When considering a mobile device management solution, some of our customers tend to solely focus on the particular issues they need to overcome. This is fully understandable, however, this approach can result in overlooking some of our features that might not be considered useful in the particular context at hand.
The technical thinking of IT Administrators, for example, results in an approach to problems from a thorough, in-depth and analytical perspective. This approach to matters oftentimes results in overlooking the impact a set of features could have on their workload beyond the circumstance under consideration.
As such, we spoke to our support team about this occurrence and found three things that IT admins we have worked with tend to overlook or might not be familiar with at all.
3 Important Features for Mobile Device Management
- Adding of School Hours
- Baseline & Conditional Profiles
- Pushing Applications to Devices
1. Adding of School Hours
This sounds like an easy and quite possibly unimportant feature. However, this feature is very important and is the base for your teachers and their classes in Mobile Guardian’s device management solution.
If school hours are not set, your teacher will not be able to start their classes and students will not be able to gain from their expertise.
To do this the admin would need to set up a schedule and would only really need to do this once as school hours stay the same majority of the time.
Here is our guide on how to set it up.
2. Baseline & Conditional Profiles: Geofencing & Time-based Restrictions
A fundamental aspect of mobile device management are the settings and rules that are applied to devices, in some instances, during particular hours of the day, or depending on the location of the device.
Mobile Guardian has a unique way of applying these rules, and that is through our Profiles.
Profiles can be a tricky feature to understand or implement, but with a bit more context, you’ll see that it does not have to be. Schools can rely on profiles to restrict devices and students from accessing content or information they have deemed inappropriate for their students.
Firstly, you should understand that we have two types of Profiles, as well as three groupings of profiles.
Baseline Profiles and Conditional Profiles.
Baseline Profiles are the foundation of it all. This Profile type sets the minimum requirements of rules and accessible content for devices.
If a device is enrolled into the schools MDM, then the baseline profile will apply to the device.
Generally, when we set up a school on our solution, they’ll establish what content the students can and cannot access throughout the school, and then this will be included in the baseline.
But then what about more nuanced or unique situations you might ask?
This is where Conditional Profiles enter.
Conditional Profiles are for particular or unique scenarios that are often a duplicate of the Baseline profile, to ensure adherence to the expected requirements, and then slightly adjusted to suit the particular use case at hand.
By this, I mean settings and restrictions that would be suitable for individual classes or grades.
As you may see now, everything starts with the Baseline profile, and a Conditional profile is simply a copy of the baseline, and then adjusted slightly to suit the particular use case at hand.
For example, schools can have different restrictions for different grades, and thus a unique Conditional Profile can be created for each grade.
As Conditional Profiles are a copy of the Baseline Profile, with a few nuances added to it, there is the peace of mind that the Baseline they have setup will capture anything that falls under the acceptable device usage policy of the school, while focusing on the unique instance for the Conditional Profile.
Then, we have Profile Groupings. With Mobile Guardian you have three Profile Groupings; The School, Classroom and Parent Profiles.
Within each of these you have the ability to set Profiles for different devices, grades, classes and as a parent, you are able to set restrictions on your child’s device while it is at home too.
School Profiles are made-up by the two Profile types essentially, the Baseline Profile and Conditional Profile. As mentioned, the Baseline Profile is exactly that, a baseline. Remember, it automatically applies to all devices which are not on any Conditional Profile.
Think of the Baseline Profile as a Profile to govern all devices in a school without having any custom setup in place. Remember that it is best practice to use a Baseline Profile as the foundation for device management in a school.
Think of Conditional Profiles as the force of customised restriction. Admins can create them for specific groups of devices that are to access particular content, whether at a school, grade, class or subset of specific device level.
Here, the Teacher is in charge. Classroom Profiles allow for teachers to set restrictions for their classes.
Each class is different with unique requirements, as it should be. The teacher will need to set up each of their class restrictions prior to the class, and when the class begins they can be assured of a perfectly structured learning environment.
Another way of creating unique class restrictions, Teachers can use Modes in their classroom, which will allow them to create focused learning environments with restrictions that may be used over multiple classes
Parents get in on the action after school hours too. By being able to set up profiles for the home, Parents are able to set restrictions for their child’s device and monitor their activities outside of school hours.
The setup of these restrictions are easy for parents to understand and do, and provide a great deal of assurance for parents of how their child is using their device.
3. Pushing Applications to Devices
Pushing applications to devices is a more complicated process than the above features. The process requires more focus and understanding.
However, some key things to remember here is that each OS and device is different and has a unique set up for this feature to work successfully.
To push applications automatically to iOS devices, you will need a VPP licence and this needs to be added to the school before you can start.
Once set up correctly, it is just a matter of setting up the settings of the application on the dashboard and you are ready to go!
To get the best out of your Android environment, you will need to be able to approve applications on your Google Admin Console.
Once set up, and the preferred applications are set, you will then be able to set the application settings on the Mobile Guardian Dashboard and all will be good to go.
Keep in mind, however, that updates will need to be installed through the play store.
To install applications on Chromebooks through Mobile Guardian, you will have to set the application to self Install.
In this case, the student will be able to access the application through the My Catalogue tab on their Mobile Guardian Application which will activate the installation.
In order to add extensions yourself, you will need to have access to your Google Admin Console where you’ll be able to set the applications.
Ever Developing Device Management
I hope you found this article to be of use, and that it shined some light onto the wonders of mobile device management.
The landscape of EdTech is ever evolving, and there are constantly new and exciting developments in the world of mobile device management.
We’re constantly working to stay ahead of the curve and offer incredible support to Mobile Guardian users around the world.
Let us know your thoughts on what is keeping you preoccupied with Mobile Device Management as an admin, and we can look to shed some light on the matter in the next blog post.
If you are having specific trouble with the schools you are managing, then feel free to message our expert support team to assist.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Team Mobile Guardian