Why Do We Use/Need Apple IDs?
Historically, we needed Apple IDs to send out apps to iPads. While we no longer need an Apple ID for that, we do need it for the following:
- Student iCloud Backups (ie backing up the student data should an iPad be damaged/lost)
- Document syncing (as a fallback if the iCloud backups fail)
- Apple Schoolwork (Apple requires teachers to use their special district Apple IDs for the Schoolwork app)
- iTunes U (Apple IDs are required for iTunes U courses)
What's Different About District Apple IDs?
Whereas students had to set up their own district-linked Apple IDs with their parents before, the tech department is now able to create Apple IDs for every 1:1 student without parental involvement (and still maintain FERPA/COPPA compliance).
Different Naming Structure
Previously, Apple IDs followed the format email@example.com, now they follow the format firstname.lastname@example.org
Should a student forget their Apple ID password, teachers now have the ability to reset passwords. See the separate write-up on that process here.
No App Store
Managed Apple IDs cannot buy apps or music (Apple categorizes them as non-commerce accounts). This applies to teacher Apple IDs as well. The App Store app will not appear on student 1:1 iPads as a result.
Can I Use A District Apple ID Only For Schoolwork?
More or less, yes! For Schoolwork to "work", Apple needs you to use your district-issued Apple ID as your iCloud Apple ID. Once you sign in to the Schoolwork app, you can go into Settings→iTunes & App Store and use a different Apple ID there to be able to download apps.
Apple also has their own support article on Managed Apple IDs, which you can find here.