Deploying digital tablets in schools

4 minutes

Many schools are providing their classes with digital devices in order to facilitate learning methods. However, if tablets are left at the children’s service, they should not be left without a minimum of restrictions.

In order to facilitate the management of mobile devices and to secure their access for students, it is important to implement a MDM tool, which is a centralized management software. But, the managers in charge of these tablets do not obviously know how it works and can therefore find themselves overwhelmed.

These are five steps on how to choose and deploy a MDM software for your classroom in a simple way:

Before thinking about deploying digital tablets in schools, it is important to compare the different MDM solutions that exist on the market and to choose the solution that best suits the needs of your school.

Among the features of a MDM that are most requested by schools, you can find:

  • Kiosk mode: restricting access on the tablets to one or few applications, blocking access to the Play Store, settings, etc.
  • The possibility to configure different groups of tablets. For example, having one third of the tablets set up for the needs of a 1st class, another third for the needs of a 2nd room, etc.
  • Remote control of terminals in case of technical issues
  • Internet filtering system to block access to inappropriate content
  • Technical support included in the solution

There are multiple MDM software available worldwide, but few are adapted to the management of mobile devices for educational institutions. Indeed, some solutions are only focused on managing large mobile fleets for enterprises and therefore offer complex solutions.

Regarding the features listed above, all of them are available on TinyMDM, a mobile device management software perfectly suited for educational purposes. TinyMDM has been working for years with many educational institutions, whether primary schools, colleges, high schools or universities worldwide for the management of their mobile devices.

Once you have chosen the MDM solution, you can set it up before taking the digital tablets out of the box. Based on the configuration of the TinyMDM tool, below are the different steps to follow, to set up your MDM:

1) After creating the account and entering a Gmail address (or a Google Workspace account) to access the different features, it is important to define the different applications that will be approved for the entire school.

2) Then, different policies need to be setted up, depending on the classroom. In each policy, it is possible to create a specific configuration:

  • setting up the kiosk mode, with specific applications
  • setting up internet filtering for students
  • sharing learning documents
  • pre-configuring wifi for classrooms
  • managing the wallpaper and the sleep mode delay

Once the configuration steps have been completed, it is recommended to use the multiple enrollment method. It enables the creation of a generic QR code for all the devices that will be configured the same way, in order to facilitate fleet enrollment.

At the same time, the devices must be taken out of their packaging and turned on. By tapping six times on the first screen that appears, it will open the camera of the devices. This is the moment to take them one by one and scan the QR code displayed on the software screen. Then follow the configuration wizard and repeat this 3rd step for each class.

To simplify as much as possible the enrollment steps, it is possible to use Android ZTE (Zero Touch Enrollment) or KME (Knox Mobile Enrollment). These are simplified enrollment processes, where the configuration is made without touching the device. All you have to do is to buy the device from a compatible KME or ZTE reseller, which will set up the account. KME allows the enrollment of all Android devices and ZTE is dedicated to Samsung devices.

Once the different devices are enrolled, they will automatically be configured according to the settings requested in the 2nd step. The only thing to do is to bring them into classrooms and provide them to the students as part of their learning classes.

To be able to do maintenance on the devices, you can create different managers and grant them specific rights on TinyMDM. A teacher can, for example, be a manager and only have access to the management of his class devices, to push applications or files for example. However, the IT administrator of the school could be considered as a “supermanager” and thus have access to all the devices and settings on TinyMDM account: such as the possibility to remotely take control of a device in order to quickly solve a problem.

Deploying digital tablets in schools

Providing schools with digital tablets is becoming a new priority. In order to avoid any risk of mobiles’ misuses and to allow a simplified and centralized management, the implementation of a MDM software is required.