Digitalization has taken the world by storm. Every industrial sector, healthcare, logistics or retail, has adopted digital technology vastly. The education sector has been the last industry to embrace digital technology after years of skepticism. Much of this transition is credited to the unfortunate covid-19 pandemic.
However, as we emerge in the post-pandemic times, remote learning, online education and digital classrooms are here to stay. Teachers, students, as well as the school administration have experienced the advantages of digital technology which means it is safe to say that traditional blackboard teaching is now history. As students and teachers enjoy the benefits of digital learning, the school administration must consider the challenges that digital education presents.
Up until the recent past, parents discouraged their children from spending too much time on digital devices. The popular belief is that too much exposure to the internet can expose children to inappropriate content and affect them negatively. So how can schools provide an immersive digital learning environment to their students which is also safe? The answer is Mobile Device Management for Education.
How do MDM solutions work?
Mobile device management (MDM) is the process of provisioning an organization’s devices with the relevant tools and resources and security configurations and monitoring them for compliance. There are software available in the market that allows organizations to manage their device fleets with a single comprehensive tool called the MDM solution.
MDM solutions help every industrial sector that relies on mobile devices to drive its remote operations and manage its devices remotely. Modern-day MDM solutions for logistics and education such as Scalefusion are designed to help system administrators of schools and universities secure and keep a track of their students’ devices and ensure proper usage.
Key Reasons Why Schools Need an MDM Solution
It is hard to believe that a single software can help schools manage their school-owned or student-owned BYO-digital devices so granularly. Let’s understand the diverse capabilities that MDM solutions offer to schools.
Implementing MDM solutions for your school can help you to achieve the following:
1. Restrict access to inappropriate online content
One of the biggest risks of providing smartphones, tablets or laptops for education is students being exposed to inappropriate online content. The internet is filled with all kinds of information including profane content. MDM solutions for android & iOS devices help schools to allow or block specific websites on their students’ devices to ensure the prevention of unwanted exposure to harmful web content.
2. Prevent students from falling prey to cyber risks
Another big risk involved with allowing students to use the internet on their digital devices is them falling prey to unwanted cyber-attacks. There are countless cyber threats present on the internet in the form of spyware, adware, viruses, trojans, etc. Children are generally not aware of the internet usage best-practices.
Clicking on a single malicious ad or browsing malicious websites can lead to malware infiltration. This is especially a concern when schools adopt BYOD management and allow their students to use personal devices for learning.
Parents may allow their children to use their own devices for online learning. These devices may have sensitive documents, personal photos, banking details and much more which the hackers can prey on. When schools implement MDM solutions, the lurking cyber threats can be prevented with appropriate browser restrictions.
3. Remotely distribute apps on students’ devices
There are a plethora of learning apps available on the Google PlayStore, Apple App Store or the Windows Business Store. Schools can deliver immersive learning experiences for their students with these apps.
However, provisioning each student’s device individually with a specific set of learning apps can be a consuming task. School IT admins can leverage MDM solutions to push multiple apps on their students’ devices in bulk. This saves a lot of IT time and allows IT admins to distribute apps remotely.
4. Push private educational apps
Some schools may even have their in-house private learning apps. Modern-day MDM solutions allow schools to upload APK files on the dashboard and distribute these private apps on multiple students’ devices with a few easy steps.
5. Device lockdown to minimize distractions
Another great concern that teachers and parents have towards digital education is students being distracted by their smart devices. Students are after all children, and handing smart devices to children may be a huge source of distractions. All the latest smartphones, tablets, and laptops come equipped with a plethora of entertainment apps and features.
Schools must ensure that children use their digital devices strictly for learning purposes and not to play games or watch movies during classroom hours. MDM solutions offer the kiosk lockdown capability which allows schools to lock their students’ devices in a single-app kiosk mode or multi-app kiosk mode.
School IT admins can lock their students’ devices in multiple pre-approved apps to ensure that they do not use any other apps on their devices. Similarly, the single-app kiosk mode can be leveraged during exams to lock the students’ devices to prevent them from cheating on tests.
6. Provide seamless access to learning resources
Schools can simplify the sharing or learning resources and study material with the help of MDM-enabled remote content sharing. Teachers can push assignments, notes, presentations and much more on their students’ devices easily. This proves especially beneficial in remote learning setup.
7. Improve remote collaboration
The pre-pandemic method of education involved students and faculty gathering in classrooms, indulging in interactive learning and socializing. However, keeping up the interactivity and collaboration is challenging with remote learning.
Some MDM solutions offer instant communication capabilities. Teachers can have interactive videoconferences and students can reach out to their teachers instantly, whenever they feel like it. With this, students can get their doubts resolved by their teachers instantly, they can socialize with their friends and much more.
8. Allow device sharing
Whether your school implements digital devices in classrooms, or adopts remote education programs, sharing digital devices between students can be a convenient option. MDM solutions allow school IT admins to create multiple student profiles on a single device. Each student’s profile can be configured with settings and restrictions based on his/her grade.
You can also automate profile switching based on pre-scheduled timings. This way, siblings can use a single digital device for their online classes. Even devices installed in classrooms can be shared by students of various grades. This helps schools cut down on costs involved in purchasing digital devices.
9. Remote troubleshoot device errors
What happens when one of your students faces a technical issue with the device during an ongoing class? MDM solutions help school IT admins reach out to their students and offer instant support. Modern-day MDM solutions offer remote cast & control feature which helps IT admins mirror the students’ device screen and virtually resolve issues. This ensures that your students or teachers do not lose out on crucial classroom time due to device errors.
10. Manage multiple devices remotely
One of the best advantages of implementing an MDM solution for schools is that you can manage multiple devices of diverse types and OS remotely and using a single console. You can have complete visibility of your students’ devices and leverage centralized management of multitudes of devices.
Digital education has taken teaching to new levels. Schools can extend personalized teaching and concept-based learning for students. However, to make the most of this digitalization, schools must implement MDM solutions to help them deliver a safe digital learning experience for children.