A modern classroom doesn’t look much like it used to: Smart boards have replaced chalkboards; 1:1 mobile devices have supplanted computer labs. It’s no secret that technology is quickly revolutionizing education. In fact, Apple’s new operating system, slated for release this fall, was specifically “designed to make it easier for institutions to put devices in the hands of students.”
Reason #1 –It’s Easier to Manage a Fleet of Devices
One of the neatest features of iOS 7 is its improved Mobile Device Management (MDM) system, which makes it far easier for schools to manage multiple Apple devices. When a school purchases a new device, the device can now be automatically and wirelessly enrolled into the school’s MDM system during setup, thereby eliminating time spent on manual configuration.
Educators can also wirelessly set up apps and control which accounts have permission to open certain documents. And perhaps most compelling on an instructional basis, teachers can now lock students’ devices into one particular app to ensure the entire class is doing the same thing at the same time.
Reason #2 – It’s Easier to Distribute Apps
With iOS 7, license management for large volume purchased apps is much more streamlined and easy for educators and IT professionals to manage. Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) now allows institutions to keep ownership and control over app licenses, while allowing them to use their MDM software to assign apps to specific students, faculty and staff.
A student can now sign in with his or her personal Apple ID, and the apps that have been purchased and assigned to him or her specifically will download automatically via MDM, or will be housed in the purchase history for individual download. And for the first time ever, Apple is allowing students under 13 to obtain an Apple ID provided they have verifiable parental consent.
Reason #3 – It’s Easier to Share Work
Another notable iOS 7 improvement that’s great for education is the new application AirDrop. The simple and intuitive AirDrop allows users to share photos, videos, or documents with other iOS users by simply tapping the Share icon within an app.
AirDrop allows for easy collaboration between students and teachers, and it’s a simple way for students to show their work. A student could take a screenshot of his or her score in a math app, and then effortlessly share it with the teacher, for example, or a student could share his or her completed essay with the teacher, who could then send it back with feedback. All without having to log into an email account, thereby encouraging students to remain focused on what they’re working on.
How do you feel about technology in the classroom? Are you excited to try out the new iOS7? Let us know in the comments!