There are a few different ways to configure and deploy Apple devices such as iPad devices, Apple TVs and Mac computers. The goal is to pick the best one for your K-12 school to make managing these devices as quick and easy as possible.
You may have heard a lot about Apple Configurator 2 for preparing devices - and you might even use this software at your school. But is it really a replacement for the MDM solution? In this article, we will go over Apple Configurator 2 and MDM solutions, describing what they are and the benefits and disadvantages to each, so you can better decide which solution to use in your educational institution.
Apple Configurator 2 is a software that Mac Admins can download from the App Store into Mac computers and it allows you to quickly and easily configure iPad devices and Apple TVs connected to your Mac through USB. You can update software, install apps and export device information and documents.
Through AC2, you can create blueprints that allow you to record actions to apply to the devices used in the classroom, as well as create configuration profiles where you can change device settings. Apple Configurator 2 easily lets you prepare and supervise iPad devices for the classroom or quickly enroll a large number of devices with your MDM solution.
An Apple device management solution, or MDM solution, provides IT professionals with the tools to deploy, monitor and manage devices including iPad devices and Mac computers in an educational environment. This looks pretty similar to AC 2, right? But it is not. The MDM solution provides tools to perform these operations remotely.
MDM solutions allow you to accomplish workflows such as remote setup and zero-touch configuration of each device’s basic information, cloud-based inventory, remote management of applications installed, removed and updated, network configuration and more.
An MDM solution works by communicating with the Apple Push Notification (APNs) Certificate. By setting up your APN, you will then be able to apply commands, which communicates through the network connection. Configure your network, streamline your Apple deployment and integrate your MDM solution with Apple School Manager to get the most out of it, and learn more about MDM solutions and how they work here.
Of course, as with most solutions, there are pros and cons to both. The number one benefit of using Apple Configurator 2 in schools to prepare devices is that it's free software to download from the App Store. Your IT team can also easily create blueprints to send to all of the enrolled devices in the classroom, as well as supervise them all at once.
The IT team can also use AC2 to configure the initial setup screens, as well as Wi-fi certificates.
Some of the disadvantages to using Apple Configurator 2 is the fact that it's only possible to deploy iPadOS and Apple TV devices, so if your school uses Mac computers in their classroom, they are unable to manage them through AC2. They also need to connect the devices to the computers to use them, and there are not any streamlined processes or zero-touch workflows included with it.
There are also many benefits of using an MDM solution. Your IT team can integrate the MDM solution with Apple School Manager (which is also free) so they can have all information in one place, as well as manage all types and models of Apple devices, including Mac computers.
With MDM solutions, there is more control over the management and device inventory information, and everything is in the Cloud, so they don’t need to have physical interactions with the devices. The IT team can also distribute and manage educational content using the Apps and Books area (formerly VPP).
Save countless hours of IT effort while empowering teachers to manage iPad, Mac, and Apple TV devices in the classroom.
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