People often email me with questions about articles on ClassThink. The following email is a common question I get asked which addresses the issue of bulk purchasing apps for iPads in schools.
Apple’s guidelines for iPad app purchasing in schools hasn’t always been clear. Before Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme for iOS was released the advice I was given from a number of Apple representatives was essentially “we’ve got something coming, until then feel free to pirate our software.” But now the VPP is available the requirements for purchasing iPad apps in schools is much clearer.
Hoping you could help answer a few questions.
My school has purchased 6-10 iPads per classroom. They stay in the classroom all year (I am unclear about the apple id being for a single iPad or a single classroom–we have apple id’s for OUR teacher school iPad.) Our tech person is VERY new to macs and is deferring to our district’s IT guy. They are telling us that an app has to be purchased for EACH iPad (instead of purchasing the iPad for my “classroom” and uploading it to the 6-10 iPads in *my* classroom). We are being told to stick to 99 cent apps (of which good education apps are limited for that amount!).
We were wondering whether tat was accurate or if you could shed any light on multiple iPads/app agreements/rules for a single teacher/classroom. Pretty much, since Apple will allow apps on our personal accounts be put on multiple devices, we are wondering if that model can be used for classroom use (perhaps not an iPad cart, but who knows!?)
We are finding it very difficult to get info since we are the first school in my district to have classroom iPad.
Thanks for your email. I’ll do my best to give you as good an answer as possible.
Before Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme was released the guidance on app purchasing, even from Apple, was vague. With the programme now in effect, however, Apple’s guidelines are very clear. Apps purchased for multiple iPads which are not personal devices must be purchased through the Volume Purchase Programme.
From a technical point of view there is nothing stopping you using a single Apple ID to purchase an app and then distribute that app manually to your classroom iPads, but this would be against Apple’s terms of service. Doing this also makes managing multiple iPads through Apple Configurator more difficult. Using a personal Apple ID can also create data protection problems, especially if you are using services such as iCloud. Just something to be aware of.
My advice is to use the Apple Volume Purchase Programme. It will be more expensive, but it keeps your school on the right side of a legal boundary.
Hope this helps.