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Tools such as Microsoft Intune for Education streamline classroom device management for more meaningful learning experiences and fewer headaches for IT

As schools and districts grow, so do their technology needs. This is why it is critical to factor in the need for more extensive management and automation solutions when purchasing a fleet of devices for students, educators, and administrators. This simple consideration will have a direct impact on the total cost of ownership of a deployment.

The fact is that a school district with hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of devices, also has an incredible number of management tasks that must be accomplished to ensure seamless learning. And the more that you can automate and scale the process, the more efficient it is for school IT. But—most importantly—automated management translates into greater uptime and stability for the students, teachers, and other end users.

Many districts have made significant investments in back-end systems that allow them to install software, security updates, and perform other management functions remotely or across a district very quickly. Tablets designed primarily for consumer use—such as iPad and Android tablets—typically have limited management capabilities built in and require new investments. Where management solutions do exist for these consumer tablets, they are relatively immature and can require significant time for teachers to implement on an ongoing basis.

To Protect and Serve

When updates are not applied regularly, devices can become unstable and the security of data on the device and data passed through a browser, such as usernames and passwords, can become vulnerable. While this has always proved to be a headache for school IT, remote and hybrid learning scenarios make cybersecurity issues even more fraught and complex.

Successful school technology programs have strategies in place to help with classroom management of different devices and activities, alleviating IT backlog and making the most of their valuable time. With Microsoft education tools and free resources that help educators prepare, teach, assess, track, and analyze, educators have more time to focus on what's most important: their students.

Management hinges on the device itself. Windows devices utilize a mix of native and 3rd party tools from a well-developed ecosystem of vendors. In terms of tablets, other tablet OSs may require specific operating systems with a less robust native toolset for management plus a 3rd party mobile device management subscription. They also have less flexibility in managing the user rights or capabilities the user of the device has because no user profiles are possible. They may also require the classroom teacher to become a central part of managing devices, installing software and OS updates.

In Tune with the Needs of Education

Intune for Education enables teachers and students to be productive while helping to protect the school's data. Intune for Education is powered by Microsoft’s Intune service, a cloud-based enterprise mobility management service.

According to a Forrester TEI study, the typical time to fully configure a device was reduced by 2.5 hours using Microsoft’s Intune for Education, an 84%-time savings. With Intune for Education and other automation tools built into Microsoft 365, the time to set up devices is much faster. End-user security is also much better than their previous, on-premises solution, reducing security remediation efforts.

Intune for Education offers age-appropriate apps that can be installed on student devices remotely and work with a variety of devices and operating systems.

School and district IT can manage their entire fleet with Intune for Education including deploying software and pushing security policies. Intune allows IT to run a single deployment configuration using one master image to every computer that they have organization-wide, often cutting deployment time from months down to weeks.

A Teams Effort

Microsoft Teams for Education is another great tool to help streamline classroom management, providing a digital hub that makes educators' administrative and classroom tasks more efficient, saving teachers time and teaching students future-ready skills.

Then there’s Windows 11 SE: a cloud-first Windows edition designed for K-8 education to complement Windows 11 offerings. Windows 11 SE offers the power of Windows 11 with simplified experiences and curated apps on affordable devices that are built for education, prioritizing student privacy and modern management. Students cannot install or uninstall applications on Windows 11 SE devices.

Lastly, Cloud Management allows schools to deploy devices, apps, and policies while saving time and resources. With Microsoft's Cloud Management Solutions—comprised of Intune for Education, School Data Sync, Autopilot, and the Set up School PCs app—customers can set up a classroom in under an hour and easily manage devices, users, and apps.

As educators increasingly integrate technology into their classrooms, it is becoming more important than ever to streamline tools into a single platform that makes learning more accessible for all. Microsoft education solutions can result in faster logins and minimal downtime with web-based management designed for learning environments, helping to streamline learning in the classroom, while school IT can better protect student data, safeguard schools from cyberattacks, and take advantage of cloud management innovations.

Schools used Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds received in 2020 to accelerate learning, often purchasing devices. Years later, districts are refreshing the devices that were initially purchased. Help schools and districts to quickly deploy apps to users and apply device settings that create a great classroom experience with Windows 11 devices featuring Microsoft manageability solutions such as Intune for Education. With Intune for Education, IT admin can set up a classroom in under an hour and easily manage devices, users, and apps.