iTunes Gift Cards are not Welcome Here!

The conundrum facing my principals, and the business office is “We now have these iPads, how do we handle purchasing and tracking apps?”.
Here is the evolution of a couple of visuals I put together in an attempt to wrap my head around the logistics:

My initial grasp of the Apple VPP Program:I was assisting a teacher leader with getting their building iPads set up, and I drew out for her how the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) works. One step ahead: My graphical representation via Spicy Node:

There are a few things that could be handled better by Apple:
Program manager accounts – Upon login, only allows me to see a list of created Program Facilitator accounts., that’s it.

Why this is a problem: The biggest limitation is the lack of program manager “managing “capabilities. The only way I can “manage” anything is logging in as any given program facilitator account – inefficient, in my book.

What would make sense: From the program manager account, clicking through on a managed (program facilitator) account to view things like specific facilitator contact and record of vendor card balance, apps purchased, etc. Right now, I log in and see a list of program facilitator email addresses, that’s it. I need to login to a specific program facilitator account to see records of anything,

How to handle all the VPP cards: Honestly, there hasn’t been an incredible demand to buy apps. In training with teachers, I always emphasize “free” or “lite” versions of apps. Also, I have encouraged teacher leaders to watch out for useful apps that advertise as free for a day, and “buy” them when they are offered. My post “Adventures with iPads” reviews how I set up the process for purchasing “free” apps directly to the devices via the App Store.

For auditing purposes, I keep a spreadsheet that is shared with the business office. In it, information regarding app name/quantity, serial number of VPP card, whose budget it was purchased from, etc.

You can find additional information about the VPP program here:
Sign up as a district Program Manager:

Program Facilitators (usually designated at a building and responsible for purchasing apps)


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