• MDM for Education: Best features, terminology, and gimmicks explained for school district success

    960 640 Guest Post

    By Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer of Radix Technologies

    Smart devices like laptops, tablets, and interactive whiteboards have become increasingly common in classrooms throughout the UK. However, to handle this additional digital supercharge, schools must also invest in a mobile device management (MDM) tool that can handle the demands of education.

    Schools must manage their changing budgets carefully to ensure they can maintain, repair, and upgrade their EdTech devices as needed. This is a significant burden for small school areas especially, those without a dedicated IT team. Device-as-a-service (DaaS) models have emerged as a strong, however, budget-conscious option.

    Schools can purchase or lease the equipment and software, and a DaaS solution also comes with a managed service package. This provides enormous relief to school districts in need of solutions to manage and secure their devices. Central to the management solution is the provision of reliable MDM for education tech devices.

    Why Do You Need a Robust MDM for Education Solution?

    All schools that use educational technology devices need a robust platform that can help bring order to their fleet of smart devices. This is true whether you have a DaaS agreement or an internal IT team that can take care of device maintenance and updates.

    Freeware throw-ins from vendors might address the basic MDM requirements of specific devices. But in many cases, these only cause more unnecessary work for IT staff. And if the school doesn’t have dedicated IT support, the freeware can become a headache for officials.

    Schools use their digital devices every day, so it’s important that they stay updated and work properly. That’s why school administrators should consider investing in a complete mobile device management platform. The chosen MDM should provide all the necessary services to keep the school’s entire education device fleet working optimally.

    What MDM Features Are the Most Important?

    Chief among the desired features is remote connectivity via cloud services. Performing maintenance tasks through manual methods can take hours for each device. Schools also have to deploy IT staff to individual schools to perform these services. Even if cost isn’t a problem, this type of servicing can take up a lot of time and effort.

    Instead, a good MDM solution should perform service tasks by remotely connecting to school devices. Once the connection is secured, admins can wirelessly deliver important updates, install apps and fixes, or transfer documents quickly. Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) ensure that connections remain secure, encrypted, and redundant.

    Another must-have MDM feature is device-agnostic capability. Districts won’t necessarily acquire their entire fleet from a single vendor. Plus, many schools now use a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that lets students connect to the network on their personal devices. So, it’s important to secure a robust MDM solution that will work for all education devices, regardless of the brand or operating system.

    At the same time, data privacy remains an important consideration, especially when it comes to student information.

    Your chosen MDM should help manage access levels and block unauthorised users from accessing certain information. It should also have a system in place that assigns access levels based on individual use cases.

    What MDM Options May Be Unnecessary (or Gimmicks)?

    For school districts on a tight budget, it’s important to only pay for what they need. Don’t buy into unnecessary or gimmicky features that don’t serve a valuable purpose. For instance, you can pass on options for white labels, which let schools brand the user interface and other system screens with their colours or logos. A simple desktop wallpaper and screen saver do just as well.

    Another gimmick that doesn’t really work for schools is tiered services, even if it might look like the cheaper option. Again, a school’s digital devices get used every day. MDM platforms that only provide basic services or limit the number of devices can’t keep up with the workload of education. You’ll have to upgrade, which means added costs and wasted time. So, when you secure an MDM solution, make sure all the needed features are available and active at the set price point.

    Differing override controls are also an existing problem with some MDMs. When your device manager allows certain officials to override set rules, this defeats the whole purpose of device management. Having this option readily available can be a potential problem for IT administrators everywhere.

    The Right MDM Better Performance for Your Education Device Fleet

    As you consider a smart device fleet investment for your school district, know that money talks in a loud voice. The budget—or lack thereof—can determine the quantity and quality of the devices you’ll acquire for your schools and students. Thankfully, a DaaS solution helps school districts provide excellent classroom experiences without running into budget deficits.

    Whether you acquire smart devices directly or go the DaaS route, schools must also invest in an MDM platform suited for an educational environment. Without a proper device management platform, your devices are at risk for unauthorised or unproductive use and unsecured connections.

    The right device manager maintains, manages, and secures all devices in your fleet, regardless of brand or operating system. Strict controls prevent unauthorised users from logging in. More importantly, they also prevent registered users from accessing areas outside their permission levels.

    School administrators must make smart choices when they invest in digital devices. This includes securing a reliable MDM platform. With the right device manager in place, schools will see a higher and faster return on their EdTech investments.

    Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash


    Guest Post

    All stories by: Guest Post

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.