Why is DEP so important?

Apple-Device-Enrollment-program-DEP.png

The Device Enrolment Program (DEP) provides educational institutions and businesses a range of benefits for deployment of iPads when using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution.

DEP has become important for schools as they migrate from Apple Configurator to an MDM.

Firstly, iOS devices ordered under DEP can be more easily enrolled in an MDM solution using the 'Automated Device Enrolment' feature, where an iPad can configure itself when turned on initially, based on the DEP settings, which are set by the institution.  Students and teachers could be issued with an iPad still in its shrink wrapped box, and when the user turns it on and joins WiFi the first time, the iPad will configure itself automatically.

Secondly, a DEP enrolled iPad can take advantage of a number of features when enrolled in an MDM solution:

Mandatory & Lockable MDM:  Users will not be able to remove the MDM management profile
Streamlined Setup Assistant:  Specify which setup screens are showed to users during initial setup.
Wireless Supervision:  An iPad can be supervised, without using Apple Configurator.
iOS Updates from MDM:  Update iPads over WiFi, without having to touch each device.
Shared iPad:  DEP is required to support the new 'Shared iPad' feature to allow multiple student logins
Note:  Shared iPad requires iOS 9.3 or later, on a minimum 32GB iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 or later.

DEP is now available to schools who have enrolled in Apple School Manager, or upgraded their VPP account to Apple School Manager.  

When ordering, schools need to ask for them to be ordered under DEP from Apple, or an Authorised Apple Reseller who is participating in DEP.  Previous purchases might be eligible for retrospective addition to DEP depending on where they were purchased from.

Contact us if you would like assistance with upgrading to Apple School Manager, or navigating DEP or setting up an MDM for your school.

Mind Map Apps for Chromebook & iPad

Mind maps are used for brainstorming and to visually organise information.  They connect information around a central idea or topic and build branches (or nodes) around it.

SimpleMind on the iPad

SimpleMind on the iPad

Students can create a mind map to organise their thoughts before writing a story or creating a project.  They can use them to takes notes in a non-linear way making it easier to see connections between concepts, or as part of a problem solving task to see the different parts of a complex problem to highlight a new and creative solution. Creating a mind map as a group allows everyone's ideas to be included effectively.

There are a range of free and paid apps available to create mind maps.  Here are a few we have used:

Chromebook Apps

MindMup is a free web-based mind mapping tool which integrates into Google Drive for collaboration with others. Add text and images, change the node colour and attach files and URLs.  MindMup Gold subscription provides a premium service either per user, or per organisation.  Edit your Drive Settings to more easily open your MindMup documents from Google Drive.

Coggle is another web-based tool which allows collaboration, but not as integrated with Google Drive as MindMup. Create colourful mind maps with text, images, icons and URLs.  Upgrade to paid versions for more features.

Other Chrome apps worth looking into are MindMap, Connected Mind and Lucid Chart.


iPad Apps

SimpleMind is available as a free version, or the Pro version with more features. The interface is clear and easy to use with lots of flexibility.  Pro offers 50% discount on VPP Store for Education.   

Popplet is a widely used app in schools with its distinctive rectangles which can contain text, drawings or images. Popplet Lite is free and allows you to have one board only.  The paid Popplet allows multiple boards and many other features, and offers 50% discount on VPP Store for Education.  Note:  as time of writing Popplet has not been updated to 64-bit which may cause compatibility issues with future iOS releases.

Other apps worth trying are Mind Meister, iMindMap and Total Recall Mind Map.  If you decide on a free app without export, remember you can always take a screenshot.

5 Reasons to Update Your iPad 2

Apple released the iPad 2 in March 2011, almost six years ago.  

iPads are so reliable, they are still going strong in schools across the globe – but schools are starting to replace them for a number of reasons:

  1. iOS 10 is not compatible with the iPad 2, 3 or iPad mini (1st generation) preventing you from installing apps which are iOS 10-only including the current version of all the apps from Apple.  This will become a bigger issue over the coming year for updated versions of existing apps, but also wonderful new apps like Swift Playgrounds.
     
  2. Proxy Authentication issues preventing iPads from accessing the Internet effectively in NSW DoE schools have been resolved in iOS 10.2, but there is NO update planned for iOS 9-only devices such as the iPad 2 which may continue to experience issues.
     
  3. Bluetooth 4 is required for many educational robotics, but the iPad 2 only has Bluetooth 2.1 so its unable to work with some robots.  Important to check before purchasing.
     
  4. The new Apple Classroom App & Shared iPad features of Apple School Manager require a newer iPad to work, the iPad 2 is not compatible.
     
  5. Device Enrolment Program (DEP) is very helpful when moving to Mobile Device Management (MDM) and most iPad 2 devices in schools can’t be added to DEP. 

So what do you do now ?

It has always been important to budget for replacement of our ICT resources over a 3, 4 or 5 year lifecycle – so time to do the same with the iPads and budget to replace the iPad 2s over this year and next.

Apple and a number of resellers are offering trade-in programs which may be worth investigating.  Some schools are replacing them with new models for classes to use and then keeping the iPad 2s for non-Internet, non-robotics purposes.

We recommend all new iPads be purchased under DEP from Apple or Apple Reseller.

NEW Google Sites

Google recently released the brand new Google Sites – a drag-and-drop website builder that is fabulously easy to use, with a responsive design to automatically scale between computer, tablet and mobile.

Easily manage multiple pages and navigation menus.  Add text and images, videos and uploaded documents.  Embed content from other websites, your Drive, and Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.  The 'Add Editors' button opens the familiar sharing permissions pane, while 'Publish' lets you choose your audience as anyone in your organisation or anyone on the web.

Now integrated into Drive like Docs and Slides, you create a new Site by selecting 'New' > 'More' > 'Google Sites':

Simply drag objects from the menu on the right side of the screen to add Text, Images, Embed URL or Upload objects onto your page – or select one of the many Google content objects such as maps, calendars and anything from your Drive.  Drag objects to rearrange your page.

Google has announced that "The previously existing, classic version of Sites will continue to exist in parallel with the new Sites as we add capabilities that are similar to those found in the classic Sites" and "In 2017, we’ll provide and recommend options to migrate your sites from the classic Sites to the new Sites" and finally "Beginning in 2018, we’ll send a timeline and instructions regarding the gradual process to shut down the classic Sites. The specific date for the shutdown of the classic Sites has yet to be set, but we’ll inform you at least one year in advance of that shutdown".

Google has created an online tutorial to help you get started.

Swift Playgrounds

So, you have been using Scratch with your class for a while, and wondering how you can help them move towards learning to code an app?

Enter Swift Playgrounds.  

Swift Playgrounds Lesson

Swift Playgrounds Lesson

This revolutionary new app for the iPad uses Swift, the programming language for developers to create apps for the iPhone, iPad and Mac.  Students use this interactive and fun app to solve puzzles and learn to code along the way.  Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge to start, but is a deep app that has the potential to grow students' skills to the point they can move into Xcode, Apple’s developer tool and make their own app.

When launching the app, students can begin with ‘Learn to Code 1 & 2’ lessons and then move on to a range of challenges.  Each lesson has a number of tasks, which introduce students to commands that they will use to move the character known as ‘Byte’ around a virtual world, achieving things along the way.

Swift Playgrounds is a free app, available for iPads running iOS 10, and requires an iPad Air, iPad mini 2 or later.

Read more about Swift Playgrounds, and register for the Coding in the Classroom Workshop to explore this app and how to use it in the classroom.

Collaboration for Pages, Keynote & Numbers

Fans of Apple’s iWork suite – Pages, Keynote and Numbers, will be excited to hear that Apple has added collaboration to the latest versions of these apps on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and iCloud.com 

Invite others to your documents and work on them together in real time when signed into iCloud on your device, or logged in to iCloud via a web browser.  You can change share options, limit who can access the document, and control if they can make changes, or view only.  While collaborating you can see who is working on the document, and follow someone’s edits.

Collaboration in Pages for iPad

Collaboration in Pages for iPad

In Keynote, there's an option to present a slideshow that users can follow along with from their Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iCloud.com, and there's a feature for highlighting with the Apple Pencil while presenting on the iPad Pro. Pages and Keynote also both now feature support for opening and editing Pages and Keynote '05 documents. 

You will need iOS 10 on your iPad and macOS Sierra on your Mac with the latest versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers – alternatively, access iCloud on a Mac with the latest Safari or Chrome, or a Windows PC with IE 11, or the latest Chrome browser.

Learn how to get started

iOS 10

Apple released iOS 10 on 13 September 2016 with a cleaner and more consistent design including a redesigned Lock screen.  Updates to the built in apps such as Messages, Maps and Siri, plus more opportunities for developers to integrate round out the top features.  

Read more here:  http://www.apple.com/au/ios/

iOS 10 is supported on iPads 4 or later and iPad mini 2 or later.

iPad 2, 3 and iPad mini (1st Generation) will continue to operate perfectly on iOS 9, although eventually you may find too many apps require iOS 10 to install – so begin planning your replacement budget for your older iPads.

Configurator 2.3 was also released to support iOS 10 and includes the ability to set the time zone when preparing an iPad.  It requires Mac OS X v10.11.5 or later and the latest version of iTunes on your Mac.

Earlier versions of Configurator will give an error when trying to install or restore to iOS 10, so for those still on Configurator 1.7.2 the time has come to migrate.

Duck Duck Moose Apps now free

Award winning educational app developer Duck Duck Moose, creator of titles such as ChatterPix, Word Wagon, Draw and Tell, and Park Math – has joined forces with Khan Academy.  

“We’re joining Khan Academy because it’s the best way for us to have the largest impact on early learning and children,” said Caroline Hu Flexer. “We’re excited to make all of our products free so they can be accessible to children all over the world, regardless of their financial resources.”

See their range of apps

Which iPad for the Classroom?

When planning your next iPad purchase, there are a number of important considerations.  

Previously, the decision between large and small screens and GB of storage often came down to budget.  Today, there are new considerations:

  • Minimum Spec for ‘Shared iPad’ – To use Apple’s new ‘Shared iPad’ feature, you need a 32GB iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4 or later model iPad.
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) – To take advantage of ‘Shared iPad’ and the new ‘Classroom’ app an MDM solution is required, and Caching Server is recommended.
  • iOS 10 Support – When iOS 10 arrives in spring, it will NOT support some older iPad models. 

While iPads have proven to be very reliable (especially compared to desktops and laptops) and schools continue to use their original iPads, their longevity is a double edged sword.  Their long life makes it hard to justify their replacement!

Schools with older devices, especially the many schools with iPad 2 will need to look at budgeting for the replacement of older iPads for the coming year if they want to support the upcoming iOS and apps, and the new ‘Shared iPad’ functionality.

Google Forms Quizzes

Teachers have long asked for Google Forms to be able to auto-mark questions.  Google have listened and added this feature in a recent update.

You can create a new quiz from forms.google.com, or convert any existing form using the Settings gear-cog icon.

Once you have created a question, click the ‘Answer Key’ to choose the correct answer, add a point value and optionally add answer feedback for both correct and incorrect answers.

You can release the mark immediately after each submission, or later after you have manually reviewed your students work.

Learn how to make your own:
https://support.google.com/docs/answer/7032287?p=quizzes&rd=1

Apple School Manager & Shared iPad Feature

Along with iOS 9.3, Apple announced the most significant update to how iPads work in the classroom since the original iPad.  

Now, iPads which are shared by multiple students can be configured with separate logins for each student.  Their work will be kept separate, safe and ready for next time they use the iPad.

The new ‘Classroom’ app allows teachers to launch and lock apps on your class iPads at the same time, see which apps students are currently using with Screen View, and share student work to the projector or TV in the classroom.

‘Apple School Manager’ is a web-based portal for you to create and manage iPad logins for your students, manage your iPads, buy and distribute apps and books.  Schools with a Volume Purchase Program (VPP) enrolment will be able to migrate their account to Apple School Manager.

Find out more:
http://www.apple.com/au/education/preview/

Configurator 2.2: Manage Home Screen Layout

Along with the release of iOS 9.3, Apple has also released Configurator 2.2 with some wonderful new features.

– Modify Home Screen Layout
Configurator can now set the layout of apps and folders on iOS device home screens. This feature can be used on one device, multiple devices, or a Blueprint.

Follow these steps:
1.  Select the iPad(s) that will have the Home Screen changed.
2.  Choose Actions > Modify > Home screen layout.
3.  Arrange app icons to your liking, including on top of each other to create folders.
4.  Click Apply.

Very exciting, we have been waiting for this for a long time.

– Hide Specific Apps
New Profile Restrictions include the ability to hide specific apps on iOS devices.  If you wish to stop students using built-in apps such as Find Friends and Reminders, this is also a fantastic new feature.

There are a number of other new features, which you can read about here:
https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT206153

Set Expiry on Sharing with Google Apps

Google Apps for Education now allows you to set an expiration date for sharing permissions on documents and folders, which sharing as View or Comment permissions.

Share to a person and once you have saved, you can then go back into the Advanced Sharing Settings and select "Set expiration..."  for one or more users. You can select from 7 days, 30 days or a custom date.

 

 

App Review: Adobe Voice

What's your story?  Adobe Voice is a free iPad app for creating animated videos with a focus on the voice.  Start with a short audio recording, then you can add royalty-free icons, photos, text and blend it with some music or motion graphics.  Simply talk, one line at a time, then add visuals, and move onto the next screen.

"Designed by an educator, Adobe Voice scaffolds the storytelling process to help teach your students how to structure effective, engaging stories and videos.  It encourages experimentation, iteration, and creativity" – Adobe

Voice is a wonderful digital literacy tool for creating multimodal texts.  As a tool, it keeps the focus on telling the story, or explaining a concept.  It's simple enough to be used in Kinder, but powerful enough for students and teachers of all ages to create presentations and videos, introduce concepts, for storyboards and prompts.

To get started you will need to create a free Adobe ID – best for the teacher to do this for students under 13.

Get Adobe Voice and view Student Work Samples

SMART Notebook 11 on El Capitan

SMART Notebook 11, the last version before annual licensing was introduced, can be made to work with the latest OS X by replacing some files which get deleted when you upgrade OS X.  

Follow these steps:

  1. Install OS X Mavericks v10.9.5 and then install SMART Notebook 11, plus tools and resources.
  2. Make a copy of /System/Library/Frameworks/Ruby.framework/Versions/1.8
  3. Upgrade to OS X Yosemite v10.10 or OS X El Capitan v10.11
  4. You will need to copy back the Ruby Framework 1.8 version folder as it will have been deleted by the OS X updater.  
    Note:  For El Capitan, you will need to disable SIP (see below)
  5. Install the latest Adobe Flash Player for OS X
  6. SMART Notebook should now launch and everything should work, including interactivity on SMART Boards.
    Note:  Panaboard drivers have not been released for El Capitan, so it may be best to stick with Yosemite if you use these electronic whiteboards.

Thanks to Luke Arms

Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP)

A new feature of OS X El Capitan v10.11 is a new security feature which prevents unauthorised changes to the operating system folders.  You will need to disable SIP to edit the Ruby Frameworks outlined above.  Make sure you turn it back on after you get SMART Notebook working.

Follow these steps:

  1. Restart your Mac.

  2. Before OS X starts up, hold down Command-R and keep it held down until you see an Apple icon and a progress bar. Release. This boots you into Recovery.

  3. From the Utilities menu, select Terminal.

  4. At the prompt type exactly the following and then press Return: csrutil disable

  5. Terminal should display a message that SIP was disabled.

  6. From the  menu, select Restart.

You can re-enable SIP by following the above steps, but using csrutil enable instead.

 

OS X Tip: Edit Number of Users on Login Window

Mac OS X has long been able to show a list of network user accounts at the login window, defined by Managed Preferences (MCX).

Managed Preferences continues to work on El Capitan clients, but WorkGroup Manager no longer works with server. Profile Manager replaces Workgroup Manager for client management to control preferences for the login window, location and contents of the dock, to provide restrictions and more.

In Yosemite & El Capitan, the list of users on the login window is limited to around 200 users by default. For schools with more network users, you can edit a preference to show all your student and teacher accounts.

Follow these steps:

  1. Login to your Mac as Administrator
  2. Open Terminal from the Utilities folder
  3. Type the following command:
    sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.loginwindow MaxNetworkUsers -int 500
    Note:  Change 500 to the number of network users you wish to display.
  4. Press Return
  5. Enter your admin password
  6. Restart your Mac

Note:  You can do this on your 'Master' Mac before using DeployStudio for imaging. 

 

Google Classroom – New Features

Google Classroom has be updated with new features:

Ask and answer a question: Teachers can post a short answer question to students in the class stream at any time, with options to allow students to edit their own answer, and to see and reply to classmates’ answers. Students answer the question in the class stream, and teachers have the option to grade answers.

Reuse a post: Teachers can reuse existing posts (announcements, assignments, questions) from a current or previous class.

Move a post to the top of the class stream: Teachers can change the order of posts in the class stream by moving any item to the top of the stream to give it priority.

Visual refresh: Classroom has a new simplified design for creating and posting assignments, announcements, and questions and for viewing assignment details. The design updates enable quick and easy access for teachers and students.

Read More

10th Anniversary

Think3 recently turned 10 years old.  

Since 2005 when we began supporting schools, we have seen significant change. Shifts from desktop computers to laptops, then the iPad exploded onto the education scene in 2010. School-owned devices are making way for students bringing their own devices and changes in the Internet/Web 2.0 have revolutionised the way we think about software, publishing, collaboration and interactivity.

Over this time we have been delighted to see teachers and school leaders expand their vision, and develop their use of technology for learning in a digital age.

We look forward to walking alongside you over the next 10 years.

 

iOS 9 News

Apple has announced iOS9 will be available in our 'Spring'.

 iOS9 will bring new features and significant changes for how we manage iPads in schools with major improvements to both Configurator and MDM solutions.  More details closer to the release date.

In preparation, you may wish to set your iPads to "Never Update Device" in Apple Configurator.  This will prevent the devices updating automatically when you use Configurator the first time after Apple releases iOS9.  

Then when you are ready to move your iPads to iOS9, you can change this setting back to "When Update Is Available".

Google Classroom: Inviting Teachers

Google Classroom provides teachers a way to connect their students in a 'class' to communicate, share resources, and provide a workflow for sharing documents with automatic handling of permissions – from setting a task, through monitoring students work to submission, marking and returning work to students digitally.

If you would like to share your class with a colleague in your faculty or grade, or with a team teacher – use the "Invite Teacher" in the "About" section of Google Classroom.  You may need to add them to your contacts first.