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Making The Grade: What’s lacking in Apple’s Deployment Model for iPads?

Making The Grade is a new weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


I’ve been deploying and managing iPads since the fall of 2010, so I’ve truly been managing them from the beginning. Even before the iPad, we had deployed 80 or so iPod touches around our school. Things have changed a lot since then. Back in the early days, we were syncing apps via iTunes. If you think iTunes is slow now, try updating iOS on 15 iPod touches at one time!

Fast forward to 2018, and iOS deployment is a solved problem. Thanks to tools like JAMF and Apple’s Device Enrollment Program, I can deploy hundreds of iPads with much the same effort I can ten. For me, unboxing them takes as long as it does to get them configured. For all the great ways Apple has improved this process, however, there are still two things they have yet to address:

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