Family Sharing is Caring

Typically iPads are deployed or 'rolled out' within schools as managed or unmanaged devices. Mobile Device Management (MDM) offers excellent control measures with tablets being configured as required with appropriate policies and restrictions enforced. In contrast unmanaged devices are controlled by the end user. Within both scenarios and prior to connecting to a school's robust wireless network students would agree to Terms and Conditions stated within an Accepable User Policy.

Normally within a BYOD program devices are unmanaged, however, policies and restrictions can be enforced onto a device when it connects to WiFi. Various strategies can be employed when iPads are unmanaged and distributed to students for educational use.

Often as was the case in previous years students below the age of thirteen established an Apple ID by using a false birth date. Alternatively parents or teachers created accounts for minors by entering their own birthday. Needless to say this is frugelant and can have serious consequences. In various circumstances children may have already had an account in operation or their family share an Apple ID or one is created for the child on behalf of the guardian. Now with Family Sharing things are simple.



The introduction of Family Sharing in late 2014 by Apple means accounts can be created for young children legally. The process is uncomplicated and can be performed with complete ease. Schools distributing unmanaged devices must utilise Family Sharing features to ensure the creation of all student Apple ID's are legitament.

In a school deploying unmanaged iPads to young children I would have two separate parent information evenings. One would be for parents that have an Apple ID and a separate evening for those that have not yet established an Apple ID.

Education on Family Sharing would be advantageous. Instruction on adding family members to Family Sharing would be provided to parents with a preexisting Apple ID. They could then proceed in creating an Apple ID for their child and select the actual birth date of their child! iPads could then be distributed and the credentials of the child entered into the new device. Normal setup of the iPad could then proceed.

On a separate evening parents without an Apple ID would be educated. They would receive instruction on the establishment of a personal Apple ID. Once an account was created the group would be instructed in the use of Family Sharing as was conducted on the previous evening. Under the guidance of a skilled instructor and teachers, parents would then add family members to their newly established account.

Within the context of unmanaged devices Family Sharing should be taken advantage of. In this manner accounts for children under the age of thirteen can be created ethically and legitimately. Failure to include Family Sharing within the process of deployment and setup of a devices for young children is unethical because children will need to input untrue data. Since late 2014 Apple have provided the tools necessary to ensure project success and schools must be aware of this development. Thanks to Family Sharing children under the age of thirteen can be confident their account has not been falsified. An added benefit is that utilising Family Sharing can save families loads of money.

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