Apple solves problems that were keeping iPads out of schools

Over the past year or so, there have been a number of stories of iPads school rollouts where kids were finding ways to override the iPad’s intended use (for education), overriding the firewall to gain general access to the internet. The situation became a PR problem for Apple. Sounds like they’ve solved it.

Schools in LA had deployed a large amount of iPads, but had to recall them after students were found deleting the enrollment profiles on their devices. This allowed the students to use them to gasp browse the web as they pleased and install unapproved apps on their personal units. The anarchy would not stand and the district began reconsidering its rollout — which has since resumed. These kinds of high-profile flubs likely didn’t do anything to help the momentum of Apple’s organizational rollouts. This enforcement should allow customization, while preventing circumvention of IT rules.

In short, it should make iPads even more attractive to these markets.

I get the school’s point of view here. General access to the web is a distraction, as well as an invitation for cheating. A school needs to be able to control how a student uses their iPad, at least during school hours. Glad to see Apple learned from this experience. These improvements go well beyond schools, also benefit anyone managing IT for large organizations. Good stuff.



  • Joseph Blake

    Yeah up until now, iPads have been the model that if you have physical access, you can override any IT settings. This may be great from a user perspective, but as bad a reputation as IT departments get, the onerous restrictions are generally due to laws, regulations, and other reason that are beyond their control. This is a good thing that will massively improve the deployability of iPads in the enterprise, and their numbers will now become meaningful. I think up until now the fact that so many companies said they were rolling out iPads just meant that they had a few. Now, they could have thousands.