This from Cult of Mac ( a shameless cut and paste from HERE):

The new Apple Configurator app is a free download in the Mac App Store for Macs running Lion.  It lets a single Mac manage up to 30 iOS devices and makes it pretty painless to accomplish the following set of tasks:

  • Wipe (restore) devices and install a specific iOS release
  • Update the installed iOS version
  • Assign unique names/identifiers to each device
  • Backup and/or restore data from an existing backup
  • Create and apply configuration profiles
  • Install apps (from the public App Store or created for internal use)
  • License paid apps using Apple’s Volume Purchase Plan for business or education
  • Install documents (documents must be associated with an installed app because iOS doesn’t offer a user-facing file system)
  • Assign devices and related configurations to users (users can be populated based on an enterprise directory service like Microsoft’s Active Directory so long as the Mac running Apple Configurator is joined to such a service).
  • Organize devices into groups for easier management
  • Restrict devices from syncing to other computers
  • Assign a organization or user-specific lock screen image
  • Create a device check-in/check-out setup that ensure users always have access to their on-device data regardless of whether which device they are assigned (similar to roaming profiles in a Windows business environment where users have the same desktop regardless of which PC they use)
  • Enroll devices in a third-party mobile device management (MDM) console for additional capabilities

That’s a pretty good set of tasks that Apple Configurator can handle. The automatic check-in/check-out capabilities are particularly valuable for schools or other environments where the supply of devices like iPads doesn’t match the full user population. This allows a lending library-style approach that ought to work particularly well in elementary schools (it’s essentially an iPad/iOS version of the MacBook carts that Apple has been selling to schools for the past couple of decades).

 

sounds like just the ticket for schools!

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