This is my view, and normally this would be a headache and a half, purchasing iPads in bulk and having to enroll and distribute them all into the correct year group profile and settings. Not this time..
As a school, if you are looking to buy iPads in bulk, I would recommend enrolling your school with Apple School Manager. Recently we put in an order to purchase more iPads and I decided to try and enroll them through Apple School Manager, alongside our Management System of Lightspeed. To say it was so much easier is an understatement..
The most lengthy part about this whole process is probably the initial activation, in which you have to be verified by your headteacher and apple ensures your establishment is actually in education. This takes around 5 days to certify, after that, it’s easy..
Once you’re logged on, Apple gives you the option to sync with your MDM server. If your not using a management system for the deployment of your iPads in school, I would highly recommend it. It’s the easiest way to link your VPP account, group your iPads, push out apps and amend their settings as required.
To do this, you simply need to download the key from your management system and upload it. Most management systems will have a DEP section under their settings where you can find the certificate needed to upload to Apple. Download that and upload that onto Apple School Manager.
Next you need to download the upload key form Apple and upload it back onto your management system. This will ensure the two are linked.
Once linked, everything else is easy. As soon as you have connected the two, you get given an Apple DEP number- make a note of this!! This is the thing that saves you lots of precious time.
Now you are ready to enroll your devices- I say you, but you don’t even have to do that! Any company that sells iPads for education will do this for you. We personally use Jigsaw24, so one quick phone call to them, giving them our order number for the new iPads, alongside our DEP number, and they automatically enrolled the devices to our Apple School Manager for us. In less than half an hour they were submitted by Jigsaw24 and assigned to our school..
Then, logging onto school manager, all I had to do was simply put in the order number and enroll.
After this, you’ll find all the devices from the order in your School Manager.
Once set up, they will be linked on your management system automatically. Logging onto your management system, you can deploy the school settings onto these devices.
No need to enter any serial codes, no need to connect to a VPP, no need to enrol each deivce separately. They are all linked.
As soon as you turn on the ipad, connect to the internet, you will receive a message as follows and it will automatically be enrolled into your management system.
Then, what you do next is up to you, I’m currenly adding them all to the right year groups. Easy!