Posts Tagged Education

Control access to your Google Form using a Simple Passcode

Have you ever wanted to keep users from filling out your Google Form until a specific time? For example, maybe you want students to fill out an exit slip out class, but you don’t want them to do it until the end. You could post your form at a specific time, but that’s not always convenient. Another option would be to setup a simple passcode for your form. Today’s 2 Minute Tech Tip will show you how easy it is to do.

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Difference Between Supervised and Unsupervised iPads

CaptureWhen I think of unsupervised, I immediately think of what my son would do if I wasn’t watching. BTW, if you’ve never seen the video about the kids in the picture its worth watching because it will immediately make you feel good about your parenting skills. Those kids were definitely unsupervised!

Apple’s definition of unsupervised is a little different. When you add devices to an MDM there are certain settings you can’t control unless the device is supervised. The way we supervise devices is by using Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP).

You can add devices to our Meraki MDM if they aren’t in the DEP program, but the devices will be unsupervised. Again, this means their are certain settings you cannot not control.  You can learn more about adding devices in Meraki’s documentation. In the Meraki dashboard go to MDM > Settings > Restrictions. There you will see the settings you can control for both supervised and unsupervised devices.

Hopefully, Apple will continue to add options for controlling supervised devices. For example, it doesn’t really make sense to me why Apple provides a way (DEP) to prove that a school or business owns a device, but will not allow those organizations to keep users from setting a passcode. I understand the importance of a passcode in certain situations, but organizations should have the option decide whether or not users can set them. In education, it makes sense that a 1:1 iPad could have a passcode, though iPads that are shared between several students throughout the day should not. The MDM will allow you to clear a passcode, but that takes away from instruction time. Like I said, maybe someday…

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BYOD App Lists Often Overlook Microsoft

This isn’t my normal type of post, but I thought it might be valuable information for some. I saw a site entitled “11 BYOD apps that keep the focus on content”. Now, there was nothing wrong with the apps on the list. The problem was, like most sites I’ve seen, there wasn’t a Microsoft app on it. Specifically I’m talking about OneNote and OneDrive for Business.

I’m not trying to start a debate about which apps are better. EverNote and OneNote are similar. Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive for Business are all cloud storage solutions. I believe whatever works best for you, is the right app/tool to use.

However, in my opinion, if you are just getting started OneNote and OneDrive for Business have one HUGE advantage over other products. That is, every public school student and teacher in the state of Kentucky already has an account setup to use them. In fact, should a user forget their password it can be reset as simply as resetting an email account password.

We often have to make a lot of network changes in order to make apps/programs works. Hence the square peg round hole reference. With OneNote and OneDrive for Business, they will just work regardless of whether you’re on a school computer or BYOD.

OneDrive for Business

  • Unlimited storage space!
  • Apps available for free for most platforms
  • Microsoft is working on a way to map a drive letter. This way, on a computer, it can be as easy to access as a student’s current server folder. (H drive for most)


Neither of these programs are perfect, but they have come along way. Microsoft continues to improve them and you can see what they are currently planning on their roadmap.


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Adding Replacement iPads to Meraki

As you know, when you take an in-warranty iPad to the Apple Store to be “fixed” you rarely keep the same iPad. Instead, the iPad is swapped out with an identical model. Previously, the only way to do this exchange AND have the new device entered into Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) was to replace the device through Apple Education support.

You can now do this at the Apple Store by following the steps below:
(You can also schedule Genius Bar appointments using the Apple Store app) Read the rest of this entry »

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“What is Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and why do I care?”

UntitledApple’s Device Enrollment Program allows us to have more control over our iOS devices. Three key things it affords us are:

  1. Devices purchased through Apple Education are automatically enrolled in the program and in turn are automatically added to our Meraki MDM system. 
    If your school PTA (or other organization) wants to buy iPads with their funds and wants to purchase directly from the Apple Store, contact me BEFORE making the purchase. These iPads can be enrolled in the DEP but certain information is needed at the time of purchase.
  2. Devices are able to be put into a “supervised” state wirelessly alleviating the need to sync them with a computer.
  3. MDM enrollment can be forced. Even if the device is stolen and reset, the next time it is setup it will rejoin our Meraki MDM system. This provides a good theft deterrent and allows us to make a missing device essentially unusable.

Devices can be added to the Meraki MDM system (or any MDM) without being supervised, but control is limited. Some of the restrictions that can only be controlled using an MDM system on a supervised device include:

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Find My iPad: Use It Before You Lose It.

If you have used a personal iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, Find My iPad/iPhone is nothing new. However, I have seen several district owned iPads that do not have it enabled.

How It Works
FInd My iPad is tied to an iCloud account. If you’ve setup your iPads using the directions I wrote about in Install Free Apps – Revisited then you should already have an iTunes/iCloud account for your devices.

Why Enable This feature? Read the rest of this entry »

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“I can’t make a backup of an iPad because iCloud backup is disabled”

The last step in making an image of an iPad to send to other iPads is to make a back using iCloud. However, you may find that iCloud Backup is disabled/greyed out. This is due to a profile being applied to the iPad which is disabling the setting.

There are 2 ways to “fix” this issue. Both require you to logon to Meraki at

Option 1: Remove the tag from the iPad that is causing the restriction

  1. Log into the Meraki Dashboard
  2. Click on MDM > Profiles
  3. Determine which profile is disabling iCloud backup and which Tag is being used to assign this profile to devices.
  4. Click on Monitor > Clients
  5. Find the iPad and click the check boxnext to it
  6. Click on Tag at the top of the client list
  7. In the remove box type the Tagname you want to remove from the iPad. In this example the Tag is calledStudent.
  8. Click Remove
  9. Wait a few minutes and then the restrictions will be removed from the iPad including the iCloud backup restriction.
  10. After the backup is complete, add the Tag back to the iPad

Option 2: Temporarily change the profile setting to allow iCloud backups. Note: this option will affect all of your iPads that use the profile.

  1. Log into the Meraki Dashboard
  2. Click on MDM > Profiles
  3. Determine which profile is disabling iCloud backup and which Tag is being used to assign this profile to devices.
  4. Click on the Profile
  5. Click on Edit profile settings
  6. Under the iOS specific restrictions tab scroll down to the iCloud section
  7. Put a check in the box next to Allow backup
  8. Click theSavebutton
  9. Wait a few minutes and then the iCloud backup restriction will be removed from the iPad
  10. After the backup is complete, uncheck the Allow backup box and click Save

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