Reset a School iPad to Factory Defaults (PDF Visual Walkthrough)

If your school allows students to utilize their personal AppleIDs with your school-issued iPads, you might want to be aware of a new security feature in iOS 7 that will really mess with your end-of-the-year collection efforts.

Basically, when you attempt to reset an iPad to the default factory settings in iOS 7 (which you might do after collecting up all student iPads for the summer), the iPad will ask you for the AppleID and password of the previous user. If that previous user was a student using their own AppleID and not a school account or generic account, you will need their password to wipe the iPad. If you don’t have it, the iPad basically becomes a useless brick.

This was designed to prevent thieves from resetting a stolen iPad, but for schools it ends up being a huge hassle. As we began collecting the student iPads this past week, we had to modify our process to accomodate this extra step. If your students use their own ID’s, do not let them just throw their iPads in a pile and walk away! It is really hard to figure out which iPad belongs to which student because the iPad will only give you the first letter of the email address for the AppleID when trying to enter the info after a reset. If you have 300 students like we do, good luck figuring out which student with an email address that starts with “k” is the one who needs to enter their info to complete the reset.

To avoid this problem, make the student stand with a teacher and walk through the whole reset process. We have created a visual PDF guide for your teachers that your can access HERE. During the reset, you will need access to the iPad’s lock screen passcode (if there is one), the parent’s or school’s restrictions passcode (if there is one), and the student’s AppleID and password (if it asks for them). Once all the steps in the guide have been followed and you are back to the default home screen, the student’s info is no longer needed.

One last tip: make sure you read which passcode/password it is asking for. There is nothing more frustrating than typing in the school’s restriction code when it actually wants to lock screen code and then getting locked out of the reset process for 60 minutes. If nobody remembers the restriction code (and parents often forget if they set it up 9 months ago), you will need to reset it by manually connecting the iPad to a computer. But you will still need the kid’s ID and password via this method.

Good luck!



Unlinking Your Credit Card From Your AppleID

When having parents set up their child's AppleID for the first time, a lot of them end up making decisions that they later regret: such as giving their teenager access to their credit card through the App Store. Other parents don't realize that there are ways to set up an AppleID without giving credit card info at all in the first place and they need to unlink it from the account after the fact.

No matter what your reason, here is a quick and easy tutorial for unlinking the credit card from your child's AppleID. Be sure to share this information with parents early in the school year.

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Tips for Training Parents

If your school is instituting a 1-to-1 iPad program that provides students with “personal” iPads or otherwise allows students to take the devices home with them, then one of your top priorities needs to be training the parents.

This is absolutely critical and was one of the things that is often overlooked by schools with these programs. Even though the students might be techno-savvy wunderkinds, many parents do not fully understand the capabilities of these devices. Proper training is key to help monitor and protect students while they are using your devices off of school grounds.

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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.

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Ideal iPad Settings for School Use


*PLEASE NOTE: The layout of the Settings menu is subject to change as Apple updates their iOS. This guide was written with iOS version 6.1.3, but should remain fairly accurate for the foreseeable future.*

There are several settings that students will want to change on their iPad in order to maximize their efficiency and minimize distractions in the classroom. For a full list of all the settings, what they do, and what students should change, look further down this document. But first, the short version:

Critical Student Settings

1) Notifications: Remove all apps from notification center (except maybe MAIL and CALENDAR)

2) General About: Name your iPad with whatever your teacher tells you to do (Usually Last name + Homeroom #).

3) General Auto-Lock: 15 MINUTES or NEVER (15 is good just to avoid an accidental sleep during a presentation & Never might be risky for a kid who might leave the screen on and get distracted, leaving them with a dead battery)

4) General Passcode Lock: ON (set passcode you can remember easily, ideally the same as their AppleID password and email password)

5) General Use Side Switch To: LOCK ROTATION (good for during a presentation)

6) General Keyboard Auto-correction: OFF (kids assume it’s always fixing everything and you’ll end up with some crazy words in the middle of a report.

7) Sounds Keyboard Clicks: OFF (can you imagine a classroom of clicks!)

8) Privacy Location Services: ON (But keep most apps OFF in the list, but specifically turn ON “Find my iPad at the bottom. DEFINITELY KEEP THE CAMERA APP TURNED OFF IN THIS LIST! You do NOT want the camera app putting hidden location data about your child into any photo they take.)

9) Privacy Photos: This will contain a list of all the apps that have requested permission to access your photos and videos. If you have an app that allows you to insert photos into documents or presentations or edit photos in any way, you need to ensure that the specified app is turned ON in this menu.

10) iCloud: Use your AppleID for the account (if not already entered). Then, turn ON all options except Mail.

11) Mail, Contacts, Calendars: This is where students can set up their email account by inputting their email address and email password. All other settings can remain as their defaults.

12) Safari Private Browsing: ON

Full Breakdown of Settings


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