Apple to make it easier for schools to bring iPads into the classroom

iPads in education

Apple is planning changes to iPad deployment in the education space this fall that make it easier for administrators to distribute apps to students. The changes address some of the hurdles that school districts face when adopting iPads for classroom use.

"To simplify large deployments, including one-to-one and shared use, we want to make app distribution even easier," Apple said in an email that was obtained by 9to5 Mac. "As currently planned, this will greatly reduce the number of steps needed to set up a device."

Apple's iPad for classroom deployment changes include removing the requirement to have an Apple ID to install apps, making changes to the Apple ID for Students program, and improving the Apple Deployment Programs.

Removing prerequisites

Currently, Apple requires students to set up an Apple ID to install apps, books, and other content on their iPad. As part of Apple's program to make it easier for educators and administrators to deliver apps and digital content to students, Apple will be removing the requirement for students to have an Apple ID this fall.

"We are working to change this in the fall by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID," Apple's email stated.

With the change, administrators will no longer have to create generic Apple IDs just to get content onto students' iPad. Additionally, schools can secure iPads by preventing students from making purchases without prior approval.

Apple ID for Students

Though an Apple ID will no longer be required for schools to distribute apps onto an iPad, Apple will make it easier for schools to manage Apple IDs for students.

Students with Apple IDs will gain access to Apple's cloud storage through iCloud, which is built into Apple's apps like Pages, Numbers, and Keynotes. These apps are available for free on new iPads and serve as an alternative to Microsoft Office on the tablet.

With Apple ID for Students, administrators can also reset student passwords if needed. Apple says the program complies with US COPPA requirements to maintain children's privacy online.

Ease of administration

Apple is also addressing the needs of administrators with deployment changes that make it easier to roll out iPads on a large scale.

"We are improving the Apple Deployment Programs by unifying individual services into one program, simplifying the administrator experience," Apple said in its email statement. "This will make it far easier to enroll, manage, and support a large deployment - and reduce many of the steps schools have to go through to get setup."

Apple highlights its education initiatives with success stories, highlights of how technology can help with special education needs, and the ease of IT deployment on a dedicated portal.