Friday, February 3, 2012

iPad Initiative - Volume Purchase Program

Apple IDs. Check. 
Sync cart. Check.
30 iPads connected. Check.
Synced free apps. Check. 
Now lets spend some district money!

Apple App Volume Purchase Plan
To maximize our small budget we decided to go with Apple's Volume Purchase Plan. Many of the apps in Apple's VPP are sold at a discount. The more you purchase, the more you save. Many apps are up to 50% off! I would love to say that we went in this direction because it was the easier process. However, it's actually a little more involved than just going into the App Store to download and sync. Well, the initial set up is. Here's the low down.
Program Manager
To enroll in the program, I had to identify someone as the VPP (Volume Purchase Plan) Manager. This needed to be someone who would will set up the VPP account for the campus or the district. This person would also submit purchase orders for VPP vouchers. More on the vouchers a little further down. In the end, I decided to take on this role. My goal is to extend our iPad program, if we see positive results, to other campus. With my position as the district technology coach, I felt this was a good idea.
Program Facilitator
The next step was for me, the Program Manager, was to identify a VPP Facilitator. This person would be the one who does all the app purchasing with the VPP vouchers. Everyone I spoke with does this a little different. Some PM designate a person on the campus, others designate someone in the district office. After talking with our team, I was nominated. Lucky me. Once I workout any kinks in the process, this will be moved back down to the campus level.
How it works
With the Volume Purchase Plan, the Program Manager will submit a purchase order to buy a certain dollar amount of Apple VPP Vouchers. These can be purchased in $100 dollar increments. Once they are purchased, these vouchers will be mailed out to the PM in 3-5 business days. The PM then sends those vouchers to the Program Facilitator. The PF will then go to the VPP portal (different from iTunes) to redeem the vouchers and purchase the apps in various quantities. App specific download codes will then be emailed to the PF to begin downloading the purchased apps to the devices. The downloads can be done by the PF, the teacher or the students. It all depends on how you are managing your devices. With our situation, the teachers will be performing all the downloads and syncing.  
That's the Volume Purchase Plan in a nutshell. 

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