K-12 Endpoint Management Best Practices

As a new school year begins, implementing these endpoint management best practices for K-12 is more crucial than ever.

As we head into a new school year, school districts face the complexity of re-deploying 1:1 devices, integrating new device types and operating systems, and supporting new learning initiatives for the year. Managing growing and complex device assortments can be difficult and time-consuming, with more than 75% of IT time spent responding to technical problems, leaving little time to focus on technology integration.

Today’s K-12 device landscape is rarely a single platform. Impacted by device refresh cycles, low-bidder purchases, learning goals, and the introduction of new initiatives and funding, many school systems manage a complex assortment of devices including MacBooks, iPads, Chromebooks, and Windows devices.

In order to effectively manage device types, endpoint counts, and operating systems, IT staff can leverage a multi-platform endpoint management solution to manage all devices from a single, customizable console.

Device Imaging & Deployment

Whether it’s traditional imaging or a zero-touch deployment, provisioning devices in a fast, efficient, standardized way ensures they are ready to use on day one, whether you have only a handful of devices or are managing a fleet of thousands.

Collierville School District supports a 1:1 program that includes 14,000 iOS and macOS devices to support its fast-growing district, which currently includes 9 schools and 9,000 students. Collierville Schools leverages FileWave to simplify deployment and management, including the management of Apple’s zero-touch device enrollment program (DEP). Devices are assigned to students for a three-year cycle with devices being collected and re-imaged each Summer as the district regularly reviews and incorporates new technology and applications.

Although devices can be managed remotely with FileWave, this yearly touchpoint allows for regular inspection of the device and its peripherals and an opportunity to refresh devices following a four-year device lifecycle. From an IT perspective, FileWave provides a streamlined way to track devices that may be missing during collection, to image devices, and to manage the grade-by-grade distribution of devices each year.

“Technology is changing every single day. Just keeping up with what’s happening, what’s new, what’s going to be implemented, is always a challenge,” notes Marjorie Kagoo, Collierville’s Technology Support Supervisor, “We couldn’t do what we are doing to support our students if we did not have FileWave.”

Smarter Software Management

IT Staff need a way to package and push applications to the right devices at the right time, ensuring compatibility and enforcing settings for compliance. Effective K-12 software management includes the ability to:

Centrally manage application purchasing

through programs such as Apple VPP or Microsoft’s Volume Licensing, with the ability to monitor if licenses are underutilized or are running low.

Target software and licenses

to only those user groups that need it, which often means targeting distribution by grade, school, or classroom with the ability to revoke and reassign licenses as needed.

Keep critical applications in place

with self-healing, which is key for security applications as well as state testing applications.

Target patches to applications and operating systems

with compliance reporting to prove patches have been applied. Push patches automatically upon check-in or on-demand in the case of an urgent threat.

Block settings

including the installation of new devices or the enforcement of content and privacy standards on the web.

FileWave makes it easy for Marjorie Kagoo’s team at Collierville to deploy new software, as well as restrict the ability for students to add non-approved apps or games to their devices that could distract from learning. All applications are managed centrally by a committee, being deployed to devices by school, grade, or classroom, which is made possible with FileWave’s Custom Fields and Smart Groups.

Device Tracking & Reporting

School Districts face strict standards when it comes to maintaining the privacy and security of student information, particularly when 1:1 devices move outside the school network. Complex device environments often lead to visibility gaps, which can be closed with a multi-platform endpoint management platform.

A multi-platform endpoint management solution such as FileWave simplify your IT asset monitoring, including:

Unified Inventory

Easily find, track, manage, and report on devices, users, and applications.

Simple Reporting

Dashboard provides at-a-glance information about critical systems and services. Create reports as needed based on smart groups and queries, such as checking on the last known location of a single device, or group of devices, or running a report on.

Customize Inventory

Take ultimate control over what data you collect from managed devices.

Automated Alerts

If anything goes wrong, customizable alert notifications can be configured to automatically email the appropriate person(s) of status changes – keeping an eye on things 24/7, so that you don’t have to.

Privacy Settings

Device and global privacy settings provide flexibility and complete control as to which devices are tracked, ensuring privacy guidelines are met.

“With FileWave in the picture, we have the ability to manage our devices instantly.”

FileWave’s multi-platform solution makes it easy to deploy, track, manage, and report on devices across multiple platforms; to manage software licenses; and to help maintain compliance with children’s privacy and security regulations.

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