As more schools leverage technology to complement curricula, banning personal mobile devices at school is no longer feasible, but implementing strong mobile device management platforms to protect students from inappropriate content at school and thwart any cybersecurity threats the devices may unleash is increasingly imperative, according to EdTech: Focus on K-12.
Strong mobile device management systems will have single sign-on integration, user management, and the ability to push applications on K-12 user devices and monitor devices connected to the network. Some schools use cloud-based services that allow for all capabilities without on-site hardware management.
When selecting MDM platforms, consider whether cloud options are reasonable and whether the platform is easy to use, in addition to ensuring embedded management policies are enforceable and that current applications are compatible with any new technology purchased.
In 2017, nearly 63% of K-12 teachers regularly used technology in the classroom, up from 55% the year prior. But while more devices means a need for more device management, rarely does that mean more IT staff will be hired.
That’s where mobile device management systems come in, as high-functioning automated management systems expand the reach of existing IT teams.
Acero Schools in Chicago, for example, recently launched a management system to help one IT director and five help desk technicians manage the devices of 7,500 students.
Last year, Acero procured Chromebooks, which came with automated asset tracking, preinstalled wireless credentials, and preassigned locations for individual devices. Absolute Mobile Theft Management also allows IT to locate the devices if lost or stolen, lock them down or wipe their information entirely if necessary. The move saved the charter network's IT team time that could then be focused on other issues.
North Carolina’s Mooresville Graded School System also implemented a mobile device management system to oversee its 5,000 mobile devices. The system's IT department was then able to focus more time on projects like overseeing its student-run help desks, which allow students to earn class credits for troubleshooting and repairing devices.