lots-of-ipadsLast week I posted an article discussing how and why users can easily remove iPad MDM management profiles. This struck up a conversation on Google+ about how different schools are dealing with this issue.

It seems that many schools have found ingenious ways to lessen, but not prevent, the problem. Some solutions simply make accessing the Settings menu as difficult as possible, some rely on trusting students and teachers not to remove profiles, others use the removal of applied apps and settings as a deterrent.

Here are the views of a number of administrators using iPads:

Ben:

We’re dealing with it by putting as much of the management of the devices in the hands of the teachers as much as possible. Should they delete a profile that is mission critical, we have a web clip that take you directly to our MDM’s web portal where profiles can be easily re installed by logging in and then installing them with a click.

Chris:

Easy. When they remove it it removes them from the network and all of their school apps disappear. It also flags them on our mdm. The next time they need to use a school app or connect to the network they have no choice but to come to my office and get rejoined.

Matt:

On our campus an MDM profile is required to connect to our wifi. If they remove the profile they can’t get on the Internet. That’s how we find the kids who deleted it.

Ronald:

Not …

or we’ll we try … we hide all the non-removable icons on an extra page and put only the one icon on the first page.

Most of the users who use our iPads stick to what they’re supposed to do with it ( … that is to use it to enter data while observing students in a simulation )

Sharon:

Knock on wood, no big problems in our school so far. Staff knows they shouldn’t, and most are beginners anyway, so they are leery of trying to change anything. Students are required to use a certain iPad assigned to them off the cart (numbered iPads, alphabetical order students) so the one problem we did have was immediately tracked down.

And that only involved logging into a game with the F word, so the next kid who turned it on got the greeting, “Hello, F-er.” That kid who caused it was banned from iPads for a period of time, parents were notified. But we are an elementary building, and new to many technologies, so maybe our issues are different?

The solution that works for you will depend on how your teachers and students use the devices, and the number of iPads you are responsible for managing.

With a small number of iPads this problem does not create too much of an issue, but scale this to hundreds of devices and I’m not convinced any of the above problems can be realistically used.

How are you dealing with this issue?

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About Author

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Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

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