Photo: ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au

Photo: ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au

AllThingsD is reporting that updating school iPads to iOS 7 failed to restore the supervision profiles, meaning that all of the protective filters put in place were lost.

“Apple did not realize that installing iOS 7 would remove our (and thousands of organizations across the country) safety protection measure, which now makes the iPad devices unfiltered when accessing the Internet away from school,” said a memo from the Manitou Springs (Colo.) School District 14 to parents. “In the short term, the district will be collecting iPad devices at the end of each day until the safety protection measure is reinstalled” … 

From posts on the Apple Support Communities, the problem appears to be widespread. Some schools, whose iPads are still on iOS 6, are editing the school network DNS files to block access to the update server, preventing devices from downloading the update.

Apple says it is aware of the issue and is working on a fix.

“Some business and education users have reported that their supervised devices have reverted to unsupervised when they upgrade to iOS 7,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will have a fix this month.”

Apple has so far issued two updates to iOS 7, with iOS 7.0.3 expected to be released shortly.

Last month, the LA School District decided to place a temporary halt on its plans to make iPads available to all of its 640,000 students after kids learned how to bypass the restrictions.

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7 Responses to “iOS 7 update broke filtering protections on student iPads, say schools”

  1. The schools IT Department should have tested iOS 7 before upgrading all of those devices. How’s this Apple’s problem?

    • Matt Smith says:

      You can’t restrict iOS updates. If a kid gets its grubby mits on one and hits update, the device updates. For an on-campus only device, this isnt a big deal– you can set up firewall rules to block apples update servers on the subnet the iPads are on. For a full 1:1 take home model (which is the whole point of this as DNS filtering is the only way to even attempt content filtering when off network), you can’t block the update unless you had the forethought to set up rules with the dns host. Also, How big/well resourced do you think school IT departments are?

      • beta382 says:

        Well resourced enough to be able to give each student an iPad. And it isn’t at the school level, it’s at the district level. Any district with the ability to simply purchase an iPad for each student (and I thought my previous school system wasted money…) should have an IT department capable enough of solving problems like this before they happen. Anything short of that is failure of the IT personnel to do their job.

      • @beta382 – you’ve got to be kidding. Districts are turning to tablets because they are cheaper than suitable laptops. Add to that the fact that most districts have incredibly understaffed IT departments.

        Furthermore, it’s annoying to hear people blame the IT staff when a student who already has an iPad in his hand taps the update iOS button before the IT staff can update theirs! If Apple would let us lock down the area in settings that allows kids to update/modify the iPad, we’d be better off. Yes, that has been requested!

    • Agreed. Their IT Department should have been testing with iOS 7 along with all the other developers. It was no surprise when iOS was being released. It’s easy to blame Apple. If you don’t use the tools that Apple gives you to test compatibility, that isn’t their fault…

      • Again, I think you folks are missing the point. We’re not blaming Apple for iOS 7 being deployed on student iPads. We have two issues here. First, Apple does not allow us to prevent the update to iOS 7 on student iPads. We can not prevent it! Secondly, iOS 7 is causing things to break in regards to network function and management.

        For those of us who DID test first and told everyone not to update, the problem still exists. Could this have been avoided? Probably. Just let IT lock down the General tab in Settings (or at least some of the items in there)!

  2. As an IT consultant this sounds like the IT department didn’t test their update. Depending on the solution they where using for content filtering, apple’s vs third party, I can’t say who’s to blame. Yeah you can update even a locked down iPad but that has ALWAYS been the case and was a foreseeable outcome had the IT dept. been paying attention.