What’s the best way to set up my child’s iPad for school?

  1. apple-ipad-mini-prShare an Apple ID and turn on automatic downloads.
  2. Add an email account for her and setup your iMessage so that chaos doesn’t ensue.
  3. Find my iPad (goes without saying).
  4. Use iCloud backup

She turned 10 yesterday, and the iPad mini was a surprise.
She’s a mature, intelligent girl (don’t tell her I said that!), and my wife and I were comfortable with this responsibility. Her school has voluntary BYOD in years 5-6 (ages 9-11). They’re in the first year of this programme and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it.

1. Share an Apple ID and turn on automatic downloads.
This means that you can download apps for them without them knowing the password. What happens: she’s at school and needs an app. She emails me with a link to the app so that I can check it out. I download it to my iPad and it automatically appears on hers. #winning

2. Add an email account for her and setup iMessage.

We managed to set up google docs for our domain before google made it expensive. This means that she has an email address that I manage. This is great because we are prolific google calendars users.

It turns out that on each iPad (or iPhone or Mac) you can set up iMessage so that it “sends as” a different email address or phone number. So while Miss10 is using my Apple ID, she’s sending and receiving as herself and I can send to her without any problems.

4. Use iCloud backup

Yes, I know I didn’t go into detail on 3.

Anyway, I’ve seen upset kids and parents when an iPad is erased and kids lose a lot of schoolwork. So fork out the NZ$25 and upgrade the iCloud storage.

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