The Apple Classroom App has been available for over a year, however, until the release of Apple Classroom 2.0 unless your MDM was ahead of the game, whether you could use it not was in it’s hands. Thankfully, that is no longer the case; the release of version 2.0 means that as long as you have the right iPads, any teacher can take advantage of deploying this free, powerful and simple app in their classroom.
So, lets start with the ‘right iPads’. Simply, as long as student iPads can download iOS 10.3.0 or above, you are OK. Make sure you are all on the same WiFi network and have Bluetooth turned on as discovery is completed via Bluetooth, whilst connection is over WiFi using ‘Bonjour’.
Apple classroom provides a whole new level of control to teachers who benefit from using iPads in their classroom. In an instant you can:
- Open an app on all devices
- Navigate the iPads to a web page or a chapter in a book in iBooks
- Lock and unlock the iPad screens
- View a device’s screen remotely
- Initiate an AirPlay session between a single student device and the classroom Apple TV
How do you set up your classes?
Step 1 – Teachers need to download the Classroom App
Step 2 – Open the App and hit ‘Create New Class’. Give the class a name and, if you wish, choose them a colour!
Step 3 – Select the class and then hit the ‘Add’ button.
Step 4 – Students should navigate their iPads to settings and should see the classroom app appear in the menu on the right hand side
Step 5 – The Students should then be able to select the relevant class and the teacher can then add them into the class via the App.
Once the students are added to the class, you can start to take advantage of the Classroom App features.
What are the features of Classroom?
The following features can either be initiated with the whole class or to individuals, pairs etc.
Open – Use this feature to open specific apps on the iPads
Navigate – Direct the iPads to a specific website
Lock – lock the iPads so they can not be used
Mute – Stop sounds on the ipads
Screens – take a look at the activity on each iPad. When you do this, students are notified on their devices by a blue bar at the top of their screens.
Groups – Classroom creates a group to start with: All. This contains all the devices that are in the class. The teacher can then create static groups as required – for example project teams. The app also generates groups based on factors such as low-battery life or students that are on specific apps.
In conclusion, Apple Classroom is a pretty awesome tool. When deployed, it can alleviate any fears that students are not on task with their devices. It’s very simple to use and adds an unprecedented element of control to iPad classrooms.