FileWave’s Engage classroom app was developed for teachers to interact with their students during class. It provides functionality similar to Apple Classroom but without some of the high hardware and OS requirements. It also includes support for non-Apple devices such as Chromebooks and Windows computers. Apple Classroom's system requirements are available here.
|Apple Classroom||FileWave Engage|
|Mac support||No (not supported)||Yes (macOS 10.9+)|
|Windows support||No||Yes (Windows 7/10)|
|Teacher Web UI||No||Yes|
|Native teacher app||Yes||Yes|
|Min. teacher hardware required||4th gen iPad, iPad mini 2||None|
|Min. teacher iOS required||10.3||8 for native app, None for Web UI|
|Min. student hardware required||4th gen iPad, iPad mini 2||None|
|Min. student iOS required||10.3||8|
As you can see, Apple Classroom's hardware and OS requirements are much higher than Engage's. For many customers these requirements exclude a very large population of their existing devices. On top of that Apple Classroom does not support other device types that they may have, such as Macs, Chromebooks, and Windows devices. For many customers FileWave Engage is a better option or in some cases, the only option, for them.
The idea behind Engage is to present an active view of the students in a designated class, keep the students focused on the session, and interact with them to ensure that they are keeping up. Linking the institution’s classes, teachers, and students is done through a simple text file import, or by integrating the school’s SIS through the use of Clever: http://www.clever.com.
For hosting the SIS information, as well as the polls and content links, Engage uses a VM available on the FileWave download pages. The virtual machine runs on most common VM engines, such as VMware and Hyper-V.
All interactions between teachers and students take place from within the Engage application. There is an iOS version of the Engage application provided to you as an .ipa file on the FileWave download pages. For macOS, the Engage application is available as a free download from the Mac App Store. We recommend deploying it as a VPP volume licensed app. Both teachers and students use the same application; the Engage application reacts with a different UI based on the person logging in. Teachers also have the option of accessing the teacher UI from any modern web browser, including those on a computer.
Native Engage applications are available for the following OS'es.
- macOS 10.9+
- iOS 8+
- Chromebook devices
- Windows 7 & 10
Once a teacher selects a class and activates it they can send specific commands to some or all of the students’ devices, and clear the student’s passcode on their device. They can even apply config profiles that the FileWave admin has made available to all devices in the classroom.
- Reset Actions – Returns all devices to a neutral state, clearing any locked screens, messages, and AirPlay.
- Eyes Up Front – Sends a message to all designated users to get their attention and puts Engage into Single App mode so the student cannot dismiss the message.
- Single App Mode – Forces supervised iOS, Mac, and Windows devices into a single, designated application. Engage can be designated for single app mode. On Chromebooks this will launch the selected application but does not block the user from switching to another app.
- Mirror Device – Uses the AirPlay profile to force a supervised iOS device to display on a selected AppleTV. Devices must be on the same network. Requires the use of an AirPlay profile on the teacher’s device.
- Use a Poll – Provides the teacher with a mechanism to check on student progress through a simple Q&A process.
- Send Message – Unlike the Eyes Up Front dialog, this dialog can be dismissed by users. Can be used to send reminders, hints, or just pass along information to selected students.
- Send URL – The teacher can send a URL to the student that links them to a web site, a document, or anything that can be designated with a URL.
- Clear Passcode - Clears the passcode on designated iOS devices.
- Apply Session Profiles - Enforce config profiles on iOS devices for the duration of the class. They will be removed automatically when the class is deactivated or the teacher toggles them to the "Off" state.
Setting Up the FileWave Engage VM
Import the Engage VM using the instructions in the Server & Admin Installation section. Follow the instructions below to set a static IP for the Engage VM.
- Edit the /etc/network/interfaces file to change the IP configuration from DHCP to static and specify your network settings.
- The DNS settings will be picked up via DHCP. If there is no DHCP on this network segment, edit /etc/resolv.conf to specify your DNS server.
Reload the IP stack with
Then follow the Engage Quick Start Guide to configure your Engage server and import teachers, students, and classroom info.
If you do not currently have a matching commercial cert from a trusted certificate authority for the DNS of your Engage server you can generate a self-signed one for the duration of your evaluation.
Log into the Engage server directly or via an SSH session and run the following 2 commands.
- You'll be prompted for the following information, most of which can be skipped. The only mandatory item is the FQDN for your Engage server.
- Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:
- State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:
- Locality Name (eg, city) :
- Organization Name (eg, company) [Internet Widgits Pty Ltd]:
- Organizational Unit Name (eg, section) :
- Common Name (e.g. server FQDN or YOUR name) : Mandatory response required. Enter FQDN for your Engage server.
- Email Address :
We recommend purchasing an SSL certificate from a commercial certificate authority (CA). These can be obtained for as little as $10-20/year. If you already have a wildcard certificate that covers the top level domain the Engage server will be hosted on then you can use it without needing to purchase another certificate. Apple tightened security beginning with iOS 10.3, and since then iOS no longer trusts self-signed certificates by default.
- Self-signed SSL certificate generated by Engage server
- Advantage - free
- Disadvantage - requires extra step on iOS 10.3+ to explicitly trust it before the Engage mobile app will connect to the Engage server
- Trusted certificate from commercial CA
- Advantage - no extra step to explicitly trust certificate on iOS 10.3+ devices
- Disadvantage - not free (cost possibly as low as $10-20/year)
Deploying the Engage Client
Follow the instructions below to deploy the Engage Client to student/teacher devices. Remember that teachers also have the option of using the web console by browsing to https://<your_engage_server>.your_org.edu. A Teacher Reference Guide for Engage is available to help them get up and running as quickly as possible with the above Engage functionality. More information on Engage can be found in chapter 10 of the FileWave Administration Manual.
- In the FileWave Admin console add an Enterprise mobile fileset for the FileWave_Engage.ipa file from the FileWave website.
- Make sure the certificate profile from earlier is already associated with client iOS devices. You can ignore this step if you used a trusted cert from a commercial CA.
- Associate the fileset for the Engage app to your iOS devices and update the model.
Mac Clients using VPP
- Purchase some licenses for EngageX in the VPP App Store for $0.
- Sync your VPP token to generate a fileset for the EngageX App Store app.
- Make sure the certificate profile from earlier is already associated with client macOS devices. You can ignore this step if you used a trusted cert from a commercial CA.
- Associate the EngageX fileset to your macOS devices, select device-based licenses for the association, and update the model.
- Import the FileWave Engage Client Fileset for Windows into the FileWave Admin console.
- Associate this fileset to your Windows devices and update the model. Note that Windows client devices must be running the FileWave 12.2.0 client or higher. Otherwise the Windows Engage Client Fileset deployment will fail with a script error.
There is no Clever integration available for evaluation unless you already have an existing Clever account.