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)