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Apple Education’s Volume Purchase Program

7 April 2011 No Comment

Last Thursday, I participated in an Apple webinar about the Volume Purchase Program. It was an hour long & definitely worth a listen. I wish that I had done this BEFORE I had made the initial purchase – I definitely did not have the whole picture by just reading about the program. Here’s what I’ve figured out about how to make this work for our initial teacher rollout.

  1. In our school, a member of the IT Department will serve as the Program Manager. We’ll have 3 Program Facilitators – one at each school level.  Those 3 Facilitators will each control a certain amount of money (TBD) for purchasing Apps for their division’s cart & for their division’s teachers, if & when they determine a core group of Apps that should be on all iPads. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
  2. Using the VPP, many Apps are available for a discounted price. But we don’t necessarily want to limit our teachers to only those that are available at in the VPP portal (although there are quite a few! You can search for them by category or name.) And you really only get the discount if you purchase in quantity: this will be great when it comes time to outfit our cart iPads, but doesn’t fit as well with where we are right now – true exploratory stage! To help facilitate that we’ve decided to give each teacher a $25 gift card to purchase ANY Apps they’d like to check out.
  3. But if we just hand out gift cards, each teacher will go out & plunk the money into their personal account, which essentially means that we (the school) have lost ownership of any purchases made with these funds. To prevent that, we’ll be setting up school owned iTunes accounts on each iPad & loading them with the $25 giftcards. At the webinar, I learned how to set up an account that does NOT need a credit card – but it seems like we’ll have to do this process 145 times. We’ll also have to create active email accounts (probably something like: iPad1@stab.org) for each teacher, validate when we set up the iTunes account, & then educate folks on why we need to do it this way. Teachers will still be able to use a personal iTunes account to purchase Apps of a more personal nature….but I need to play with that a little more to make sure it works like I think it will!
  4. So, armed with this new knowledge, I went back to my Apple Account Rep & changed our Voucher purchase into giftcards – which was relatively easy (thanks, Richard!)
  5. I’ll go now & fill out the Program Manager Enrollment – which according to the webinar takes 3-5 days to set up.

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