps. Now, I'll return to the broken iPad and remove it from the MDM. Before, sending the device to the shop make sure you wipe out all the settings so the tech can do a full test on the device.



2 thoughts on “Replace a student or staff iPad in 10 minutes or less.

  1. Pingback: Harvard design iPad book will never go out of date | Tim

  2. Pingback: Collecting iPads at the End of the Year | SchooliPads

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