Working with new Managed Apple IDs
Each and every summer, EdTech folks get to learn about the newest trends in technology. For school districts working with Apple Technologies, this usually means a new version of macOS or iOS. This summer, it is a bit different for Education, as Apple has rolled out Apple School Manager (ASM), a replacement for the Deployment Program (VPP, DEP and Apple ID for Students Under 13) specific for schools. While many of the concepts and ideas of the Deployment Program remain and provide an excellent foundation for the new program, one aspect is revamped, new, improved and will make working with Apple IDs in your organization much easier.
The new program is called Managed Apple IDs, which can best be described as Apple IDs for your organization. Previously, there were a lot of avenues schools were taking for Apple IDs. Some created “institutional” Apple IDs, others allowed personal Apple IDs. Some schools used the Apple ID for Students program. Managed Apple IDs allow all this to go to the wayside. In essence, the same way logins and E-Mail accounts may be created, so too can be Apple IDs.
Before getting into the Tips, I can’t stress enough making sure you do the following:
- Update your devices to at least iOS 9.3 (Managed Apple IDs won’t work below 9.3)
- Read the Apple School Manager Help
On the last bullet point, most of the time we go to the help resources when … well, we need help. But this is one of those times where you will want to read the help first – it will save you a headache later.
Now, here are some tips for when creating Managed Apple IDs
Use the provided templates
In the getting started wizard, Apple provides a CSV template you can use with formatting for all the user accounts. Unless you have a SIS connection, use these as a starting point.
pick a Person ID & number already in place
The ASM Help documentation has more info about the Person ID & Person Number in their help (which you already knew since you read it). Rater than picking a random number or random ID, use an ID number already in your SIS for both of these. Later on when your SIS can support syncing, you’ll need to have a number to match to pair the records.
determine your apple id format
First, make sure to use something OTHER THAN username@yourdomain. Once an Apple ID is created, that Apple ID is never available again. Using a subdomain on your Apple ID allows the functional element (The Managed Apple ID) to not conflict with a potential real Apple ID. Plus, this Apple ID is always owned by the organization.
Learn the options for formatting
Apple provides a variety of ways to format Apple IDs, with there being a different format for students and staff members. They are worthwhile to check out.
remember, you control the data
When looking at those options for formatting an Apple ID, you may say “None of those fit what I want” Remember, depending on the route you go, you are controlling what you feed into ASM. Let’s say you want to use a graduation year in their Apple ID. All you need to do is pull the data you want from your SIS, format as you would like, and put it into the “E-Mail Username Before @” field. That means when creating the ID you have full control over using whatever data you want from your SIS to format your Apple IDs.
Test with 1 user first
While you may want to jump on in and upload 250 users to create their IDs, test this with one account first. Last thing you want is to create 250 Apple IDs and realize there was some error making them unusable.
Don’t print user info – make a pdf
Each and every time you click on Sign-In info and either E-Mail or Print the details, passwords for accounts will be reset. When sharing account info, make a PDF first, then print the PDF. That way you won’t need the new login credentials.
When generating account info, be patient. It takes a few minutes to regenerate the password forms. If you don’t want and click the button again you will now have two sets of login info. One set that will be valid, and another that won’t.
What are verification codes?
From the help:
“Verification codes are six-digit codes dynamically created so users who require additional verification can sign in to Apple School Manager and use their Managed Apple ID account.
The administrator, manager, staff, and instructor roles all require a six-digit verification code along with their Managed Apple ID account password. This enhances the security of Apple School Manager.
Student accounts that are not associated with a Mac or iPad listed in Apple School Manager require a six-digit verification code along with their Managed Apple ID account password. This verification code for students expires after one year.”
This means you can control if Managed Apple IDs can sign into non-district equipment. This also means you need to give them to your staff.
Make sure you give Apple feedback on what is working well and what isn’t working well. This way they can adjust the system or add in features not currently present.