Student iPad Management, Filtering and Restrictions
The iPads students receive have some differences from personally purchased iPads. District 196 manages all student-issued iPads with a mobile device management (MDM) server. This allows us to do a number of things to support students as they are using the iPad for learning.
District 196 utilizes Securly to filter all student iPads. This filter remains on the iPad regardless of location. The same filter is used at home, school and any wireless network.
- Securly is set up to apply filters to block certain categories of websites:
- Adult Content
- Gaming (K-8 for 1:1 iPads only)
- Securly also keeps a record of Internet browsing history.
- Safe Search is forced and locked on any search engine to help eliminate unwanted content, images, and video from the search results.
- YouTube is placed on a Restricted Mode which limits the content that is viewable. Students are also unable to view the comments located under videos. We also do not allow access to the YouTube app to ensure that the Restricted Mode remains in place.
- Please note that no filter is 100 percent accurate and the threshold of what is considered inappropriate varies greatly among grade levels and families; however, these filtering features help avoid most of the unwanted material for the majority of users.
Students will not have full access to the Apple App Store. Instead, they will be accessing district-approved apps through Self Service (think of it as the “District 196 App Store”). Students will be able to choose from those pre-approved apps with guidance from staff.
Managed Apple IDs
Each student will be issued a district-created Managed Apple ID which has limited services from a standard Apple ID. Students are not able to use the Managed Apple ID to purchase items from the App Store, iTunes, or Books store on school or personal devices. Students also cannot use Apple Pay with this Apple ID. Due to the restrictions on the Managed Apple ID, families are not able to add them to iCloud Family Sharing. Other features not available due to the Managed Apple ID are iCloud Photo Sharing, Apple Pay, and HomeKit.
The district has also turned off the following built-in tools that are available on iPads.
- AirDrop - This allows users to wirelessly pass images and files from one iPad to another.
- FaceTime -- This is a video chat application.
- Game Center -- These are games provided by Apple.
- iMessage -- This is Apple’s text communication app that uses Wifi to send text and picture messages.
- iTunes Store -- Allows students to download music, podcasts and video.
- Find my Friends/Mac/iPhone/iPad Feature -- If reported lost or stolen, the district MDM can put the iPad into “lost mode” and request a GPS location. The ability to share the GPS location or to find other students who share their GPS location is also not available on the student iPads.
- Siri -- This “intelligent assistant” allows the user to ask the device questions to receive responses and answers.
Connected to the District
A district user account is required to activate student iPads and monitor who has the iPad. This disables the ability of those without a school district user account to activate the iPad which makes it unusable to anyone not authorized to use it. If stolen, the district-issued iPad will continue to report to the District’s MDM server if it is connected to WiFi, providing the school district the ability to request the GPS location of the iPad.