When Denis Guerrero joined Moreland School District as the Director of Technology, he knew it was time to find a better way to manage the school district’s 1,400 iPads. Throughout the district many iPads were locked, unusable, associated with different Apple IDs, and loaded with apps purchased through various gift cards, personal accounts, and vouchers. Managing this fleet of devices was becoming an impossible task and it was time to set some processes and tools in place for district-wide iPad visibility, app distribution, and device management.
After investigating different options, Denis and the team chose Cisco Meraki Systems Manager to accomplish these goals. To take full advantage of Systems Manager, the team worked to unify the district under one Device Enrollment Program (DEP) account with Apple, consolidate app license purchases, and register with Apple School Manager.
Systems Manager allows schools to easily provision Apple devices (out of the box) through DEP, install apps, apply custom configurations, and limit classroom distractions such as games and web surfing. Furthermore, schools and organizations can leverage Meraki’s free trial program for expert assistance throughout the trial process, access the open Community forum for peer insight and advice on the solution, and reference video and instructional content to help them get oriented in the dashboard.
Today students and teachers at Moreland School District can easily log into iPads, find the right apps, and start their digital lessons — without wasting instruction time on iPad lockouts or mitigating student access to distracting website and apps.
In an upcoming webinar on May 16th, 2018, Denis will share his favorite features and how Systems Manager helped his team streamline student learning throughout the district. Register now to learn more!
The fine people at Cisco Meraki are always looking for even better ways to help customers as they configure and manage their IT environments. Offering 24/7 phone support and giving guidance is merely one of the many avenues used to help create the best experience possible for users around the globe. Below are two videos the Meraki support team created to show how to most effectively manage one-to-one and Shared iPad deployments with Systems Manager–just in time for the holiday break here in the U.S.
The first video is a breakdown of setting up Shared iPad in six simple steps. This includes all the configuration needed in the Meraki dashboard using Systems Manager as well as configuration for Apple School Manager at school.apple.com. Shared iPad provides a way to manage iPads in the classroom where they can be shared with multiple students. Students can log into an iPad from a cart or classroom for a personalized experience, and the student’s work (data) gets saved back to their account.
For more information about Apple School Manager, check out the Apple help article here.
Up next is a video which similarly shows how to configure an iPad for use in the classroom, but focuses on a one-to-one environment. ‘One-to-one’ is used to describe a program where there is one computer, or in this case iPad, per student.
Meraki customers are encouraged to give real time feedback by submitting a wish at the bottom of any page in the Meraki dashboard. This feedback, called ‘Make a Wish’, is one of the many tools Meraki uses to keep in touch with current customer needs. See below for an example.
With the release of iOS 9 Apple introduced a number of improvements to the Volume Purchasing Program (VPP). Of these improvements, one of the more significant is app assignment by device. With this new functionality it is now possible to assign VPP apps to an iOS device without the need for an Apple ID, and if that device is supervised, the installation is silent.
Before this change, it was only possible to assign apps to a user by associating them with an Apple ID. This method of app management can be an administrative nightmare when used in environments such as K-12 education, where many users may be working with a particular device. Students may not have an Apple ID, or may be too young to have one without parental consent. Additionally, it meant that an Apple ID needed to be configured on the iPad for apps to be silently pushed to supervised devices.
With VPP device assignment, an Apple ID is no longer required and with supervised devices, apps can be pushed silently with no end user interaction. Silent app push has a huge impact on an administrator’s ability to seamlessly deliver iOS apps to users. Combining this new functionality with Meraki Systems Manager features, such as multiuser authentication, can offer a fantastic classroom experience. Apps and settings are tailored to each student’s needs and dynamically changed as the user changes.
Systems Manager Legacy customers can gain access to this great new functionality by upgrading to the latest version of Systems Manager. Please contact your Meraki representative for further information or alternatively sign up for a specialist Systems Manager Teacher’s Assistant webinar here. Additionally stay tuned to our YouTube channel for additional video guides to this functionality.
At the heart of the Shared User feature is multi-user authentication. This allows for the user of the device to be repeatedly changed without an administrator’s intervention. The device will dynamically change based on the person using it at a given time, with the user logging into, or out of, the device using the Meraki Systems Manager app. This exceptionally simple self-service model allows a single iOS device to be easily used by multiple people with different needs.
A user can be assigned a device, or multiple devices, and this pairing allows for configurations, settings, applications, and other options to be automatically applied based on that specific person’s requirements. The list of users can be managed in the Meraki dashboard, or easily integrated into Active Directory.
Driven again by the requirements of educators, the Shared User feature is a natural extension of Teacher Assistant, enabling even more ways of learning with an iPad. Although of particular interest to those wishing to use iOS devices in a learning environment, the ability to easily support multiple users on one device has is useful in a number of situations.
Multi-user authentication can be enabled with a single checkbox in the Meraki dashboard under Systems Manager > Configure > General
The Meraki Systems Manager app acts as the interface for multi-user authentication. With multi-user authentication enabled in a Systems Manager network, a fourth option will now appear in the bottom navigation pane of the app called ‘User’. When a user goes to this page, it will give the user the option to login to the device if no user is already assigned, or they can log the current user out of the device.
When a new user logs into the app, the Meraki cloud will check to see what needs to be changed on the device and act accordingly. This could be new applications, alternate settings, or fewer restrictions than the device had previously.
Total control, complete customization
With Systems Manager’s dynamic tags, the user of the device can be checked along with other things such as time, location, and security profile, to allow for complete customization of a device, giving total control. For further information on tags refer to this article.
A great example of the practical use of tags and multi-user authentication, is to put devices into a locked state when no one is logged in. By creating a profile that places non-assigned devices into single app mode, they can be locked into the Meraki app preventing any activity other than the ability to log into the device. When a user logs in, their tags are applied and the configuration for the device is updated.
Start sharing your devices today
Start sharing your iOS devices today by signing up for a Systems Manager account here, free for 100 devices or less. Existing Systems Manager Standard customer who would like to take advantage of this, and other new features, can enable a free trial directly within the Meraki dashboard.
Is your organization seeing a dramatic increase in the number of iPads and mobile devices being brought to the office? That’s what happened at Taft, Stettinius, and Hollister LLP. Brian Clayton, the Director of Information Systems, had to respond – and in his article “More WiFi, Less Hardware,” featured in the newest issue of Peer to Peer, a publication by the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), he describes how he transformed his law firm’s wireless network with Meraki’s cloud-managed solution.
In response to more “bring your own device” initiatives and the growing demand for mobility, Clayton explains:
How Taft maintains security for the important information passing over the wireless network
The need for scalability, ensuring that the wireless network can grow with the company and its increasing WiFi demand
The seamless integration of the personal, private, and public cloud experiences in the workplace