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Classroom – Shared iPad

Terms and Definitions

Classroom – this is this is Apple's application for teachers allowing them to manage a class of students using iPad devices. Main features:

  • Lock student devices
  • Start application or Safari on a given web page on student devices
  • Observe (without interaction) student devices
  • Pre-assign shared iPad to students
  • Display student iPad screen on Apple TVs

Shared iPad - this is a special mode in which iPad devices can be put, which allows multi-users on a single iPad.

  • Only one user is logged in at a time
  • Personal data are downloaded from iCloud on first login on the device and cached on the device
  • You can configure how many "user caches" can be stored on the device
  • Managed Apple IDs are required

Apple School Manager - this is Apple "Super DEP" portal for education.

  • Works as a normal DEP account (you can create multiple "virtual servers" and use them to deploy your devices)
  • Integrates VPP
  • Integrates Student Information System data
  • Integrates Managed Apple IDs management

One-to-One (1:1) context - this is a deployment model where a person is getting a device that is not shared with another person.
Cart - this is a Group of devices that usually stay in one classroom, and that are shared by students. They do not have to actually be stored in a cart; this is just a logical grouping that we chose to call a Cart.

While Classroom and Shared iPad share the same underlying concepts, it is not mandatory to use both together:

  • Classroom only can be used in 1:1 context without Shared iPad
  • Shared iPad can be used without a teacher running Classroom

Hardware Requirements
Apple has the hardware requirements listed here: (I know that it's an ugly URL, but it takes you where you need to go). On this page, you will see that the following applies:

  • All devices require Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) support
  • Nothing additional for teacher devices
  • 1:1 student devices must be supervised
  • Shared iPad requires more storage space

How it works: Classroom

  • Classroom is configured using a special "education" payload (profile), which has to be sent via MDM.
  • The profile has to contain data based on SIS data, indicating who is using what.
  • From a communication point of view, Apple uses Bluetooth LE (hence the hardware limitation) to initiate the connection between devices and then establish a TCP/IP connection, using SSL certificates for security.

How it works: Shared iPad

  • Devices have to be in an ASM account.
  • There is a special option you have to enable in DEP profile before activating the device.
  • Once the device is activated, it will be prepared for Shared iPad (it will reboot just after enrollment).
  • Users can log into the device using a Managed Apple ID from the same ASM account.
  • Device space will be shared:
    • iOS
    • Common apps, media
    • For each user, local cache of personal data
  • When user logs in / out, data are synchronized via iCloud.