Where learning takes place has changed. Educators and students now convene in person, remotely, and in blended environments. This means classroom device management must evolve as well.
In today’s learning environment, many schools are providing options for blended learning. With this shift, schools have an increased responsibility for keeping devices functioning properly and keeping online environments secure.
With on-premises management solutions, school IT managers physically manage each device on school grounds, periodically collecting student devices to perform updates. These updates can be time consuming and disruptive, so IT professionals in schools around the world are turning to cloud-based solutions to streamline the process.
Many districts, including the Bridgeport, Connecticut school district, found that following Microsoft’s path to cloud management for education helps them efficiently manage, deploy, and secure devices from anywhere.
Jeff Postolowski, Director of Information Technology for the Bridgeport School District, reported that after moving to cloud-based management of the district’s devices, “the IT department has gotten back about 30 percent of its time, which it can now use to enhance curriculum and deliver teacher professional development.”
The cloud management solution from Microsoft Education
Microsoft’s cloud management solution includes the deployment of Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Intune for Education, and School Data Sync.
Let’s take a look at some of the key steps on the path that can help your school or district move from legacy on-premises and hybrid management to cloud-based management.
Maximize teaching and learning
School IT leaders need tools that enable them to deploy devices faster and minimize downtime so teachers and students can focus on what matters most. With cloud-based management, devices are always up to date. They update silently, automatically, and outside of class time, while helping to ensure the latest in security and reliability. Microsoft Intune allows IT to deliver the right apps and policies securely to every student and teacher device. Best of all, the time saved can be used to help teachers make the most of the school’s investments in learning technology.
Simplify deployment and management
Intune for Education also allows devices to be set up and configured remotely with zero touch, eliminating the need for IT to physically interact with the devices. With several options for provisioning, including Windows Autopilot or the Set up School PCs app, getting new devices ready for learning is quick and easy. Azure Active Directory and Intune for Education combined allow IT staff to establish identities and control access to resources across the network, and help ensure that the right users always have access to the right resources. School Data Sync allows system administrators to define classes, groups, and rosters to also be used in Microsoft Teams, and enables automatic deployment of settings and apps to the right user groups.
With these tools working together, schools like those in Shelby County are able to scale up quickly and provide devices and apps to all students.
Build a secure and scalable platform
Moving to cloud-based management with Microsoft provides a secure foundation that allows your school to grow and scale toward the future. Web-based tools enhance device management and enable future upgrades and security and performance improvements.
The ability to apply updates and security patches automatically across all cloud-managed devices, combined with the identity security of Azure Active Directory, empowers districts like the Tustin School District in California to keep students, teachers, and school data secure from cyberattacks.
Ease your path to the cloud
With applications and resources built for education, the process of moving your school or district to cloud management can be simple. Windows, Intune for Education, and Microsoft 365 are designed to work together for a cohesive, comprehensive cloud-based experience. Step-by-step technical setup guides can help IT professionals deploy the system themselves, or the Partner Finder can help identify a deployment expert who serves the education market in your area. You can also engage with both Microsoft experts and IT peers in education through webinars and online forums, and receive 1:1 migration assistance on the Education Insiders Program.
The flexibility that blended education now requires makes cloud-based management the clear choice for education leaders looking for ways to support students at scale across a variety of environments. And in many cases, moving to cloud management is not an additional expense. To learn more about moving to cloud management with Microsoft Education, we encourage you to contact us. If you’d like to begin your journey to cloud management, visit the Path to Cloud Management infographic or take the Microsoft Learn course to get started today.