For the Photon, if there is going to be more than just a couple devices being set up at the same time, the initial setup will probably be an issue. If the devices are new in the box, then it’s important to keep a given device in or at least associated with its original box, since the label will tell you part of what SoftAP SSID the device will be broadcasting when in Listening mode.
IMO for a large-ish number of devices that are simultaneously being set up (or for devices that are not new-in-the-box), in the end it’s easier to just have CLI pre-installed (“class prerequisite”) and have the students do
particle setup (with the added benefit being that they’ll have all of CLI’s wonderful capabilities on hand).
Also, if the students will not be keeping the device they’re using, they should unclaim the device from their Particle account at the end of the class/workshop.
And – connecting devices to any network that hasn’t been tried before can be problematical, so if I ever do another class/workshop, I will have a cellular/wifi hotspot device on hand.
Finally, Photons and WPA/WPA2 Enterprise networks have turned out to be pretty unfriendly with each other, so I would suggest spending no time trying to get that to work.
And after typing that all in, I remembered that RickK wrote up some notes about this: https://github.com/rickkas7/particle_notes/tree/master/classroom-tips