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The best MDM Practices for the New 2017/2018 Academic Year

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The end of an academic year is the best time to plan the activities for the next year as well as build up new skills in the professional development meetings. As part of the IT team of a school or district, you will need to reorganize the school structure and hierarchy data for the next year, since students are promoted to the next grade level and teachers may have different courses and classes.

To help with this, we've identified some of the best practices for this time of the year when we think about managing Apple devices. Check out some step-by-step tips so you can do it quickly!

1) Manage VPP licenses

When the school year ends, the students will be promoted to a new grade level and they might need different content, such as applications and iBooks, for the new lessons they will learn. Therefore, it will be necessary to manage the content distribution through the Volume Purchase Program (VPP).

If the applications were assigned to the school devices and the iPads will be reused next school year, there is no need to revoke the VPP licenses. If you are a Mosyle Manager customer, make sure your Install App Profiles are set to “Do not uninstall the apps removed. VPP license will not be revoked.”

But, if you need to revoke licenses, you can follow these steps to do it very quickly:

After the VPP licenses are revoked, the applications will be available on the devices for 30 days. During this time, the students can save data and information contained in the application.

It's possible to verify the licenses were revoked by accessing your VPP account that’s integrated to the Mosyle Manager MDM. Within Mosyle Manager Dashboard, navigate to My School > Apple VPP > Select Account > Apps. Here you will be able to see the number of licenses used and available per application.

To reassign the license to other devices, edit the Install Apps Profiles you have already created and associate them with student devices (1:1) or Shared iPads (carts).

If applications were assigned by users, it's also possible to revoke the VPP licenses if the students and teachers have Managed Apple IDs. This way, the school retains the license ownership and you are able to reassign the license to another student, for example.

Important note: The VPP iBooks can only be distributed through user-based assignment. It is not possible to revoke the license and reassign the iBook to another user.

Remember: Each user (student or teacher) must have an associated Apple ID and will need to be invited to the VPP account. If the user does not have a Managed Apple ID, they will need to accept the emailed invite sent from the VPP.

In order to validate the license for the VPP iBook, the device must be logged in with the same Apple ID or Managed Apple ID that received the invite.

2) Check DEP + ASM token and renew them if needed

To keep the integration with Apple Programs running successfully, it is necessary to have valid DEP and ASM tokens. These tokens have a one-year validation and must be renewed before they expire.

This deserves careful attention so that the synchronization between the DEP/ASM account and Mosyle Manager is not affected and your school continues to register devices in the DEP, facilitating the workflows in the deployment and initial configuration of the devices.

If you are using Mosyle Manager, you can view the token validity by accessing your account and navigating to My School > Apple Integration tab. To renew the token, you'll need to visit both the Mosyle Manager Web Panel and the Apple School Manager Portal.

You just need to download the public key from Mosyle Manager and upload it on the ASM Portal. Then, download the new token from the ASM Portal and, back in Mosyle Manager, upload it.

3) Update information within ASM

If your school does have an Apple School Manager account, it is essential to update the user information within this Apple Program for the next academic year. It’s very easy to get this done! Just login to your ASM account and upload a new spreadsheet with the updated information.

Basically, you need to remove the user data of students who graduated and/or left the school, and edit the new Grade Level of the current students. And be careful: pay attention when editing user information as you need to keep the same User ID for each student. If the User ID doesn't match with the previous information, the integration with your Student Information System (SIS) and MDM will fail.

You can also use the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) to import account information. In this scenario, you also need to keep the same User ID.

4) Device assignments: Keeping current assignments or reassigning devices

If in your school, the students’ devices must stay in the grade level they are in this year, it’s important to be careful with the Install App profiles. The biggest concern with the iPads is the applications as they take a while to download and install.

You'll probably want to make sure the apps remain on the devices even after the user is unassociated with the device. To do this, make sure your install app profiles are set so that the profile includes "Do not uninstall the apps removed from the list or when a recipient is removed". You can find this option by going to your Install App profile within the Mosyle Manager Dashboard, and click the "Show advanced options" option.

Once you've made sure all of your apps will remain on the devices, you can unassign devices by moving them to limbo status. To do this, go to Management > Bulk Operations > Select all devices > More dropdown menu: Change to limbo.

Now the devices will be ready to be assigned to the new users. You can assign the devices either manually or automatically by going to My School > Assign devices, or you can have the users complete the assignment by logging in to the Mosyle Manager app with their QR code or 5-digit access code.

5) Academic Year Assistant

The Mosyle Manager Academic Year Assistant helps Admins update the Mosyle Manager data for the new school year! To access it, navigate to My School > Academic Year. If you previously used synchronization to import data (such as Apple School Manager or Active Directory), simply update your system. The next time Mosyle Manager syncs, the data will be updated.

After that, all MDM profiles will be updated. For example, if a management profile is only applied to a specific Grade Level, students leaving that Grade Level will have the profile removed and commands will be created to apply the profile for any new students entering that Grade Level.

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