Setting up and Using Apple School Manager and the Classroom Application

jim_henry
New Contributor

Hello everyone,

As you begin your evaluations and testing of Apple School Manager for classroom structure for both shared and 1:1 deployments and the subsequent testing of the new Apple Classroom app, please provide any feedback that you may have. Your experience and feedback is critical in how we provide the best interface into the JSS and best experience in your classrooms.

I will do my best to reply to any and all of your concerns as well as welcome any help from the community at large.

Sincerely,

Jim Henry Product Manager - EDU
jim.henry@jamfsoftware.com

32 REPLIES 32

murph
New Contributor III

This might be too early to post, but I have read that it might be suggested to map users from Apple School Manager and the JSS via their Student ID numbers. This might be done via extension attributes.

However, our JSS is connected via LDAP to an OS X Server and the User ID on the server for the student is their student number.

Is there a way to show their User ID in the JSS in order to map the two?

jim_henry
New Contributor

Hello Scott Murphy!

Great question! Recommendation: Populate Student ID numbers onto your Student User records in the JSS for the best experience with Apple School Manager import. This can be done by mapping your LDAP data to existing fields or by creating extension attributes for the Student ID number.

In an upcoming release from JAMF Software, when importing user records from Apple School Manager, you will be able to define Matching Criteria to prevent duplication of users. This will be found under Mobile Device Management, Apple Education Support, Apple School Manger tab, "Add", and then Matching Criteria for Importing Users. When the release is available I will post a link to the KB document.

Sincerely,

Jim Henry
Product Manager - EDU
jim.henry@jamfsoftware.com

jbutler47
Contributor

Be sure to head over to https://school.apple.com/ to sign up for the preview.

jared_young
New Contributor II

Classroom App and Focus are working ok for me in terms of response for certain tasks. The problem I am having is viewing a screen of an iPad in Apple Classroom. I get an eye with a slash through for the icon. I can however open apps, lock devices, connect to airplay and navigate to sites.

Does this screen view have anything to do with not being able to access School Manager at this point? I have contacted my Apple Rep and it seems to be like a hurry up and wait process to get in to School Manager to start creating apple ID's and creating shared iPads.

cdenesha
Valued Contributor II

@jim.henry I asked my Apple SE last week to be in the ASM beta as I am now in the Casper 9.92 beta. He said it was too late, the window was closed. :(

@jbutler135 Thank you for the link! Can you believe I can't view it on my iPad? I'm off to leave some feedback on that!!

bfrench
Contributor II

Reading through the latest technical paper about the integration of ASM and JSS while we wait and wait for migration. Looking for some clarification on this- it states that you can set up the JSS to sync with SIS to pull additions/changes and compare the data to existing JSS data. But it also states that Classes/Users need to be imported and then and additions to classes will sync. So I guess my question is do we need to import all classes at first to pre populate? The Classes/Users will not auto sync from the start? And then thinking ahead what happens at the end of the year? Will the class changes for students sync? Or will we need to delete all and reimport classes?

bfrench
Contributor II

"it states that you can set up the JSS to sync with SIS" - sorry this should state

it states that you can set up the JSS to sync with ASM

jutz4244
New Contributor

I have several teachers (including myself, a classroom teacher) testing out Apple Classroom. We are experiencing the exact symptoms stated by jared.young above: "Classroom App and Focus are working ok for me in terms of response for certain tasks. The problem I am having is viewing a screen of an iPad in Apple Classroom. I get an eye with a slash through for the icon. I can however open apps, lock devices, connect to airplay and navigate to sites."

Any ideas why this function is not working?

mkempster
New Contributor

Has anyone that has a current DEP/VPP setup been given access to Apple School Manager with all of their devices and data moved over yet? We were told by our Apple Engineer that we would eventually get an email from Apple alerting us to our account being moved over to Apple School Manager but that has not happened and we would like to prepare/test for Summer with managed accounts and time is running out. Thanks for any information or experience with this.

St0rMl0rD
Contributor III

Nope, we got the same situation. New clients can already sign up and use it, but for us that already use DEP and VPP, we have to wait with instructions for migration to ASM.

wdpickle
Contributor

We are working with our Apple SE to set up our ASM now. We did have classroom up and running for about 22 classes at the end of our school year with no issues. In a week we are supposed to have 2 classes set up for shared iPads (again working with our SE). The set up is convoluted at this point using our normal setup and the "test" ASM we had up for the beta test. We have been told that the "real" ASM migration will be soon. As we work out the kinks, I will try and let you know what we find.

Chris_Hafner
Valued Contributor II

We're still waiting on the setup as well. Supposedly we've been approved AND transitioned. Unfortunately, we're stuck in a strange loop of unacceptable AppleIDs used to verify and connect. Eh...

jim_henry
New Contributor

@ Jeff Utz - are you still having issues with the Classroom app and the icons with slashes through them?

david_yenzer
Contributor II

Working with @wdpickle on iPad beta with ASM, and so far very mixed results. We've got a test iPad that seems to work and accept commands and install apps successfully for awhile, but for the second time today it is now in a state that refuses to accept commands and has to be DFU'd to restore communication. And our main intent is to get an Apple Beta version of iMovie up and running and that app so far has simply refused to install successfully, though it works from our Apple SE's test server.

david_yenzer
Contributor II

A follow-up on our issues:

(1) We are thinking the iMovie.ipa file was too big to be used in the usual way of creating of in-house app within the JSS where you just upload the .ipa. We did a work-around of hosting the .ipa file on the Tomcat server and pointing to the URL where it is located. That seems to work for now.

(2) Our other issue seems to persist and have affected multiple iPads - after awhile they just seem to stop communicating with the JSS. We're not sure if it's a bug in the JSS or iOS, but it's very inconvenient as it forces you to DFU the iPad (since you can't send a reset command - or any other command - to the device.

jim_henry
New Contributor

David,

Can you please share a bit more on what precedes the condition of the iPad where you have to DFU the iPad? i.e. was the iPad powered down prior to stop communicating, are these 32 gig iPads, 1:1, shared... just want to get some perspective.

Sincerely,

Jim Henry

david_yenzer
Contributor II

I'm not sure what the cause is - it just seems that after some period of time it just stops talking. I haven't grabbed any logs, but just heard that several other iPads that are being used for the Apple beta test of iMovie this week had the same issue. They just stopped communicating to the server and won't accept commands. They'll probably leave them for now (not enough time to DFU them all) - as long as they have iMovie for the test, they're good for now. Typical behavior is that we do not power down our iPad devices.

These are all brand new iPad Air 2, Model 5,3, 64 GB size, iOS 9.3.2, iOS build 13F69. Purchased specifically to use with the Shared Model.

This morning I have DFU'd my test iPad and got it up and running again. I let it work for awhile because that's how you install apps (as difficult as that is to sit and wait for unseen progress to be made!). So far it's talking. After about an hour, I logged in and all the apps appear to have installed correctly, including the new iMovie beta that is hosted on our Tomcat. I just sent a "log out" command from our Tomcat and it succeeded. So currently everything is happy. Will keep an eye on it - I suspect I'll come back after later errands and it will just not be talking to the server anymore.

were_wulff
Valued Contributor II

@david.yenzer

If the affected iPads are on iOS 9.3.2 and are set up as shared iPads, this is a known issue and we have an Apple RADAR filed over it.

The Radar is #26501921, and this issue is only present in iOS 9.3.2 on iPads set up as shared devices.

The root cause is that Apple occasionally fails to return a required value (DataQuota in this case), which causes the command to error and queue for that device becomes blocked.

This is causing the JSS to not be able to interpret the info being returned from Apple so the commands for the affected device(s) get stuck in a perpetual state of pending as the JSS keeps trying to get what it considers a valid response from Apple, and this results in no further MDM commands for the device being processed.

At the moment, there is not a workaround that we have been able to find, aside from downgrading those iPads affected to iOS 9.3.1, as the issue is not present there.

From the JSS side, we're hoping to have a fix out in 9.93 that allows for commands to continue being processed for the device even if one does return an invalid result from Apple, so that the devices don't get stuck being unable to communicate via MDM with the JSS.

If you're seeing MDM communication stop and your iPads are not on 9.3.2 and/or are not set up as shared iPads, the issue is likely something else and it may be worth getting a case open with your Technical Account Manager, if you haven't done so already, so they can dig into it further with you.

Thanks!
Amanda Wulff
JAMF Support

david_yenzer
Contributor II

Sweet - I love when my issues get validated! I'm not (completely) crazy!!!

Thanks Amanda!

Note: We have two classrooms doing this iMovie beta testing, and looking at our JSS it appears that one of the classrooms is entirely updated to 9.3.2 and that's where we're getting most of the reports of non-talking iPads. The other classroom has 10 updated and 18 still on 9.3.1. We've heard of less issues there, but our Apple rep just replied that they have 10 iPads in that class not cooperating, so it sounds like that's our issue there too.

Nick_Gooch
Contributor III

Am I missing something or do you really have to import each class one at a time? Also there is no way that I can tell to choose the class name in the jss. Importing the sample spreadsheet and from apple I get a class named "BIO101 4567890A-BCDE-F123-4567-890ABCDEF123" for a class name. That's not very helpful for anyone.

Edit:
Turns out the first sync it's named like the above but the following syncs it goes to just the class name.
9.93 Allows syncing of multiple classes.

jutz4244
New Contributor

My migration went smoothly, and after a few cvs file formatting errors, I was able to upload teacher and student data into ASM. I am a bit unclear at this point as to how to most effectively use the matching criteria. The Apple support people had very little grasp of this issue because it is just not being used yet and they had limited knowledge of Casper. I don't yet have any obvious matching criteria. I would love to hear from anyone who has tackled this issue.

peter
New Contributor III

@jutz4244 The recommended matching criteria is:

match "Source System Identifier" from Apple School Manager with the student ID number in the JSS. One way to do this is to create a user extension attribute that collects the student ID number in the JSS.

Hopefully that helps! Otherwise it's matter of finding some data related to a user in the JSS that's in common with a user in Apple School Manager.

jgwatson
Contributor

Is it a requirement if you want to Apple School Manager, you must use there Apple ID's? I tried to upload a roster for just students, and I could not get past the "create Apple ID's step". Our student's use their own, and we are fine with that for now.

Thanks

jutz4244
New Contributor

@peter I understand your reference to the user extension attribute, but never having done this, I am still a bit foggy. Do I have to have a student ID in the Jss that is the same number as the "Source System Identifier" from ASM? And how is this new field populated in the JSS? I think I am missing something here.

cdenesha
Valued Contributor II

@jutz4244 do you use LDAP for your users, and does it have something unique for each student that can be matched to what you uploaded to ASM? If so, on the Users side populate that value into the Position field with your LDAP mapping. Your Update Inventory will keep it up to date as long as 'Collect user and location information from LDAP' is checked.

peter
New Contributor III

@jutz4244 cdenesha's solution would be the most automatic. You can also update extension attributes using the JSS API.

DanJ_LRSFC
Contributor II

I logged in to DEP the other week and was greeted with a prompt to update to Apple School Manager, I read up on it and it sounded like exactly the sort of thing we wanted now that we are starting to get in college owned iPads.

However it is worth mentioning that if you do this upgrade using the Apple ID you use for VPP, that ID will no longer be able to log in to the VPP Fulfillment Portal (I have an open support ticket with Apple about this issue at the moment).

michael_devins
Contributor II
Contributor II

As some customers may have already experienced, AppleCare can assist with merging Deployment Program accounts (DEP & VPP) if different Apple IDs were used for these two program sites. This is an important step that needs to be completed prior to upgrading to Apple School Manager.

US EDU Phone Support:
1 (800) 919-2775 (Ext. 83752)

Web Support:
http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/vpp-edu
http://support.apple.com/HT201232

bcampbell
Contributor

@michael.devins Unfortunately, while merging DEP & VPP accounts before upgrading to Apple School Manager is the right thing to do in the long run (and can't be done after the ASM upgrade per Apple), it causes the problem @DanJ_LRSFC raised in the short-term. We also have an open support ticket with Apple because we can not use the Apple ID we were using for VPP (and DEP so it upgraded over to ASM fine) to login to the VPP Fulfillment Portal.

cdenesha
Valued Contributor II

@jutz4244 it looks like I typed too soon.. Today I went to implement what I said and Position is not one of the fields I can match against?!?! And a User EA would indeed need to be populated with the API due to the fact that the User side was developed without the LDAP EA option. I have a case open with my TAM..

cdenesha
Valued Contributor II

@Nick_Gooch Are your classes importing automatically on a schedule?

MDyson
New Contributor

I cannot get Apple Classroom set up on JSS. I'm the 8th grade Language Arts teacher managing the JSS and all the technobabble is way above me. I have a class created with assigned devices and teacher but I can't get student iPad to show up on my iPad. All I get is use the join code and our devices are managed. I created a Smart group and all that did was bring in last year's students. Not helpful. I can't even delete them from the class. Any ideas?