This is part three of a five-part series addressing what teachers should know about iOS 9.3. If you’ve missed the beginning of the series and need to catch up, you can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

What Are Managed Apple IDs?

One issue plaguing schools using iPads involves the process of creating Apple IDs for students and staff. The Apple ID is incredibly important in an iPad environment, as it sets up the iCloud account of the student and is the key to all of that student’s created data. With iOS 9.3 and Apple School Manager, school administrators are now able to create, in mass, Apple IDs for all of their students and staff through an upload or connection to the school’s student information system. This is an incredible update from the previous system of generating Apple IDs in which schools would have to go through the Apple ID for Students program.

How it Works

There are many benefits to the new system of Managed IDs. However, the single most important feature involves the ability for students to access their iCloud drive from any device. With this step, Apple is truly making iCloud available everywhere. For example, a student may create a Keynote presentation on a shared iPad at school. In the past, that Keynote would stay on that device in the teacher’s classroom. Now, if they need to continue to work on it at home, they will be able to log into iCloud.com with their school issued Apple ID and access that file. They can do this from either an iPad or a Mac computer. Students only need their school-issued Apple ID.

School administrators can use specific Apple IDs and assign permissions in the school’s Mobile Device Manager and School Manager for various tasks such as purchasing apps through the Volume Purchase Program or resetting student passwords. The password reset feature will also directly integrate into the new Apple Classroom app, allowing teachers to reset student passwords with only a few taps on their iPad.

It should be noted that students given these Apple IDs will not have access to the App Store, iBooks Store, or iTunes store to make purchases or downloads. Teachers given appropriate permissions by administrators could have the ability to download apps and books from the Volume Purchase Program, and then have those pushed out to their students.

Things To Ask Your Administrator

  • Have separate roles been established for staff and students?
  • Who has the power to purchase apps through the VPP store? (In other words, if I want something, who should I ask?)
  • Once an app is requested and purchased, who do we contact to push it out to the students?
  • How do students use their managed Apple ID at home?

Why Teachers Should Care

While it has a few challenges and kinks to be considered, overall, the Managed Apple IDs portion of the system is something about which IT administrators, teachers, and students should be extremely excited. The ease of creating the IDs and their connection to iCloud’s storage will allow schools to create an environment in which students and teachers are connected and integrated through more than ever before. For more information on Managed Apple IDs, visit Apple’s deployment help page on Apple IDs.

Come Learn more from Ben this year!

Ben will be a featured presenter in Boston and San Diego this year. He will be joined by other Google experts from across the country to share new ways to innovate student learning Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education.

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