How Businesses Can Learn from Mobile Device Management in the Education Sector
The education sector is more technologically advanced than you may think. As technology has evolved, so have the ways we use it for educational benefit. What started as one computer room in every school has turned into iPads or tablets for every student, and educators have quickly learned how to harness technology to enhance education. Because of the education sector’s vast knowledge and experience with mobile device distribution, we believe businesses can learn a lot from the education sector when implementing their own mobile device system.
Back in 2007, smartphones were starting to increase in popularity and were becoming widely used by students in their leisure time. However, they were not accepted as a classroom learning device until the iPad was launched in 2010. Almost a decade on, interactive mobile apps have become central to classroom learning. Teachers can give children better opportunities to learn, whilst also developing a myriad of different educational techniques using a wide variety of low-cost apps. With the education sector working with mobile devices for what seems like forever, why is it that only 46% of businesses are even in the research phase of their mobile device implementation?
With its reputation as one of the ‘top 50 most improved specialist schools’ throughout the UK, along with its position as one of 12 outstanding schools serving disadvantaged communities (by Ofsted* 2009), Harton Academy in Tyne and Wear needed a simple solution to mobile deployment as well as an effective and safe storage solution, where their devices were protected from theft.
The school, which had been using a large number of laptop trolleys for several years, had a goal to make devices as accessible as possible to all students, whilst retaining total control over security and safety of devices, protecting them from theft and damage. They were attracted to the FUYL Tower by LocknCharge due to its innovative design. Because it is free-standing, it could be left in view of students in open areas, where they could then collect devices independently or charge and store their own devices safely.
Where the school was clever in their roll out of devices was in the detail. With different areas within the school that had slightly different needs and requirements, they opted to choose a variety of different storage units for different spaces. The Putnam 16 was chosen for the music department, where iPads are used to display sheet music to students and as screens for some MIDI keyboards. Prior to the Putnam 16, iPads would have to be left plugged into expensive keyboards and left with the power on overnight in order to charge. This posed a big security risk as they were constantly out on show. After a few attempted break-ins at the school, staff became concerned for these vulnerable machines. The iPads can now be locked away every night.
In comparison, an iQ 10 Charging Station was chosen for the PE department, as iPads are used there for registering students on the school management information system (SIMS) when in the gyms or changing rooms, away from desktop machines. They can also be used in lessons as an interactive tool, for example to show students the ideal way to do a long jump, record a student’s attempt and then play this back, show the students their mistakes and allow them to rectify them. The charging station is kept in a lockable store cupboard, to be out of sight and deter thieves.
With businesses having unique requirements just like schools, the deployment model that suits each individual business needs to be carefully tailored. As is the case with The Erie County Medical Centre, USA, who recognised their staff needed full training on mobile devices, and ensured this happened before rolling out their deployment. Many of the healthcare providers at Erie had never used an iPad before, so the IT Team began a weekly training programme in June of 2018, three months before the programme went live. They covered training for the use of the iPads, the software, the FUYL Towers and the new workflow. By September, when their staff had the devices in-hand, they were fully prepared for (and even excited about!) the mobile device programme. The Network Team (IT Team) immediately embraced the plan and found the FUYL Towers very easy to use and manage.
So what pointers do businesses take from the education sector? They should ensure that:
- They have set up a streamlined workflow for their devices in advance of the mobile device rollout.
- They use centralised areas to charge, store and secure their mobile devices by implementing deployment solutions from by trusted companies like LocknCharge.
- They distribute and collect devices daily/weekly in an organised fashion and are able to detect issues with the devices, fixing them quickly.
- They have improved communication throughout their institution (between teachers, students and parents) through the use of devices and apps.
- They have a diverse group of decision makers at the table when making tech decisions so that all opinions are understood and heard.
- They sync information or apps to devices with syncing stations and/or MDM software.
To learn how your business can draw level with the education sector, contact us today!