Our iPad system configuration…



I’ve just spent the last hour of the day having an exciting discussion with our IT Technician about how we may modify the current setup (in terms of accounts etc) we have for our class and teacher iPads so our system is both effective and efficient and allows us to maximise the use of the iPads. After agreeing to write up what we had discussed, as this consistent of my illegible scribble, I thought I would write it up as a blog post to share, and get others’ feedback.

To provide a context and starting point… Our school has 10 iPads per class and 5 in each of the EYFS classes. All teachers also get iPads (we are very fortunate!). We have a Apple mac server running, if my understanding is correct, a network for the iPads across which we can deploy apps purchased centrally on the server.

Proposed configuration: the following describes the proposed configuration of accounts/emails/systems for our school broken down by staff/student with supporting reasons  

iTunes accounts 

  • There will be a ‘central’ iTunes account for purchasing paid apps. This will be funded using gift cards and details of purchases will be logged 
  • There will be an iTunes account for each class. This will not have any funds in
  • Each teacher will have an iTunes account. These will not have any funds in.
  • All purchases will go through the main account

Staff iPads

  • Staff will create iTunes accounts linked to their staff email addresses.
  • Their iPads will be linked to this iTunes account and the email will be configured such that it is their staff email.
  • This will enable staff to use the email functionality of their iPad (including ’emailing off’ the output from apps) and will enable staff to browse apps on the app store and download free apps
  • iPads will be running mirroring software allowing mirroring with the IWB
  • Their iPads will be profiled on the Mac server so any paid app required will be purchased through the ‘main’ iTunes account and deployed to their device
  • Printing directly to our network printer will be enabled from their iPads
  • Access to our network Central Resource Library (CRL) will be configured enabling staff to: upload/download from CRL

Pupil iPads 

  • Each class iPad will be set up on the class iTunes account
  • Each class iPad will be set up on a class email address (created with gmail for the class)
  • iPads will be running mirroring software allowing mirroring with the IWB
  • There will be one master device profiled on the Mac server which apps can be deployed to
  • Automatic downloads will be on so once an app has been received on the master, it will automatically download on the remaining class group
  • Access to the app store will not be possible
  • Print directly to our network printer will be enabled
  • Access to our network Central Resource Library (CRL) will be configured enabling staff to: upload/download from CRL – however on student iPads access will be security enabled, somehow!

App deployment system 

With the above system, getting apps onto the iPads will work as follows:

Staff: Staff can browse the app store on their iPad and download free apps. For paid apps for their device they request it be purchased on the main account and be deployed to their iPad.

Student: Any apps, whether paid or free, must be requested via the main account. Such apps will be purchased and deployed to the master iPad in the class set. The remaining iPads in that class (i.e. on the same iTunes account) will automatically download the app.


We think this set up will allow us to maximise the functionality of an iPad whilst still ensuring adequate and necessary security. Let us know what you think? Jon jchippindall@gmail.com


4 responses on “Our iPad system configuration…

  1. Hi Chippy,

    I think your going to have a problem with the pupil account, as i’m pretty sure there is a limit to how many devices you can attach to 1 iTunes account.

    Its all a massive headache! Wish it was easy, what are you using to pusblish your CRL? web dav?


    Edd George
    Senior IT Systems Engineer & Network Manager

    Clifton College

    • Hi Edd. Thanks for your comment. I hope you are well? Currently we have all the pupil iPads (120+) on a single iTunes account and that has worked okay so actually will be reducing number in the new config! As for accessing our CRL on our windows network we have tested an app called FileBrowser which seems to work well.

  2. Note on printing form iPads to RISO. If this is not possible, then use Dropbox with photosync enabled on each device. When dropbox is opened is automatically syncs and then pictures can be printed from class computer.

  3. Have been using iPads in school since September 2012. We have a Mac Mini, Apple Configurator, Meraki MDM and have VPP account for purchase of apps.

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