Archives For September 2, 2013

Thank yous and a rationale for this post

*blog post updated with links from Kyle 09-04-2013

Thank Yous

Big thanks to my friends Chris CasalChris Casal and Kyle Pearce Kyle Pearce for meeting up with me over Google hangouts to give advice about iPad deployment.  Clearly, I have a lot more to learn, but these two clever people got me started.  Thank you also to Jon Samuelson a.k.a @iPadSammyPatrick Fogarty and Class Tech Tips who offered to help.  I might be talking to you next summer to up-level my deployment skills.


Check out Kyle’s iPad deployment blog posts here:

Apple iPad Deployment Backgrounds

How to Setup iPad – The iPad Classroom Deployment Guide


This blog post may be helpful to other people. But, I suspect that other people deploying iPads are using Apple Configurator and VPP.  Since I am not using VPP, I had to find another method. Mostly, I am writing this as a note to the future *me*, the me-getting-ready-for-back-2-school-next-August.

A letter about iPad deployment

Dear Person Setting up iPads,

When you are getting ready for the school year, here are some reminders as to how you set up your class iPads.  If you are really clever, you will dedicate some time over the next 12 months to learn iPhone Configuration Utility and/or Apple Configurator more deeply.  You should probably also learn more about Cisco’s Meraki.  It would be nice if you didn’t have to configure each device individually.

But, if you don’t figure those programs out, or they change, here is what you could do.

The overall goal is to reset each device and upload a fresh version of all the apps, settings in a nice organized fashion.

Step 1: Prepare and Reset

This is where you clean out everything on the iPad.

Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Note: If one of your students has locked the device with a passcode, then use Apple Configurator to reset.

Note: If one of your students has disabled the device, take a deep breath.  The “bricked” iPad will need to be shut off, plugged in to iTunes while pressing the home key and follow instructions.  Warning: you will have to make several attempts.

Step 2: BackUp

Use a backup from iTunes that has all the apps and settings you desire. If you don’t have a back up, make sure you save one iPad with all apps and clean it up manually. Reset the device to be a perfect iPad. This will be the image for all the other iPads you want to set up.  Back it up to the cloud and your computer with iTunes.

You can backup all the devices over iCloud, but this could take 2-3 days and your Internet will be seriously slow.  The alternative is to plug each device into iTunes and restore from the back up.

Step 3: Name each device

I name each device so they will be unique in Meraki and also so the email signature indicates which device an email comes from.  I also like to have the iPad number visible on the lock screen and homescreen when they are first handed out to students.

Naming the iPad:

Settings> General> About> Name: iPad _ _


Changing the email signature to reflect iPad name/number:

Settings> Mail, Contacts, Calendars> Signature> Sent from my iPad_ _


Setting Lock Screen and Home Screen with the number of the device:


        • Save the number from the photo stream to camera roll (press and hold the picture>share>to camera roll)
        • Settings> Brightness & Wallpaper> Wallpaper > Camera Roll> Select number picture> Set Both
        • Next erase all the number pictures from the Photo Stream. iCloud> Photo Stream> My Photo Stream *OFF*
            • You will be prompted to delete the Photo Stream, which is perfect!

Note: Photo Stream stopped working part way through. I had to plug in the device into my computer and jump start the Photo Stream. As soon as the numbers appear, I could unplug and proceed.

Step 4: Meraki Magic

Use Meraki Mobile device management to track all the devices.

I think Meraki will save you from the headache of locked iPads.  With Meraki, you can reset passwords without resetting and erasing the entire device.  Plus, it’s much faster then having to plug into iTunes to de-brick.

Meraki also allows you to make WebClips. This is super handy because you can make a website look like an App.  I created a WebClip for a Google Form that my students complete each day called ‘Round Up.’  I used a copyright safe image from Compfight and Pixlr Express to edit the picture and resize.  The picture below and to the right is the image of the web clip on each iPad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScreen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.20.21 PMRound up Happy face

Note: I tried to access a Meraki profile from the website for each device, but after 16 devices it stopped working. So, I installed the Meraki Systems Manager app and was able to install Meraki for each device.