While deploying more than 500 devices can seem like a daunting task, Bob Gendler and James Masciuch figured out a process that eliminates hassle and guarantees success for their school.
Gendler, a self-proclaimed “Apple fanatic” has worked in the IT field ever since graduating, starting as the Laptop Program Coordinator at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in June of 2012.
Masciuch shares Gendler’s passion for IT, and is now the director of technology at St. Andrew’s. He helped plan the school’s 1-to-1 program and is an integral part to its continued success.
In their JNUC session today, the duo discussed their one-touch, automated process that mixes configuration profiles, scripts and policies. They say it doesn’t take a large IT department to handle a 1-to-1 Apple program, and today they proved why.
“Tech doesn’t need to be a hurdle, it should be a tool,” said Masciuch.
And while eliminating their dependency on laptop carts and Citrix made a huge difference, having everyone exist on the same platform was a top benefit, as it fit well into the supportive, innovative culture at St. Andrew’s.
“It’s been an amazing, amazing program! Moving to 1-to-1 has transformed our school, ”said Masciuch.
So what do they do? St. Andrew’s offers 13-inch Apple MacBook Air laptops, along with a case and sleeve to each student. They are on a three-year rotation to match AppleCare. The MacBooks come with Microsoft Office 2016, Adobe Creative Cloud and CrashPlan.
But they didn’t figure out their deployment process over night. In their first year, they learned that USB Ethernet Netbooting is painfully slow. Now, using target disk mode, things are fast. Using thin imaging in Target Disk Mode only takes approximately three minutes per device to install educational apps, settings, AD Binding, printer drivers and scripts. It all takes roughly 10-15 minutes per device.
“There has been an evolution of our imaging system. I thought I was a rock star in year one, imaging 75 Macs in a week. Years three and four are when things really started to rock and roll. I learned about local distribution points. Year five is when things took off and got really fast! 300 machines using a thin image and leveraging Self Service.” Gendler added.
And while Casper Suite helped make their 1-to-1 program a huge success, Gendler and Masciuch reminded attendees it can do so much more, including finding missing laptops and solving crimes.
A child’s house was robbed, the student’s MacBook was stolen. Luckily, the criminal didn't reformat the machine and proceeded to create an account in his own name. The JSS gave us that information and we gave that information to the police – and tracked it down! Thanks Jamf!
In closing, Gendler gave a shout out to the Mac admins community. “I can't stress how important Jamf Nation is to me. I feel like an expert now, and I’ve learnt so much from the online community.”
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