How Lewisville ISD manages multiple devices — simply and affordably

Using a program called Absolute Manage has helped the district streamline the deployment and management of thousands of PCs, Macs, and mobile devices

To create a student-centered, project-based learning environment, Lewisville ISD began purchasing iPads and MacBooks to supplement its Windows-based computers.

The Lewisville Independent School District in Texas manages nearly 70,000 computers, laptops, and other mobile devices with a technology staff of fewer than 60 people.

Each technician is responsible for around 1,300 machines, and yet the district is able to deploy new devices, provision eBooks and other digital resources, keep software up to date, monitor compliance with software licensing, and much more—with remarkable efficiency.

A few years ago, Lewisville ISD reorganized its technology team to create a more efficient operation. The district also invested in Absolute Manage, a program from Absolute Software, to help its technology staff provision, track, and manage devices running on a wide range of platforms.

The results have been phenomenal, as Lewisville ISD has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and staff hours on these tasks.

Mark Bulthaup, the leader of Lewisville ISD’s Desktop Management team, explained the district’s keys to success in a recent webinar hosted by eSchool News and sponsored by Absolute Software.

Creating ‘sustainable, scalable processes’

As part of its IT reorganization, Lewisville ISD moved all of its technology staff under the control of the central IT department, no longer hiring and managing these employees separately at each school. This enabled the district to provide a higher, more consistent level of training for its IT staff, Bulthaup said.

The district also expanded its help desk and created a five-member Desktop Management (DM) team, tasked with the remote management of ed-tech devices.

The DM team launched in July 2012 with the goals of standardizing the district’s technology, making it easier to support various devices; ensuring compliance with software licensing and updates; and reducing the need for on-site support.

“We wanted to create sustainable, scalable processes that limited the opportunity for human error,” Bulthaup said. “We also recognized that the more we could do remotely, the less our technicians would have to do in the field.”

But while the DM team was hoping to standardize on a single platform, the district’s instructional team wanted something very different.

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