What do you need to know when selecting a mobile device management (MDM) solution for a school environment? Most of us recognize that learning technology is rarely confined to the classroom anymore – students and teachers expect to take devices with them into the field and the home. This new reality raises problems of access: How can we guarantee that users can tap into the right resources from any network? It also brings up issues of security and content curation: How can we protect students from accidentally downloading malware or finding inappropriate content online, especially while they are unsupervised by teachers or parents? It’s clear that MDM for education solutions need to do a lot more these days than basics like enrolling devices and running updates.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some common questions we’ve encountered from three key groups of stakeholders – IT admins, parents and teachers – and what the answers are when it comes to Jamf’s educational offerings. There are many options available for classroom management software, but Jamf School and its associated apps are designed to address the unique needs of admins along with all different types of end users – starting, of course with the students themselves.
IT admins ask about MDM solutions for schools…
- What kind of training support will we receive for using Jamf School?
- Jamf offers a robust training catalog to get up to speed with our solutions, and for support you can chat with our experts for rapid troubleshooting. It’s also impossible to overstate the level of help that the Jamf Nation community of users provides, with your IT peers worldwide ready to give you a hand.
- Does it support the software I am currently using?
- In all likelihood, yes! Jamf School features numerous integrations to make it work smoothly with the Microsoft and Google ecosystems, and you can find a wealth of third-party integrations in the Jamf Marketplace.
- How do I handle OS upgrades?
- How do I manage device and data security?
- In addition to MDM capabilities that allow you to configure the security settings on devices according to your needs, Jamf also offers a full portfolio of security and identity management tools you can use to increase your overall security posture and control the follow of data.
- Does Jamf offer same-day/day-zero support, and what does that look like?
- Same-day support for new Apple releases is something we offer and plan to keep on offering, so you never need to worry about a lag in your ability to provide new functionality and avoid novel threats.
Parents ask about MDM solutions for education…
- How can I get involved in the education process?
- One great way to take an active role is by downloading the Jamf Parent app, which comes free with Jamf School. The app is available on iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and a web version. In addition to setting content restrictions, parents can use the app to receive notifications when their children enter and leave school.
- How can I keep my kid focused and remove distractions?
- Parents can restrict access to certain apps and sites, either entirely or at certain times of day, to make sure that nothing gets in the way of homework. Jamf Parent also can automatically turn notifications off when a child is walking or cycling, freeing them up to concentrate on their surroundings.
- Do I need additional apps to manage access to games and social media sites?
- No, Jamf Parent does the trick all by itself! You can block unwanted games and social media sites, or limit kids’ usage to certain times of day or amounts of time.
- How is my kid’s privacy maintained?
- In addition to blocking access to potentially harmful sites, parents can use the app to guide and monitor use of communication tools like iMessage and WhatsApp, making them safer for children to use.
Teachers ask about MDM for schools…
- How can I ensure distraction-free learning?
- Knowing that technology can prove to be a major source of distraction for students, we designed the Jamf Teacher app for both Jamf School and Jamf Pro to empower educators in managing their students’ learning processes. It features a combination of classroom tools and device management functions to optimize your teaching experience. You can use the Jamf Educator platform to test-drive it without having to request a trial first.
- How can I block access to inappropriate online content?
- Beyond blocking unwanted websites, you can whitelist only the apps that you want students using in the classroom or during homework hours. You can also disable certain hardware functions such as the camera.
- Can I deliver a seamless distance learning experience like I do in the classroom?
- You can prepare lessons within Jamf Teacher with the apps and web pages that you want students to access. The app also works to complement the Apple Classroom app, so you can get the advantages of both at once.
- Can I easily add apps and content for my students?
- How can we merge Jamf with the Google or Microsoft solutions we are already using?
Technology in and outside of the classroom
Digital transformation can be a painful process, in schools no less than in an enterprise. Just because you know that you should do something doesn’t mean that you know how to go about doing it. But taking a big step like introducing a new MDM solution can become a lot less intimidating if you’re asking the right questions and clearly envisioning the scope of the change that you intend to make. Don’t be afraid to keep searching and questioning until you feel confident that you’re making the right choice!
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