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iPad apps and Volume Licensing

Started by Diane Mills 06 Jun 2013 2:43pm () Replies (9)

This is a bit of a technical post but one of my schools has asked me about volume licensing and iPad apps – something I didn’t know anything about.  However by asking around and looking online I have found out the following.  Feel free to correct me or to add in your take on the issue.Smile

The easiest way of course for schools to get around this is just to use free apps and then there is no issue, however, schools will want to buy apps, so this is what I have found out.

The volume purchasing program allows schools to purchase iOS (mobile) apps and books in volume to use throughout the school – for teachers, students and administrators.  So the first step is to go and register for this at: http://www.apple.com/nz/education/volume-purchase-program/

This method lets the program manager in the school purchase multiple apps via credit card, the purchase comes as a code to use on devices.  Buying in bulk can provide some savings.

To protect the apps you have purchased for use on your school devices you may want to set up Device Supervision.  This can be switched on to ensure that the devices your school owns and the apps your school has bought cannot be copied from say the iPad onto other devices outside of school for example.  So you are protecting your purchases from illegal copying.  There are drawbacks to this, (you can't share photos for example, I believe, across devices) but you can read more at:http://www.apple.com/nz/iphone/business/docs/iOS_Apple_Configurator_Mar12.pdf

Apple configurator is needed to set up mass configuration of iOS  devices. Apple configurator can be retrieved from the Mac App store .  Apple have videos on apple configurator which steps you through how to use apple configurator to load apps onto multiple devices.

Another resource that can provide information is the Out of School sitehttp://outofschool.net/.  This site has a series of podcasts that takes you through what device supervision is all about, and the various ways your institution can manage apps on multiple devices for eg. as an institution with tight control, or a layered model or a personal model with more flexibility.  Look out for podcasts #35, 36, and 37.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 12 Jun 2013 1:58pm ()

    Hi all, Anne Cato has posted about a easy and quick way to do the setup is to use a Mobile Device Management System. Using Lightspeed. For more on Anne's post, go to Wifi for iPads Smile

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 8:57pm ()

    Thanks for that- a good tip- cheers.

  • Andy Parker (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 8:37pm ()

    We use a combination of Configurator and an MDM solution - the MDM is useful to be able to remotely clear a passcode if someone has forgotten it.

    We also have the advantage of an Aerohive wireless network To be able to access the wireless network the iPad has to be enrolled in the MDM - an unenrolled device doesn't get network access, so there's an incentive for devices to be enrolled. Aerohive checkes the MDM and if the device does have Wifi settings, Safari is redirected to the MDM enrolment page to get the device back into a managed state

  • Graeme Hood (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 8:23pm ()

    Hi Allanah

    Your comment ... "If you use Configurator you can reassign the apps to the new iPad without having to re-purchase."

    Correct BUT only if you have unsupervised the device and recovered the licences first. If your iPad "breaks" as you have mentioned then you have lost and will need to install with new licences.

  • Graeme Hood (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 8:19pm ()

    Just to add what we are doing or have done. 

    After having school purchased iPads (250) in the school for over 3 years now, we wnat to have the following control .... 

    1. Prevent students from adding their own apps
    2. Automatically configure to our network and put in proxy settings (saves having to do it on each device, and in some cases more than once !)
    3. Add paid apps using licences via VPP
    4. Prevent apps being deleted (if you haven't got a particular app you can't do your homework !)

    Our Journey ....

    Originally we configured the ipads using apple configerator - used supervised mode to lock out iTunes and to add apps that licences had been purchased via VPP. 

    When we want to add new apps it means connetcing to the computer to add the new apps - either free or $ ones. 

    This year also run Maraki over the top of Apple Config and with management of the profiles we can add apps via the cloud to all the devices that we want. BUT even thought the Meraki profile can be locked to remove via a password, the Meraki Config profile can't be locked or password protected (an email to Meraki confirmed this), The students remove the Meraki Profile and then it removces the mgmt profile we have installed via Meraki (hope that clear), then they have full control back and can use iTunes and add apps, etc. 

    Now have gone back to using Apple Config. only, even though it means connecting to the computer to add noew apps, it does give us protection against the students removing profiles. It also means that our VPP licences are in the one place. The licences can be recovered and reused if the iPad is unsupervised. 

    HOWEVER ... some students have locked their iPads, then forgotten the password and the only way to get them back into use is to wipe the whole device and start again - not being able to recover the licences, A student (or two) has alos tried to sync their iPads at home and consequently alos deleted apps and all from the device. We now purchase a few extra licences each time we get a new paid app.

    There are probably better ways of doing what we are trying to do, but its back to Apple Config for us, even though it's somewhat slower to sync up individual devices, it gives us the control we want. The afteroon under an hour it was possible to add 4 new apps to 60+ iPads once the apps had been installed into Apple Config. 

    Next step for us is set up shared class calendars and class wikis (including individual blogs).

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 5:09pm ()

    Reading this dicsussion thread started by Jacqui Sharp in this group may help answer some of your questions.


    Also here are my Configurator links that I don't think I have shared before.


    A note aslo about Meraki- in talking with Warren Hall- as I understand it- if you use Meraki and then the iPad breaks, gets traded in for a newer model or otherwise ends it's life then you have to buy the apps again for it.

    If you use Configurator you can reassign the apps to the new iPad without having to re-purchase.



  • Diane Mills (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 4:23pm ()

    Hi Robyn,

    I have copied this off the Apple site: 

    Supervise devices:  Another option is to Supervise a set of iOS devices that remain in
    your direct control and can be configured on an ongoing basis. Apply a configuration
    to each device, then reapply it automatically after each use just by reconnecting the
    device to Apple Configurator.

    Hope this helps.  Yes Allanah King mentioned the benefits of Meraki as well.

  • Robyn Wood (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2013 3:03pm ()

    Hi Diane

    Just wondering - where do go / how do you set up devie supervision?  Another option instead of Apple Configurator is Meraki (and it's free).

    Thanks Robyn

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