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Does anyone have recommendations on managing multiple iPods / iPads? I am not talking about just a few for a family but rather thousands of them for student use in education. They seem to be a bit of an administrative and security nightmare.

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I'm beginning to think the short of it is that there are no tools for easily managing a fleet of iPads... –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 4 '10 at 13:36
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These are some that we're currently investigating/evaluating:

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+1 for Mobile Iron, it's a very capable product for large scale mobile device management. –  Helvick Jan 6 '11 at 21:09
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My school district Customer recently informed me that Apple is holding some Learning Tour events where one of the tracks, "Managing and Deploying Mobile Devices", will apparently be about "enterprise" deployment and management of iPod and iPad devices.

I don't directly manage the iPad and iPod devices, but the contact at the Customer site who does has already thrown away tens of hours this school year on doing firmware updates and "tweaks" to the devices. To my mind they're clearly not "enterprise ready" yet.

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To be fair, the iPad and iPod were never MEANT to be enterprise ready. They're more designed for the digital home and digital lifestyle. Apple controls the content, they don't want to sublet it out to an organization. –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 1 '10 at 17:09
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@Bart: I'd agree with that except that Apple and their sales gerbils are heavily pushing these devices at my (and presumably many other) school districts. They think they're enterprise ready, but I don't. –  Evan Anderson Oct 1 '10 at 21:17
    
I don't think they think they're enterprise ready. They think you're a sale with a big budget. Schools are buying into the whole "digital textbook" and cheaper-than-laptop alternative thing, and they sure aren't going to contradict it with facts. The iPad was never meant to be anything but a complement to a Mac, and I don't know HOW they would possibly not be crippled as standalone substitute computers. I can only see them as add-ons to a Mac, which they're wonderful as. –  Bart Silverstrim Oct 1 '10 at 22:35
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