The school environment has changed dramatically over the past decade. Mobile devices are more prolific than ever, with children receiving their first one at an increasingly young age – 10.3 years, on average. Considering the increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in many schools throughout the UK, this directly affects the media and information students are exposed to in the classroom and the schoolyard. As a result, an increasing number of schools are turning to Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology to help create a safe and positive environment for their students to use mobile devices.
In this blog, we’ll outline what Mobile Device Management entails, as well as what features to look out for when assessing MDM for an educational environment.
Key attributes of Mobile Device Management
MDM is, ultimately, a pretty simple concept. It gives IT managers the ability to monitor, manage and secure any mobile devices that are on their company or school network, like smartphones and tablets. Mobile Device Management systems can be used with different service providers, as well as with different operating systems.
There are a wide range of uses for MDM systems – from rolling out updates, monitoring compliance with company or school policies and remotely locking devices, to blocking access to certain online content.
Mobile Device Management and education
When it comes to Mobile Device Management for education, there are a number of features and integrations that make it better suited and more applicable for the classroom. Mobile technology is a double-edged sword in a school environment, as it can both improve and detract from a student’s learning process. As such, Mobile Device Management for education needs to facilitate the positive aspects of mobile technology, like more dynamic lesson tools and applications, while safeguarding against the negative, like unbridled internet access or cyberbullying.
Some of the most important aspects and features of Mobile Device Management for education include:
Classroom device management
Classroom management traditionally involves managing and preventing disruptive behaviour from students. In a world of mobile technology, this extends to preventing disruptive or distractive use of mobile devices in the classroom. Mobile Device Management for education should, therefore, enable teachers to lock, view and share their students’ devices during class time
A great Mobile Device Management system for education should also assist teachers in planning, structuring and executing their class curriculum, as well as provide an interface for assessing and reviewing student performance. With the help of a user-friendly dashboard, teachers and department heads can do just that. This information should also be shared and accessible from multiple devices and accounts, so key educators and decision makers can all be on the same page.
Your MDM should give you complete control over which mobile and tablet applications the students can access during school hours, as well as monitor and analyse such use. This can help teachers control their classroom environment, while giving them the opportunity to incorporate mobile technology into their lesson plans.
In any educational environment, it’s imperative that the students are not exposed to any dangerous or inappropriate web content. Through web filtering, Mobile Device Management software gives you complete control over which areas of the internet can be accessed and allows you to create blacklists and password-protected content. Other safeguarding features can protect against device theft by locking out thieves and location services like geofencing.