Making The Grade Overview Updated May 18, 2019

Making The Grade

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

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63 'Making The Grade' stories

March 2018 - May 2019


Bradley Chambers has been managing Apple devices in an education environment since 2009. Through his experience deploying and managing 1000s of Macs and 1000s of iPads over the years, 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 teachers, students, and knowledge works.

Bradley is passionate about how to make identity management easier to deploy new apps and services along with cloud-based technology.

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You can follow Bradley Chambers on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Read recent Making the Grade stories from Bradley Chambers below:

Making The Grade Stories May 18

I’ve been managing macOS in an enterprise environment since 2009, so I was around during the “stable” periods of Snow Leopard, as well as what others would call unstable periods. One of the common themes I’ve heard in my technology circles over the past few years is that macOS has become less stable. I manage 100s of Mac laptops at the moment, and I would estimate I’ve been responsible for 1,000+ devices over the past ten years. So, I think I’m qualified to discuss the current state of macOS stability. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories May 11

Apple Mail vs G Suite webmail is a discussion I’ve had with many other IT directors at different schools over the past few years. Some Apple schools focus everyone on using Mail.app since it’s built it, updated with macOS, and creates a similar experience on iOS. Other schools actually remove Mail.app from the new Mac deployments and force people to use the G Suite web interface? I could argue it both ways, and I’ll give you my explanation in this week’s Making The Grade. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories May 4

When I was at the National Association of Independent Schools conference back in February, I was walking through the Expo Hall looking for new products that I could bring back to my school. I teach Swift Playgrounds to our 4th and 5th graders as a part of our 4C’s curriculum. When I passed a booth displaying the Piper Computer, it immediately caught my eye. I made a contact at the company and arranged to get a review unit. expand full story

Making The Grade Stories April 27

Coming off the heels of Apple’s March event, it’s clear that Apple is all in on services. After all the services are released, you could easily spend $50+ with Apple on recurring charges for Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and more. Services don’t have the massive margins that a $1200 iPhone XS Max does, but one advantage is that they are recurring. Once Apple gets your $9.99 per month for an Apple Music subscription, you will likely have it for a while, and you are likely to continue to buy at least some of Apple’s hardware devices. An iPhone user might have an Apple Watch and a Roku TV, so it makes sense for Apple to have Apple TV+ on the Roku as well. Apple, in 2019, is all in on services. What about Apple’s enterprise services? expand full story

Making The Grade Stories April 20

Back in 2014, the headlines around Apple and K–12 education revolved around the cancellation of a major contract with the Los Angeles United School District. When Apple announced the contract in early 2014, there was a lot of excitement around the project. The approved deal allotted $115 million for deploying between 40,000 and 70,000 tablets to classrooms for use by students and teachers. One of the main drivers behind the project was standardized testing. As someone who just finished up another year of standardized testing on iPad (and getting back the results immediately), I can empathize at the benefits of using the device for testing. The LAUSD project ended up being a massive failure. We covered it extensively throughout the process, and while there were a lot of mistakes, I want to look at it from a technical point of view to explain the LAUSD iPad hacking scandal.

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Making The Grade Stories April 13

One of the key technology trends in the enterprise over the last decade (thanks to iPhones and iPads) is a collaboration and work anywhere mindset. Long gone are the days of employees, students, and teachers logging into desktop computers at work or school. Now, work is wherever we are. Work isn’t a place, but a state of mind. You should be able to work anywhere. You can, and that has led to companies who are distributed around the world. My concern today is that a world where it’s “cloud-first” from a services standpoint has left Apple as vulnerable as Microsoft was when they missed the smartphone era.

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