Classroom by Apple - Tips for Teachers

Apple's Classroom Mac and iPad app can be used by teachers to launch apps and websites for a group or entire class of students. It can also be used to help students stay on task through iPad and Mac locking and monitoring.

Note for Hybrid/Distance Learning: Apple Classroom only works for students who are with you on-campus. It does not work for online students.


Install Classroom

Students do not need to install the app. Teachers need to install the app from the iOS or Mac App Store in order to manage the class. From your iPad, you can tap on the image below to install the app:

Apple Classroom in the iOS App Store

or search for Classroom in the iOS or Mac App Store. If you search, choose the Classroom app by Apple not Google. (Google Classroom is a completely different service and used for a different purpose.)

There is also a Mac OS version of the Classroom management app. Note that both iPads and Macs can be managed by both the Mac and iPad versions of the app.

To use Classroom, students and the teacher must be on the same Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth must be on for both, and the student/teacher must be in the same physical proximity (e.g. in the same room).

Most of the directions below refer to using the iPad app to manage a class. However, the Mac app is similar.

Student steps to join class

After you (the teacher) open an existing class in the Apple Classroom program on your Mac or iPad, student iPads should automatically join your class. Students can see the class they are connected to by opening the iPad Settings app, selecting Classroom (listed near the top under Bluetooth), and your class should be listed on the right. Students do NOT need  the Classroom app or an invitation code to join an MDM managed class.

Contact Computer Services to have an MDM managed class created for you.  CS will need to know what students to include in your class.  For an entire class, you can share the course and section number so we can look up your roster on My DE.

Create an Unmanaged Class

Since Fall 2020, manual, teacher-created "unmanaged" classes are no longer working reliably. Contact Computer Services to have an admin-managed/MDM class created as described above.

To create an unmanaged class for the first time: start the Classroom App, enter your name as you want students to see it, then select Create New Class.  More details with images are listed in the Getting Started with Classroom guide. (Link at the top of the page.)

Add Students to a Class

This requires student and teacher steps but only has to be done once per class. You will not need to do this the next time you work with this class if you and students are using the same iPads. See the Getting Started with Classroom guide (link above) for detailed directions with images showing the teacher and student steps.  

Here's a brief overview:

Teacher steps to add students to an unmanaged

Open a previously created class, select add and tell or show students the four-digit invitation code displayed.  As students join, you will see their names. Once everyone is listed, tap "Add" to add the students display to your class.

Student steps to join an unmanaged class

After you (the teacher) open the invitation screen as directed above, students can join your class. (Students need only do this the first time they join your Apple Classroom class. To do so, they open the iPad Settings app, select Classroom (listed near the top under Bluetooth), then choose your class on the right from the New Class Invitation section. Students will be asked to enter the invitation code to join.

For students using a Mac, the student joins the class by going to System Preferences > Classroom and add click “Add Class name.”


If students do not see Classroom listed near Bluetooth in Settings, make sure the teacher and students have Bluetooth on and are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. (Students do NOT need to install the Classroom app. Installing Classroom will not help.) 

If Bluetooth and Wi-Fi settings appear correct, but Classroom still doesn't show, restart the iPad and try again.  If it still doesn't show, please have both the student and teacher send a screenshot to for assistance. The student should send the Settings screen (like the image above) and the teacher should send what is on the teacher's iPad or Mac while the student was trying to join. It would also be helpful to know if other students were successful in joining during that same time.

Manage Class

See the Classroom User Guide (link at the top of this page) for details on what you can do and how you use the features of Apple's Classroom service.  Ignore the sections on shared iPad devices or logging out students as those do not apply.  You can easily stop controlling student devices and return each iPad or Mac to normal use by using the End Class feature. Also, if a student's iPad or Mac is out of Bluetooth range from your iPad/Mac, the student's device will disconnect from your class session.  Bluetooth range is approximately 100 to 300 feet.

app use monitoring

The app each student is using will be listed while a student is connected to an active Classroom session. In addition, when you use End Class to end the session, you will also get a summary of every app each student used and the amount of time the student used that app during your class session.  

screen view

You can view a students screen only when the student's iPad/Mac is connected to a Classroom session in progress. The first time you attempt to view a student iPad/Mac during a session, the student will be prompted to allow or deny viewing. If a student denies your view request, you will be notified on your device.  If a student approves the view request, the student receives an indication anytime you are monitoring the iPad screen by a blue icon on the top status bar or the entire top status bar turning blue. A similar indication shows on a Mac being viewed.