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Key considerations when choosing a school MDM

Whether you already have a mobile device fleet in play at your school or you’re considering what to buy, a school MDM solution should be part of your thought process. Mobile Device Management (MDM) is a critical component of any learning institution that uses EdTech with their students.

Why is this? School MDM is the software that you deploy to protect both your students and the devices they work on. Schools then have control over how students use their devices, where those devices can be used and what they can be used for. 

So, how do you go about choosing the right solution? Of course, the cost is a big part of the decision. However, it’s also important to look at exactly what you get for your money. These are the key considerations we believe you should be taking into account:

A one-stop shop or individual school MDM

The first consideration should be what the software covers. Many work for only a specific operating system or a specific type of device. These can often be a lot cheaper than a multi-OS solution, which is great if you only have iPads or only Chromebooks in your school.

On the other hand, if you have a range of different devices in your school’s fleet, it’ll likely be better to get a solution that covers various devices and operating systems. Multi-OS schools and schools that run a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) system will definitely benefit from something like the multi-OS Mobile Guardian Schools solution.

Cloud-based or on-site infrastructure

The infrastructure needed to run your school MDM is another big consideration. There are some solutions that require you to set up servers on the school premises. These will house the software and power it, all the while keeping all of your school and student data stored on your internal network.

The other option is to go for a cloud-based solution. This will save you space and money as you won’t need a designated server room or the hardware to fill it. Additionally, if you go for school MDM from a reputable company, your data will be kept safe behind firewalls when stored on the cloud. You also won’t have to worry about software updates and maintenance because the service provider will be able to remotely monitor the system for you.

Data regulation compliance

Collecting, storing and using personal data is an incredibly important topic in the digital age. It’s doubly important when dealing with the personal information of minors. Your school MDM should be able to help you ensure that you are compliant with the regulations of your region. That’s regulations such as GDPR in the UK and EU, and FERPA in the USA.

Check out the provider’s own Privacy Policy to make sure you know how they collect information, as well as what information they store and why. At Mobile Guardian, we ensure that our solution is compliant with the regulations set out in all of the regions we operate in.

Added extras

Additional features such as web filtering and classroom tools will turn a good product into an incredibly useful school MDM. You get an extra level of protection from Mobile Guardian’s Web Filter as our solution allows for off-site web filtering due to Mobile Guardian filtering devices from the cloud, rather than working through the school’s internal infrastructure.

Classroom management is another excellent addition to a school MDM, giving you far more bang for your buck. Our belief is that monitoring devices shouldn’t just be about checking where the device is being used and how. Providing teachers with Classroom management tools helps them keep their classroom in check and monitor student performance. The two go hand in hand and give teachers far better insight into how their students are performing and where they might be struggling.

Reporting and data analysis is another feature that some may not even think about when comparing solutions. However, this is a great addition. You can see information like current inventory, device activity and network incidents. All enhancing your ability to manage your fleet better.

Finally, look to see if the MDM solutions you’re comparing have anything for parents. They may want to be able to control what their kids are doing online after school and on weekends. Something like the Linked Parental Controls on the Mobile Guardian solution will allow them to set up rules for devices when outside of school.

After-sales support

A school MDM solution is something that you’re going to rely on to keep your students and your devices safe. This means that it needs to work properly and you need to be able to ask the provider questions to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. Take some time to research the companies and their reputation for after-sales support. Additionally, ask the person assisting you with the sale about getting in touch with support and what their company processes are.

The right school MDM for you

With the right school MDM solution deployed, you’ll feel at ease that your devices are being monitored and your students’ activities are safe. You’ll also feel comfortable knowing that you can talk to your provider whenever you have a question.

Ready to start exploring? Book a demo with the Mobile Guardian team and see what our school MDM has to offer you.

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Panashe Goteka

EdTech Advocate and Enthusiast with a penchant for Community Building

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