VPP with Purchase Order

A few weeks ago, Apple released 'VPP Credit' which allows schools to buys apps through the Volume Purchase Program using a purchase order (rather than only using a credit card).

Schools who are enrolled in VPP should contact their local Apple Education Reseller, or Apple Australia on education_aus@apple.com  to find out how to order.

Further details here:

iOS 7.1

Apple recently released iOS 7.1 which refines the iOS 7 experience, and sorts some issues, including AirPlay dropping out.  Read more about the update here:  http://www.apple.com/au/ios/ios7-update/

If you are using Apple Configurator, you can easily update your iPads in the 'Supervise' section, by selecting the iPads you wish to update and changing the 'Update iOS' pop-up menu to 'When Update is Available' and clicking 'Apply' down the bottom of the window.

Free Apple Apps

If you purchased an iPad after 1 September 2013 you are entitled to free copies of iMovie, iPhoto, Pages, Keynote and Numbers.  For personal purchases, just login to the app store on your iPad to redeem the apps for free.

For schools using Apple Configurator, you need to request a spreadsheet of redeemable codes from Apple.

Here are the details of doing that:

Apple recently announced that iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers will be provided at no cost on the App Store for customers with qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated or purchased on or after September 1, 2013. 

Customers who would like to request redeemable content codes for qualifying devices can contact AppleCare via the Volume Purchase Program support form http://www.apple.com/au/support/itunes/vpp-edu/  When filling out the form, please choose "iOS Fulfillment" from the "What do you need help with?" drop-down menu.

Once you have submitted your request, you will receive an email requesting a copy of your proof of purchase (for devices purchased on or after September 1, 2013) or a list of the serial numbers for devices purchased prior to, but activated after September 1, 2013.

Upon receipt of valid proof of purchase, eligible customers will receive a password protected spreadsheet containing the appropriate number of redeemable content codes for the requested eligible apps.  These redeemable content codes may be deployed on eligible devices using Apple Configurator or may be redeemed to individual end user Apple IDs on eligible devices.

Customers must be enrolled in the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) to participate in this program.  Customers not currently enrolled in VPP can register at https://www.apple.com/au/education/it/vpp/

Customers should expect to be contacted by Apple within 7 business days upon submitting their request.  

Education customers who purchased and activated iOS devices prior to September 1, 2013 can continue to purchase  iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers through the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for Education store at a discounted price for 20+ copies. 


Upgrading your School to iOS 7

iOS 7 has been out for a while now, but your school iPads are working fine on iOS 6 – should you upgrade ?

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 11.05.20 PM.png

That is not an easy question to answer.  The old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" often fits quite well in ICT, but there are a few things to consider:

  1. Do you need to 'Supervise' any new iPads, as they will be forced to iOS7, so you may wish to upgrade all your iPads so they are the same.  After people get the hang of iOS7, then they are all the same.
  2. Do you wish to plugin 'supervised' iPads to a Mac or PC to download photos ?  Configurator 1.4 allows you to set this, but again forced to iOS7
  3. Do you have apps that you wish to run that require iOS7.  If so, it's time to upgrade.
  4. Do you want to take advantage of new features such as Internet filter, or AirDrop?  If so, it's time to upgrade.

So, what is the best way to upgrade ?

First, use Software Update on your Mac to get the latest Apple Configurator v1.4

Then, if your iPads are already 'supervised' in Configurator, you can change the 'update iOS' setting to 'When update is available' and click Apply.  It will take a while for iOS7 to download the first time, then it installs on all USB connected iPads.

Alternatively, if you wish to take advantage of the new 'Allow devices to connect to other Macs' to allow download of photos and videos over USB, you will need to unsupervise and re-supervise the iPads.  Note:  Don't forget to remove paid apps BEFORE you unsupervise.


30 Years of Macintosh

It's seems only yesterday I was using the family Mac Plus with 67MB Hard Disk and ImageWriter II dot matrix printer.  But the Mac has turned 30!

Check out Apple's website for a walk down memory lane:

For me, it was time to dust off my collection:


MacPlus, SE/30, Colour Classic, LCII, Quadra 700, iMac Bondi Blue & Ruby, G4 Cube, iMac G5, PowerMac G4, Xserve G4, Xserve G5, Xserve RAID, and various PowerBooks and MacBooks.

What was your first Mac ?  Leave a comment.

VPP, Managed Distribution

At the end of 2013, Apple delivered on it's promise to provide a simple way for MDM (mobile device management solutions) such as Apple Profile Manager, Casper or AirWatch to install and revoke apps to iOS devices over WiFi and the Internet.

It's call "Managed Distribution" and makes it easy to deploy (and revoke) apps for 1:1 iPad programs in schools, where each user has a device for themselves.  Whether it's school provided or a BYO program, it makes distribution of institution owned apps straightforward.

Read more here

If you are using Apple Configurator, you can still purchase apps in the VPP Store and download the 'Redeemable Codes' spreadsheets.  This method is still the best for most schools who have shared iPads in class sets or small groups shared across the school.

BEWARE – When buying apps, choose the right option:

'Redeemable Codes' for Apple Configurator
'Managed Distribution' for MDM

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 9.07.24 PM.png

App Review: Simple Transfer

Looking for an easy way to get photos and videos from iPads to your computer ?  Especially when you have a set of iPads, managing photos can get out of hand.

Simple Transfer is designed to make it easy to transfer photos and videos from your iPad's Camera Roll to any Mac or Windows computer over WiFi.

Simply open the app to find the iPad's IP address, then enter that into your computer's web browser to view and download some or all the photos on your iPad's camera roll.


There is a free version, which is limited to downloading 50 images or videos, or the paid 'Pro' version allows unlimited downloading.

Click to view on iTunes
View the Simple Transfer Website

App Review: Measurement HD

There are many maths apps available for Infants classes, but the majority of these focus on Number. One app that has been designed to cover time, length, weight and capacity is Measurement HD.

Students are able to answer simple time questions using Crazy Clock, help an alien select heavier or lighter items in Scale Tale, fill up jugs with juice or bowls with scoops of ice-cream playing Fill me Up, compare the length of ropes, worms and candy canes in Long and Short or play with animated letters to learn the months of the year with Action Month.

Possibly the best use of this app is for after these concepts have been introduced in class and students have had time with hands on activities, comparing the weight of objects and turning the hands on a clock. By revisiting these skills on the iPad and being able to regularly ‘touch base’ with measurement, students are able to stay familiar with the concepts and build their confidence and understanding. 

Click to view on iTunes   
View Measurement Website


Tools for Managing iPads

Apple Configurator

Managing iPads is very different to Macs and PCs.  There are a wide range of solutions for managing iPads, but usually schools fall into two categories – individual use or shared class sets.

The methodology and tools for each category are very different.

In 1 to 1 or BYOT programs, where everyone has their own iPad, you may prepare the device, but ongoing management is best done by the user, including installing apps.  A mobile device management (MDM) solution such as Profile Manager or Casper can be useful for asset management and deploying app redemption codes to users.  Further information on Profile Manager in this video.

Class sets of iPads shared across the school need to be managed differently.  Apple Configurator is a fantastic tool for this – allowing you to install both free and paid apps, taking advantage of the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) for apps, plus configuring and locking settings using profiles.  Here is a great video on Apple Configurator