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10 school solutions for mobile device management

Bring Your Own Device initiatives just got a whole lot easier for schools


Schools usually never do anything on a small scale, and that includes the recent boom in “bring your own device” (BYOD) initiatives. From smartphones to tablets and iPads, mobile device management (MDM) has never been more vital for a successful school BYOD program. However, choosing a mobile device management solution can be a daunting task, especially in light of already-strained school IT resources and limited administrator knowledge beyond what device to implement.

That’s why the editors of eSchool News have hand-picked 10 school solutions for mobile device management, based on scope of the solution, how well the vendor incorporates school-specific needs, and industry reputation.

How does your school or district manage mobile devices? Have you heard of, or are you currently using, any of these device management solutions? Know of any others not on the list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section!

(Next page: Mobile device management solutions)

[Listed in alphabetical order]

1. Absolute Software: Absolute Manage, with a special component called Manage MDM. Absolute Manage allows schools and districts to persistently manage and secure all of their endpoints from a single console, including PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. IT can replace multiple systems with a single solution so they can determine the status of each device, conduct typical IT maintenance routines, manage student devices, and take immediate action if required.

Case studies: “Prince George’s County Public Schools Manages all Devices with Absolute Software” and “Charles County Public Schools Reduces Theft and Improves Asset Management Accuracy.

Watch Absolute Manage MDM’s demo

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2. AirWatch: With AirWatch, track all mobile assets across your institution, configure policies and settings, distribute apps, and secure access to school networks and resources all through the web-based console. AirWatch allows IT administrators to ensure devices are compliant with school policies and monitor violations in real time. Features include a focus on education with education discounts available, multi-tenant architecture, Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) integration, secure locker content, and many more education-related features.

Case study: “McAllen ISD – Setting the Bar for Today’s Modern Classroom.

AirWatch demo for Apple Integrator (AirWatch works with all non-Apple devices, as well):

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3. Amtel: When schools manage mobile phones and tablets with Amtel’s mobile device management (MDM) solution, features include:

  • Mobile Device Security, Mobile Apps Management, & Mobile Content Management
  • An organically developed modular platform. Modules include cloud-based rapid deployment, BYOD and self-enrollment, security policy management, mobile email, mobile app management, secure content sharing, geofencing security, enterprise app store, Apple configurator remote management, emergency notification services, and lost device and GPS location tracking.
  • Access control and security management
  • Comprehensive mobile app and content management
  • A secure private cloud with SSAE 16 Type II compliance
  • Efficient mobile device management of both corporate-liable and BYOD
  • Coordination across Apple iOS, Mac OS X, Android, Blackberry, Symbian & Windows devices, including mobile phones, smart phones and tablets – even MacBook, iMac, & Mac mini.
  • Human support customer service

Case study: “Amtel Preps Charter School for Mobile Revolution.

Amtel’s MDM in three easy steps:

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4. AT&T: With Mobile Device Management from AT&T, schools can customize a solution that allows them to manage a disparate array of devices across carriers and operating systems, keep devices up-to-date and highly secure, manage internal and approved third party apps, and remotely turn off applications or device features that can be a distraction in the classroom.

Case study: “Mobile device management gives Kershaw County Schools the control to run an iPad initiative.”

AT&T Toggle demo for BYOD:

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5. Avaya: Avaya offers schools a mobile device management solution through their DevConnect program called MobileIron. MobileIron offers an MDM solution to secure mobile devices and applications; create a district- or institution-level marketplace that includes preconfigured apps for students, teachers, faculty and staff; and police access to approved apps as well as monitor violations. In addition, if a school district- or institution-owned and managed device is lost or stolen, the solution can be used to wipe all private information from the device.

Learn more:

Overview of MobileIron philosophy:

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6. Jamf: Jamf Pro (formerly Casper Suite). is the only complete management software developed exclusively for the Apple platform, according to Jamf. Jamf Pro includes all the tools to image new Macs, inventory Apple computers and iOS devices, track software licensing and usage, automate software updates, deploy new software, manage settings, provide remote support and much more.

K-12 case studies:

Classroom management with Casper:

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7. Kaseya: Kaseya’s K-12 Education Bundle provides IT Systems Management software. Kaseya provides special pricing for the education K-12 market, and includes features such as:

  • Discovery, Audit & Inventory
  • Remote Control & Management
  • Software Deployment & Agent Scripting
  • Patch Management
  • Directory Services Integration
  • Endpoint and Network Monitoring
  • ITIL Compliant Service Desk
  • Imaging & Deployment
  • Power Management & Desktop Policy
  • Desktop Migration
  • Education IT Service Delivery Kit
  • Scripts & Monitor Sets
  • Configuration Templates
  • Advanced Basics training with Kaseya Professional Services
  • Post implementation checkup (after 30-days)

Case studies: “Kaseya Enables K-12 Education Classroom Technology For Colorado School District” and “Kaseya Helps Rural School District Remotely Manage Distributed Machines.

Kaseya’s MDM tutorial:

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8. Sprint: Wireless Campus Manager. Thanks to a partnership with Manage Mobility, Sprint’s Wireless Campus manager provides mobile device management, as well as policy development, a procurement system with approval controls, safety/filtering for CIPA compliance, a collaborative learning platform (LMS), device staging and imaging, asset management, RMA support, and usage monitoring (Sprint Only) and POC Helpdesk.

White paper: “Making K-12 Mobile Learning Affordable and Easy to Implement.”

9. SOTI: SOTI’s MobiControl for Education allows schools not only to manage their mobile assets, but also to ensure the acceptable use of mobile technology in the classroom—whether it’s a school-issued or student owned tablet, smart phone, or laptop. Features include:

  • Full MDM capability, including remote device lock and wipe, silent app installation, and password enforcement
  • Remote Control enables true one-to-one interaction between teacher and students
  • Geo-fencing for location-aware services on the device
  • Web Filtering ensures CIPA compliance and promotes a focused learning experience for students
  • Kiosk Mode for primary learners and special education
  • Content Library for managing classroom content
  • Classroom App Catalog manages commercial and school-created applications on the device

Case studies: “East Orange High School” and “Westbury Schools.

SOTI’s MobiControl demo:

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10. TabPilot: TabPilot is a cloud-based management system that puts teachers in control of entire sets of classroom tablets. Teachers choose from thousands of apps available on the Android platform, and students see only the apps configured by their teacher and are locked out of system settings. The TabPilot Control Tower is the cloud-based interface where teachers configure the apps, web links, and settings to be used on a set of tablets. Launch & Lock provides the tablet interface where students launch teacher-selected apps, while being locked out of settings and other apps. TabPilot FocalPoint Secure Browser is a locked-down browser system for Android tablets. Teachers use a cloud-based control panel to enter allowable web sites then send those choices wirelessly to student tablets.

TabPilot overview for teachers:

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