Ultimate Guide to setup 300+ iPads with MDM. Configurator – iTunes – Meraki MDM

Here is a guide to setup 300+ iPads to be used by students. I'll be using Meraki MDM to set the Restrictions, Configurator to load WiFi, Meraki Profile and Supervise and iTunes to load the Apps.

You should have a basic understanding of MDM software, Apple Configurator and iTunes to use this guide so beware.

 

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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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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.

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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.

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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…

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