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Simplifying Apple TV Deployment using an MDM for education


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Many schools and districts are integrating Apple TVs into their classrooms, which means even more dynamic and visual ways of learning. With Apple TVs, teachers are able to display what students have done on their iPads and demonstrate applications before activities. The use of Apple TVs is especially helpful for incorporating visual resources, like animations and movies, into teaching.

In order to properly integrate Apple TVs into lessons, it is important to deploy them in the best, easiest way possible for administrators and teachers. That’s why we designed this guide, helping you simplify the deployment of Apple TVs using our MDM for education.

With an MDM software solution, the tvOS (Apple TV’s operating system) provides remote management features that are very useful in educational environments. These capabilities make it easier to remotely configure Apple TVs for many purposes in schools or districts, such as AirPlay permission and access restrictions.


Requirements

To set up and enroll an Apple TV in the MDM server and take advantage of Mosyle Manager's tvOS management features, you will need:



Important note: You can now add any Apple TV that is updated to tvOS 11 to a DEP account. There are many benefits of using the DEP to enroll devices in the MDM server, such as the zero-touch enrollment – and that's why we highly recommend enrolling your devices in this Apple program. Learn how to enroll your devices using Apple Configurator 2 in our guide “How to enroll a donated Apple device in the Device Enrollment Program”

How to deploy Apple TVs in your school using an MDM for education

Read on to learn the methods of deploying Apple TVs using either the DEP or Apple Configurator 2.

How to enroll Apple TVs using the DEP account

The Device Enrollment Program supports iOS, macOS, and tvOS deployment. Your DEP account is only accessible through the Apple School Manager (ASM) portal. By logging in to your ASM account, you will see all the devices that are registered to the DEP – including your Apple TVs.

By integrating your ASM account to the Mosyle Manager MDM solution, you can configure the devices directly from the MDM’s dashboard.

To enroll the Apple TVs, first log in to Mosyle Manager and select the tvOS platform. Then, navigate to Management > DEP > Select school account > + Add new profile. Next, set the preferences of the management profile, including the supervision activation, and select the devices.

And you’re done! You just need to take the Apple TVs out of the box. Turn on the Apple TVs and remember to connect the devices to the Wi-Fi so they’ll receive the MDM commands with all the configurations you have set.

Important note: The devices should be registered to the DEP account, and Mosyle Manager must be the MDM server bound to the DEP.

How to enroll Apple TVs using Apple Configurator 2

For countries or regions where the DEP is not available for organizations, Apple offers the enrollment methods through Apple Configurator 2.

If you have a Mosyle Manager MDM account, you should log in to your account and select the tvOS platform. Then, navigate to Management > Apple Configurator 2 > + Add new profile. The next screen will show you the Enrollment URL and the steps you should follow in the Apple Configurator 2 software to complete the enrollment process. We’ve outlined these steps below.

After opening Apple Configurator 2 on your Mac computer, connect the Apple TV to the USB port of the Mac using a micro-USB cable. Wait for Apple Configurator 2 to recognize the Apple TV.

As soon as Apple Configurator 2 recognizes it, the device will be displayed on the Apple Configurator 2 home screen. If you have several Apple TVs to set up, you can use a USB HUB to set them up at the same time.

When you connect the Apple TV to the Mac, the Apple TV Assistant will be opened on the Apple TV. You can close it and continue the enrollment process in Apple Configurator 2.

In Apple Configurator 2, select the device(s) and click on Prepare, on the top of the screen. Then, click Next. In the sequence, select the New Server option and enter the name of the enrollment profile. We suggest that you type the same name as the profile you've created in the Mosyle Manager Dashboard. Then, copy the enrollment URL displayed in the Mosyle Manager Dashboard and paste in the hostname/URL field in Apple Configurator 2 and click Next.

On the next screen, select the first certificate from the list (* .mosyle.com) and click Next.

For the following step, we highly recommend to select the "Supervise Devices” and “Allow devices to pair with computers” options and click Next. On the next screen, choose “Generate a new supervision identity” option and click Next.

Then, fill in the information of your educational institution. Only the organization name is required. Choose which initial setup screens will be displayed when you start the Apple TV. Click Prepare and wait for the setup process to be completed.

After performing those setup steps in Apple Configurator 2, your tvOS devices are ready to be managed by the MDM solution!

Management features for the tvOS 11 available through an MDM for education

Done! You’ve enrolled your Apple TVs to the MDM server, so now it’s time to manage the devices. Here are some possibilities provided by bMosyle Manager, our MDM designed for education.



Bulk Operations
Send commands to all your tvOS devices at once. You can rename your devices using specific variables, export a spreadsheet with inventory information (name, serial number, tvOS version, AppleTV model, etc.), export a report indicating which applications are installed, add tags to devices and remotely restart them, and more.



Commands Activity Log
Make sure everything is running smoothly with the Apple TVs’ configuration. Check out all the commands you have created, as well as their status.



Install Apps
Distribute and install enterprise applications to the Apple TVs in bulk.



Wi-Fi Authentication
Remotely configure the network authentication using the MDM solution. This way, the devices will log in automatically.



App Lock
Lock the Apple TV in a single application for a certain time. Important note: The selected Apple TVs should have the application already installed.



Web Filter
Define what students and teachers will be able to access on the web using the Apple TV in the classroom, making sure they will only access appropriate content.



Restrictions
Define which native features users can access on the Apple TVs.

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