Jamf Blog
October 20, 2021 by Haddayr Copley-Woods

Break in case of emergency: leveraging Jamf to meet every educational need

Brian Messinger, an Apple Distinguished Educator and coordinator of classroom instructional technology and student achievement in the Sewanhaka Central High School District on Long Island, NY, talks about how one district continues to use the power of Jamf to break down barriers while ensuring constant and equal access to all learners -- and the surprising result of a global pandemic.

Jamf: a powerful ally in remote learning

In this JNUC 2021 session, Messinger discusses the journey his district has taken over the last few very eventful years in successfully educating all of their students through remote, hybrid, and in-person classroom experiences and how Jamf has supported them along the way.

The Sewanhaka Central High School District

The Sewanhaka Central High School District consists of five Junior-Senior high schools from grades 7-12. They serve 8400 students in this first-ring suburb of New York City and support four distinct communities.

Their 1:1 iPad program supplies each student with an iPad (refreshed in grade 10) and each teacher an iPad and Mac computer. This program is designed to enhance professional learning, drive digital innovation and encourage creativity, consisting of more than 12,000 Apple devices. They will soon be a 99.9% Apple district, including clerical staff.

The school district’s timeline: classroom management in a changing landscape

March 2020-June 2020: 64 Days of remote learning

After being ordered to close schools, the district was in a good position to offer high-quality education due to its existing digital program. They boarded the Innovation Express:

  • Using Google Meet and Classroom for all classes
  • Replacing traditional multiple-choice exams
  • Beginning digital choice project-based assessments

Their biggest challenge: how to support 10,000 people in 7,000 locations! Jamf was the driving force behind their ability to do this. They are so successful with Jamf that they take it for granted that they are able to move quickly, at scale, and with specificity whenever anyone had a need.

September 2020-June 2021: hybrid learning

At this time, the district had half of their students at home on any given day and half in school to allow for social distancing.

Hybrid proved to make classroom management even more difficult than fully remote learning for teachers: figuring out how to serve the needs of the students in front of them as well as in their homes simultaneously was quite a task. They succeeded by keeping a focus on creativity, on student-driven research and creation and by providing students what they needed digitally to explore and discover.

Messinger provided multiple examples of how Jamf allowed the district to turn on a dime, including GeoGebra math exams and AP exams. AP exams during this time meant that the district needed 200 MacBooks in a hurry for remote, full-length exams that had to be on computers instead of iPads: Jamf Pro aided them in configuring and deploying these devices in an easy package for students delivered to their homes.

Summer 2021: Summer Enrichment Camp

Messinger received a last-minute request for 700 iPads, fully loaded and configured, two months earlier than he’d expected, for a summer enrichment camp meant as a response to the pandemic's difficulties. "Sure!" said Messinger, "No problem, with Jamf".

This allowed students to learn coding, robotics and other creative activities all summer, preparing them for entering the district in Grade 7.

September 2021-Present: Welcome Back! How the pandemic spurred educational innovation

Messinger believes that their district has fast-forwarded 5-10 years in just one year. Being forced to innovate so quickly has been, in the long term, a boon for the district’s technology goals.

Looking ahead at student engagement with Jamf

The district’s goal is to eventually become 100% digital: using technology to create, discover, and answer challenges. New teachers joining the district are expected to teach in new ways, allowing technology and innovation to take the lead in engaging students rather than lectures.

“We have learned, under the worst of circumstances,” says Messinger, “how to be better educators.”

See how Jamf Pro can help your school or district.

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