Checking iPads out to students

New Contributor III

Hi All,

I work in Higher Education and we are about to start checking iPads out to our students from the library. We will be treating them just like books. A student will come in, check out an iPad and get to keep it for 2 weeks before turning it back in.

I'm wondering if anyone else is doing this as I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to setup the iPads.

Here's my thought process for how to do this, and I am curious if anyone has any other suggestions to make this process easier.

When I student walks into our library to check out an iPad, they will sit with our reference librarian and run through the setup procedure on the iPad. They will use their school email address for the iTunes account (and will create the iTunes account on the iPad during setup if they have not done that before). Once the setup process is complete, the reference librarian will enroll the iPad.

When the tablet comes back in, it will be turned in, erased and then put back into circulation for check out.

The other thought I had was to create generic email addresses to use on the iPads, so the student does not have to go through the process of setting up an Apple ID, but, I want students to be able to install free apps from the App Store, and if I use generic email addresses, I would have to provide the password for that generic ID to the student, which is something I do not really want to do.

I would love to hear any suggestions to make this process easier to minimize the amount of time a student needs to work with a reference librarian to get through the setup process.

Thanks in advance!


Contributor III

I'd make having an AppleID a pre-requisite and just let them use their own.
Block iCloud account settings from being configured, but let them sign into the store.
Have a procedure in place to supervise the devices before checkout and erase all content and settings on check-in. Look into Apple DEP if you haven't already, it will be a requirement for you here. Do you have an MDM in place?

Release Candidate Programs Tester

In our environment the devices available for checkout are scoped to a PreStage Enrollment and the person checking out the device uses their AD credentials to activate and enroll. The DEP activation process is so easy that not many need assistance, but the library staff provide the user with any setup assistance needed. When the device is turned in, the library worker checks to see that it isn't signed into iCloud and also to ensure the device hasn't sustained any damage while out, and then wipes it. On the occasion that a library worker forgets to check the iCloud status and it's associated with someone, they send the device to us and we remove the Activation Lock.

Our users are expected to use (or create) their own Apple ID. We make KB articles available for these type of scenarios, and provide one-on-one guidance as needed.


Sounds fascinating!

I'd say that using DEP is probably the most fool-proof way of making sure that any profiles you load on it don't get wiped during those two week loan periods. And if the user tries to wipe and reinstall the iPad, the DEP configuration screen will always come back.


I would also vote for DEP with AD user authentication. No need to reenrol the device every time it is wiped.

Instead of pushing Apps every time, you can make them available in Self Service. This will speed up the setup time.

Students will have the option of wiping the device themselves or library staff can do it when the device is returned. I would make sure iCloud is disabled though.

New Contributor

I would be concerned with this workflow to make sure that you are not enabling iTunes match or automatic downloads and to restrict this using a configuration profile on the device.

Otherwise you will end up with the device being locked to one Apple ID for 90 days

New Contributor III

Thanks for all of the responses. You have brought up some great points. I'm using Casper to manage the iPads.

One of the issues I have is that I don't really have the ability to use AD. We dont really create AD accounts for students, only staff. So DEP with AD user authentication, wont work for me.

Life would be SO much easier if all of our students had AD accounts. :-)