So Apple has updated Apple Classroom and now you can make this work on your devices, without needing to configure devices in an MDM.
This is of particular interest to schools that may not have the experience to set these things up or may have unsupervised devices.
Well lots of schools use iPads to support learning but Apple Classroom gives you additional tools that help you support that learning and in some instances can give teachers more confidence in controlling the class through a central control.
What can you do with it?
Well once you have got the students in your class you can then share things directly with the learners, you can open apps on their devices to direct them into a specific application, you can open websites or iTunes U courses and even have the option to view the screens of your learners.
How could I use it?
Well think about a sequence of activities in your class where you need the learners to do an activity and want that to be quickly achieved without the need to search for the app. You can now launch this directly on the devices. You also have the option to have specific groups in a class which means you can send specific things to each device, so think differentiation for this. There is also a mute option which may help some teachers as it makes the devices go quite, which is nice when teachers want to give some input. Something I explored which was nice is the ability to simply share things via Airdrop to multiple devices (students can do the same back to the teacher) This can speed up the process of the flow in a lesson and limit having to print out documents to share out.
How do I set it up?
Its fairly simple actually, First you need to ensure all of your devices are on the latest version of iOS (10.3)
Once this is done the teacher will need the app on their device and will need to create a class
Students will then need to go to their settings and in the left side column classroom will appear as an option. Students will see your class appear when you tap add students.
They need to enter their name and then enter the code that you can share with them.
And that is it, simple.