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Apple To Tweak Apple ID Rule For Easy Deployment Of iPads Within Schools

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Apple is about to make significant changes to its iPad for Education program and make it easier for the schools to adopt the device for their students. First reported by the MacRumors website, the Cupertino based tech giant is working on removing certain Apple ID restrictions which significantly slow down the adoption of iPads within classrooms. Once the planned changes are in place, schools would be able to load and distribute apps and books without needing a separate Apple ID for each and every iPad thus reducing the number of steps required to set up the device.

Apple ID serves as an all-in-one user account which allows users to log into multiple Apple services such as the iTunes store, the Apple Store, iWork and iCloud without the need to create a separate userid for every device or service. While it is definitely possible for a person to have multiple Apple IDs (to go along with different devices or services), Apple doesn’t allow merging of multiple Apple IDs into a single unified account. As it can be imagined, this approach poses a challenge when organizations or educational institutions need to deploy similar apps on a number of devices.

As things stand now, schools need to set up generic Apple IDs (one ID per iPad) and link them with the iTunes store before they can load up content into a new device. This slows down the entire app deployment process and creates unnecessary hurdles which can even impact the adoption of the device into the schools. To counter this, Apple has decided to introduce a new feature that will allow instructors or students to load apps, books and other content into iPads without supplying Apple IDs. To prevent misuse of the feature, Apple will also introduce control measures that will prevent students from making purchases without prior approval.

Along with the above change, Apple is also planning to revamp its iPad for Education program in a big way. As per COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), schools need to obtain consent from parents before creating new user accounts (including Apple IDs) for students who are below 13 years of age. Considering that contacting parents and obtaining their approval is a laborious and time consuming activity (especially for bigger schools), Apple has decided to bring a change that will allow teachers to manage their students’ Apple IDs without running afoul of the COPPA law.

In a letter addressed to its educational partners, Apple has said that it is unifying multiple services into a single program to simplify the job of administrators and make the overall deployment process a lot faster. The company also hoped that the change will make it easier for the schools to enroll, manage and support large deployment activities and reduce the number of steps that are needed just to get started with iPads. The company also said that it hopes to roll out the change by fall just in time for the next schooling session.

August 6, 2015

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