Making The Grade Overview Updated October 20, 2018

Making The Grade

A new weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education.

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34 'Making The Grade' stories

March 2018 - October 2018


Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.

Read recent Making the Grade stories below:

Making The Grade Stories October 20

When my school came back from fall break, I had a teacher report that one of her classroom iPads had gone missing. I get messages like this quite often, but they are almost always in the building. I can verify this by logging into my Jamf Pro dashboard, and see which IP address it last “checked in” from. Our school has a static IP address, so the iPads will also show that as the last known IP address. I can also have Jamf Pro send me an email if one checks in off campus, I had actually turned this off as we had a student who was at St. Jude off and on last year, so I disabled the alerts while she was there, and I forgot to turn them back on. I had originally set this feature up to help prevent school iPad theft. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories October 13

Every technology deployment has its time in the sun. From the initial unboxing to the initial deployment, and to the various great moments, all deployments reach a point when it’s time to replace them. Over the years, I’ve done many Apple hardware refreshes, and they are a lot of fun. And one question that always has to be answered is what do you do with your existing hardware? Do you sell it? Do you keep using it? Let’s answer the question of what do you do with old laptops and iPads?

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Making The Grade Stories October 6

I’ll make a statement that might be unpopular: Apple shouldn’t promote their privacy stance to schools when they aren’t offering a compelling service that schools can sign up for that replaces G-Suite. They’ve built solutions for schools that are siloed off from most of the student information systems without making an identity management system. They’ve created solutions (like Classkit, Apple Business Manager, and Apple School Manager) that don’t 100% replace anything else a school or business has. They’ve simply added more overhead to deploying iPad. Apple proclaiming their stance on privacy while also accepting a 9 billion payment from Google just makes them look hypocritical. If Apple is really concerned about privacy, they need to be building tools to replace what Google offers enterprise and education customers. Let me explain how.

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Making The Grade Stories September 29

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


When it comes to enterprise device management, every platform company (Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc.) has their own style of management. Google (with Chromebooks) has built a complete end to end solution for managing its devices. When I say end-to-end, I mean that when you buy Chromebooks, you also buy the management tool sold by Google. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories September 22

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


Apple Watch Series 4 was announced at Apple’s annual iPhone event, and it looks like a promising upgrade for Series 3 owners (and especially Series 0,1, and 2 owners). With the ability to detect AFIB with 98% accuracy, reduced bezels, and additional complications, Series 4 Apple Watch looks to be a hit.

As I do every week on my Making The Grade column, I like to look at things from the perspective of a teacher or student. This week, I want to consider the benefits of an Apple Watch for a teacher. I think this industry is perfect for Apple Watch, and I want to explain why.

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Making The Grade Stories September 15

Making The Grade is a weekly series from Bradley Chambers covering Apple in education. Bradley has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 100s of Macs and 100s of iPads, Bradley will highlight ways in which Apple’s products work at scale, stories from the trenches of IT management, and ways Apple could improve its products for students.


iOS 12 and macOS Mojave have both been in the news this week. At the iPhone announcement event, Apple announced that iOS 12 would be coming on Monday, and macOS Mojave to launch on the 24th. For IT administrators, when Apple’s software update season hits full swing there can be a sense of dread. Right now, we are running the most stable versions of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. We’ve had an almost a full year of bug fixes, so things are running as smooth as they will. As we enter a new season of X.0 updates, we often hit the rest button on stability. While iOS 12 has been very stable in the beta periods, it’s still a new OS. Third-party app providers will also need to update for stability as well. The question I want to help answer today is: When should you update managed iPad, iPhones, and macOS devices?

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