Intune for Education is helping make fully connected classrooms a reality

A diverse group of students in a classroom, with a quote overlayed: "The transparency from Microsoft and the resources that they provide is fantastic on all levels."

Behind every connected student in every classroom, whether that’s online or in person, there are teams of people working to make the learning experience as seamless as possible for everyone involved.

Joel Parmer, program coordinator for Maryland’s Calvert County Schools and the 16,000 students who learn there, is among such a team. Joel’s job centers on implementing and managing the district’s new technology, and with 9,000 desktop computers and 9,000 laptops to manage he and his team have their work cut out for them. Their decision to use Intune for Education has made the task less daunting than it may sound.

“We spent two years managing laptops prior to Intune, and now that we’re using Intune this is the best year so far,” Joel says.

Part of what has made this year so memorable is that, with Intune, after a device is enrolled administrators don’t have to reconfigure the device to keep it updated whenever they deploy new apps or policies. Tools like this help Joel and others in his position to provide cost-effective and beneficial technology, minus the extraneous costs, time and effort, characterized by typical large-scale technology deployments. Taking this load off means Joel can now make greater leaps towards his long-term vision for the district.

A diverse group of students engaged in class.

“My dream would be to eliminate or minimize our desktop machines,” Joel says. “A device in every student’s hand, whether that’s a tablet, or a touch device in a kindergartner’s hand because they are more art driven, or a laptop for grades three through twelve. My dream is that each student gets a device, and not just a device that is assigned to them, but one that they are actually able to take home.”

For now, though, Joel is able to do great things with the technology available. Despite a limited staff, tracking the status of 9,000 devices from one dashboard means Joel and his team can spend more time training teachers and exploring new options to reach the ultimate goal of 100 per cent one-to-one devices. Plus, Joel says, “deploying these devices was a lot easier because everything is built into Windows 10 and it works natively, so you don’t have any extra software to maintain, which I think is fantastic.”

To learn more, see the full case study on technology’s impact on Calvert County Schools.

Follow us on Twitter @MicrosoftEDU to join the conversation and learn more about the technology and the people supporting connected classrooms.