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Bill Campbell
Instructional technologist at Dwight-Englewood School (Englewood, NJ)
Instructional technologist at Dwight-Englewood School (Englewood, NJ)

Bill Campbell's posts

Managed Apple IDs a no go again
#ipaded #ipad
I hoped to use Managed Apple IDs (MAID) when setting up 1:1 student iPads this summer as Apple School Manager is now out of preview and MAID is the now the only official way for a school to create Apple IDs for students under 13. Unfortunately, MAID is still not a good solution for my school for the two reasons explained at length below. Any suggestions are welcome including pointing out that I’m wrong about something I state below. I’d love to be corrected and provided a better solution!

1) The obvious one known to many is that a MAID can not be used for Find My iPad. A rep at Apple Enterprise support said earlier this week that it would actually work now, but he was wrong. Apple's documentation still says it doesn't work, and I tested it. When you try to login to the Find iPhone app with a MAID it says the account doesn’t allow using Find My iPhone. If you login into with a MAID, the Find iPhone option just doesn’t show up on the Launchpad/menu.

We use JAMF Pro (formerly the JAMF Casper Suite) as our Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. I was happy to see earlier this year that Apple provided MDM vendors the ability to activate Lost Mode and trigger the ping sound useful for finding a misplaced iPad. My colleagues and I weren’t thrilled with the idea that a student would have to go to IT to trigger even just the ping sound (as students frequently do this on their own to find misplaced devices), but we resigned ourselves to that being ok. Unfortunately, we discovered through testing that the only way to trigger a ping for an iPad using a MAID is via activating MDM lost mode. More unfortunately, the only way to disable Lost Mode when the iPad is found, is through the MDM. That means the iPad needs to have a working Internet connection after it is found in order to send the MDM command to disable lost mode. That’s find if all this happens quickly. However, sometimes an iPad gets turned off (or runs out of battery) for found or returned back to IT staff. Once that happens, you have a brick because an iPad will not connect back to a wireless network after a power off until it is unlocked. (Our speculation is that this is because the wireless connection settings are stored as part of the encrypted keychain.) When using MDM Lost Mode, you can’t unlock it without an Internet connection. Therefore, the only choice we can figure you have left, is to reset the iPad to factory defaults (losing all data if there is not a recent backup). It would be great if every student always had a recent iCloud backup, but the reality is that doesn’t happen. In fact, the frequency of people not having recent backups is increasing as iCloud is storing more, and Apple still only provides 5 GB of free space. With MAID, I haven’t even seen a way to up that 5 GB of space even if someone wanted to pay for it.

By the way, a colleague contacted both Apple and JAMF support about the issue of needing the MDM to unlock Lost Mode when using MAID. They both agreed it is a Catch-22, and there is no current solution. (Not helpful.)

2) While the risk of bricking a lost iPad and losing data isn’t great, the other issue preventing the use of Managed Apple IDs is that I can find no way to redeem a content coupon code on an iPad using a MAID. We need that for students to get some iBooks that we ask them to purchase for classes. Our student purchase paper and electronic textbooks from an online bookstore partner and the iBooks are provided via a link that uses a coupon code. This works find with a regular Apple ID (or the Apple IDs created using Apple’s Apple ID for Students service discontinued last summer). However, when I tried to redeem a content coupon VPP code on an iPad with a MAID, I was prompted for the password for the MAID, enter it, iTunes loads then goes to its start screen without actually purchasing the book. While it wouldn’t really help us, I tried distributing a book VPP code via JAMF MDM and that didn’t work either.

While I can distribute apps via MDM using device-based licensing, which works great, I still need students to have an Apple ID on the device for iCloud. Having 60+ students try to create Apple IDs on their own when we deploy iPads to all of our sixth-graders isn’t very practical. We’ve successfully deployed iPads to our entire MS for the past four years with few problems because we made sure the Apple IDs were ready in advance, and we actually logged them in on the iPads before distribution. (I might consider skipping the login before deployment, but the AIDs need to already exist to not turn deployment into a disaster.

So, that means the only option I feel like we have left is to manually create Apple IDs for all of our students getting iPads this year. Luckily, I was able to fix an old script last year that would do that in bulk via some AppleScript magic. (Unfortunately, the script repeatedly breaks as Apple changes the iTunes store and Mac app) With MAIDs being more mature this year, I didn’t expect to ever have to look at that script again. It seems I was wrong so I’m off to


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I'm sure a lot of people have strong opinions on this, and I suspect some of those are part of the blame teachers/don't blame teachers bandwagons. That argument is more nuanced than what the loudest people on both sides make it out to be.

I find the "Student, Teach Thyself" section the most interesting especially the positive and negative view about Summit teachers being required to "teach students cognitive skills (like how to construct an argument) while making students responsible for teaching themselves underlying lesson material (like how diverse plants and animals coexist)."


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The calculator debate
Banned in SOME colleges is more accurate but then the title would be less attention grabbing. While very far from a rigorous study, the observation by the professor who noted a relationship between students' overall performance in his Calculus 3 course to performance on a non-calculator arithmetic test was interesting.


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Resources for learning and teaching about #fakenews
The Stony Brook Center for News Literacy has resources for teaching about fake news and news literacy posted at their Digital Resource Center (see attached link).

In addition, Stony Brook professors have partnered with professors at the University of Hong Kong to offer the online course "Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens". This six-week course is offered online via Coursera (, starts on January 9, 2017, requires 2-3 hours per week, and is free to audit. (I believe the cost is $49 to obtain a certificate of completion.)

On a related note, the Stanford History Education Group (Stanford University) also publishes free digital curriculum called "Reading Like a Historian" at


HT +Chris Berdik

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Shoreline high school students mentor team from Uganda in robot building challenge.

HT +SmartBrief


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Swift Playgrounds resources and 3rd-party playgrounds

Yesterday, I attended an event at Apple in NYC where the new Swift Playgrounds app was discussed. One interesting thing about it was the ability for third-parties (including teachers) to create a playground for use by others. Therefore, a few playgrounds not from Apple are already cropping up.

The following third-party playgrounds were mentioned:
- Dash & Dot Playground (Includes directions on how to get the playground onto an iPad.) - Control the Dash & Dot robots by Wonder Workshop -

- Sphero Playground - Control the Sphero robot -

- Geometry with Swift Playgrounds - Learn Swift programming through Geometry -

To get a playground from a Mac to an iPad: unzip the file, AirDrop the entire folder from a Mac to iPad, then open with Playgrounds when prompted. (See the Dash & Dot link above for more detailed directions.) Once you have a playground on an iPad, you can also just AirDrop it from iPad to iPad.

Note that Swift Playgrounds requires an iPad with iOS 10.

On the general topic of Swift and curriculum for teaching it using Swift Playgrounds or Xcode on a Mac, the following free iBooks by Apple might be useful:
- Swift Playgrounds: Learn to Code 1 & 2 Teacher Guide -

- The Swift Programming Language -

- App Development with Swift (HS textbook) -

- App Development with Swift Teacher Guide -


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Leading complex change requires trying on different perspectives to understand the various ways people respond to change.

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90 iPads in 90 Minutes and bulk Casper updates
Helpful blog post by +Fraser Speirs.

Fraser mentions a Python script he wrote and uses for part of what he describes. The script code is not available in the post, but it seems that the Mac app JSS MUT ( by +Mike Levenick  will do what the script does except for creating users in JAMF Casper. If anyone has an easy way to do that part, please let me know. (Mike, if you read this, have you considered adding user account creation to JSS MUT?)

I haven't tried JSS MUT myself yet, but it reports the ability to change many mobile device and associated fields in bulk by using a CSV text file you prepare. This is something many people have done in JAMF Casper with scripts and SQL in the past, but JSS MUT has an easier to use interface. While it rightfully requires an appropriately privileged login to Casper, it does not require direct access to the MySQL server database. This makes is easier to use and seemingly less likely for one to mess up the JSS database with a poorly constructed query. (One could export the current values of fields for the devices to be updated as a backup before running JSS MUT.)

Thank you to Fraser and Mike for sharing your knowledge and skills.


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What is Pokemon Go?
For those who haven't been around any smartphone-toting teenagers during the past week, this is a good general description of what Pokemon Go is and how one might use it for a little marketing.

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