While iPads have been around for a few years now, and they are certainly a part of the education of kids at home and at school – Apple today announced a public iOS Beta for iPad aimed just at schools.

For schools that have a “fleet” of iPads, from a set of 10 in the Library or Tech room, to an iPad for every child, the theory is fantastic.  However actually managing what kids are doing on the iPads during class time is a challenge.

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The new iOS 9.3 allows for several key features.

  • Shared iPad: This gives every student a personalised experience, even though they are sharing the device.  It’s kinda like a user login for your PC which gives you your own desktop.
  • Classroom app: Using this app the teachers can see and manage what their students are doing at a glance.
  • Apple School Manager: Just like your iCloud login, this new web interface allows administrators to manage deployment of the entire fleet.
  • Managed Apple IDs: Apple IDs are created by the school and managed in bulk.

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It’s a fantastic concept, that will be embraced by teachers and really open up classroom productivity.  Managing devices is a challenge in corporate environments, so I can only imagine how difficult it must be for schools.

Plus, it makes me wonder how useful a spin off of this kind of environment might be for Apple Family Sharing.  I for one would love to be able to monitor the kids usage and apps plus Apple IDs at a glance.  Perhaps that’s next?

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