Classroom Management

New Casper Suite Enables Mix-and-Match 1-to-1 and Shared iPads

Software for managing Apple devices in a classroom or other settings has gotten an update to leverage features of iOS 9.3. The Casper Suite "Spring 2016" release from JAMF Software takes advantage of Apple's managed "lost mode" to enable IT to locate and recover lost or stolen devices without compromising student or staff privacy. When lost mode is enabled for a given user's device, it displays a customized lock screen message that IT has specified, is disabled from use and sends its location to IT.

Casper Suite is intended to automate computing device activities IT staff may take care of manually, such as inventory, distribution, updates and maintenance. A self-service model enables users to take care of certain activities themselves without needing administrative credentials.

The latest version of the software lets a teacher customize what apps will appear on a home screen. A "shared" mode, which can reside alongside a 1-to-1 program, enables students that share their devices during the day to get a personalized learning experience. The function works with Apple School Manager, which serves as a portal for iPads used in the classroom and allows students to be granted managed Apple IDs.

The program also allows a teacher to launch all devices in the classroom to a specific app, website or book and share work openly through Apple TV or to the teacher's device.

"For years, school districts have had to make the choice between 1:1 and shared iPad programs. The tradeoff has been a personalized learning experience," said Dave Saltmarsh, education evangelist at the company. "With iOS 9.3 and Casper Suite, schools will no longer have to make this choice. They will be able to deliver a personalized experience for each and every student regardless of the school's implementation model."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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