John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Schools Complain iOS 7 Upgrade Stripped Filters From Students’ iPads

iOS7_eduApple’s iOS 7 was supposed to make it easier for schools to manage the iPads that are becoming increasingly common in the classroom. But for some, the latest version of the mobile operating system is proving to be a bit of a headache.

A number of schools that have upgraded their iPad deployments to iOS 7 said that installing the new OS removed the supervision profiles they had installed on the devices. This rendered those iPads unsupervised, depriving administrators of their remote-management privileges and eliminating the filtering protections they had established to prevent students from accessing inappropriate content they might stumble upon outside school.

“Apple did not realize that installing iOS 7 would remove our (and thousands of organizations across the country) safety protection measure, which now makes the iPad devices unfiltered when accessing the Internet away from school,” said a memo from the Manitou Springs (Colo.) School District 14 to parents, verified by AllThingsD. “In the short term, the district will be collecting iPad devices at the end of each day until the safety protection measure is reinstalled.”

And Manitou Springs School District 14 is not an isolated case. According to Apple’s support forums and some external IT discussion boards, schools across the U.S. are grappling with the issue, which is causing a lot of angst and frustration for administrators.

At Manitou, the district ended up collecting hundreds of iPads that had been upgraded to iOS 7, wiping them, and then reinstalling the OS along with the apps and student content originally on the devices. “It’s been a major undertaking,” Superintendent Ed Longfield told AllThingsD.

That’s particularly the case for affected schools with large iPad deployments, some of which have gone so far as to adjust their network settings to block over-the-air iOS 7 updates. “When we first caught wind of the bug, I tweaked our DNS to stop iPads from checking for software updates,” a school administrator who declined to be named told AllThingsD. “That helped us to keep a lot of our iPads running iOS 6.1.3. We plan to maintain those settings until Apple addresses the issue.”

And Apple is working hard to do just that, though it’s not yet clear when it will have a resolution.

“Some business and education users have reported that their supervised devices have reverted to unsupervised when they upgrade to iOS 7,” Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. “We are aware of this issue, and will have a fix this month.”

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