Lock iPad to an App Natively from Settings

Wether you have a youngster who can't help hitting the Home button or just a child with a little ADD, this little tip can help you keep em on task. This can be done on a large scale via Meraki MDM but it can be a little time consuming and may be a little more than you need. For a small class to a single student this is a quick setup you can do to lock their iPad to a specific App.

Lets open up Settings – General – Accessibility. Scroll to the bottom to Guided Access.

Flip on Guided Access and enter a passcode only you know.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Love the VPP – The Good Parts, App Distribution

So, I’ve complained a lot about the VPP but there are some good points to it as well. I’ll go over a few of them here so there’s some ying to all my yanging.

The most obvious being the volume discount. Buy more than 20 licenses of one app at one time and they are half off. Note that free apps do not show up in the VPP store. I thought it might be cool to buy 200 copies of a free app while on sale for use in the future but Apple is smarter than me… Remember that it’s 20 or more each time. You can’t buy 20 and come back and buy 5 more and get half off. So, it’s good to buy in bulks of 20 as needed. In the case of the VPP, 11 is more expensive than 20.

Another nice thing about the VPP is the 2 accounts that you will need to run it.

Continue reading

Apps Outside the Classroom – AppsGoneFree – A Great Place of Discovery for Teachers.

There are thousands of apps that go on sale or free every day and there are plenty of apps that will tell you so. One app that puts that in to perspective a little bit is Apps Gone Free (free in the App Store). Everyday, you are presented with a short list of apps that have reduced their price to Free. Now that's not amazing or anything except for the fact that they have been tested and found to actually have some real value before being blindly added to the list.

Not everyday is there an educational app but its pretty close. I have found countless apps from here that I then share with the teachers that I think might benefit.

Continue reading

iPad Cart Guide – Managing Maintaining – App Distribution in iTunes

iPad Cart Management – How it’s done right.

Here I’ll show you how I maintain an iPad cart. It has 23 iPads in it. At one point I had them setup using only Apple Configurator as Apple suggests but I have found that after having to borrow iPads from the cart for other reasons and replacing them with iPads that were not originally part of the cart and the terrible way Configurator handles app licenses, I had to start using a combination of iTunes and Configurator. iTunes to load the software and Configurator to name them. Normally, you would only use Apple Configurator and install the app through it using a spreadsheet downloaded from your VPP account. See my post, VPP Apple Configurator & Multiple Carts or Locations | SchooliPads.

NOTE: I‘m using a Mac with iTunes 11.0.2 and Configurator 1.2.1. This process should work for Windows but without Configurator, the fast wipe and naming of the iPads will have to be done individually.

This seems complicated the first time but after you do it once or twice it kinda makes sense, so here we go.

Continue reading

iOn iOff Daily enabling and disabling iMessage for students with Meraki MDM.

I have requested an automated way to do this from Meraki, like, every M-F between 8-3, disable iMessage but nothing yet. That would also introduce problems with holidays and summers. So, I have a reminder set to tell me to turn it on and off every weekday and using the Mercury Browser on my iPad a Bookmark Bar link to quickly get in and out. (Mercury is good at saving passwords).

Opening the right set of settings.

Continue reading

Is your Wi-Fi good enough? Ours wasn’t.

I had home wifi routers in just about every classroom, plenty of connectivity to go around but there's a problem. When your device is connected to one signal it doesn't really like to jump to another even if the signal is stronger. So, if your connected to room 200 & you move to room 203 down the hall, if the iPad can still see it, it's not going to let go and connect to 203, unless you force it.

Next problem is in naming. Each router needs its own name. If you have 2 routers with the same name and the same password, it won't work. The pass might be the same but keys will be different which you have no control over. So if your schools routers are all named, myschoolwifi, and you walk down the hall, your iPad will try to connect but will just error out in some fashion. Might even say connected but will have no ideas how to actually communicate.

So, when selling us on the iPad program, Apple suggested, AeroHive.

Using our existing network, their team came in and mapped out our building and ended up installing 13 Access Points, through the halls.

Continue reading