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
Apple has the hardware requirements listed here: https://help.apple.com/classroom/ipad/1.1/#/cadc1b9b4f8a (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:
- Common apps, media
- For each user, local cache of personal data
- When user logs in / out, data are synchronized via iCloud.