Managing iPads in the DET environment. Whether you're a tiny regional school with 5 iPads or you're a K-12, secondary or Uni with hundreds, the DET are now pushing for all schools to manage their iPads centrally. Management of your iPads no longer needs to be done using Apple Configurator or done manually. All iPads have the ability to be centrally managed - from any computer any time. From changing the lock screen image to sending Apps and features at a moments notice to some or all iPads simultaneously - finding lost iPads, locking them down and basically anything you can think of can all be done remotely.
So, how does it work? Firstly, when you buy new iPads they are assigned to your own Apple Schools Manager account. Most Schools will already have this, ( especially if they're already being managed by us for example ), those that don't will have been contacted by the DET to get this set up, so next time you buy iPads from them, they are 'assigned' to your Schools Manager Account. And this is where the magic happens.
Automatic Configuration of your iPads
Now that your new iPads are assigned to your School in Schools Manager, you have control of them. 2 parts of the 'ownership triangle' are complete. You purchase the iPads, they're assigned to you and connected to Apple. The next bit here, and this is where the magic happens, is within Schools Manager. Heres, we 'assign' those iPads to your chosen Mobile Device Management solution - or MDM. Chosing your MDM completes the 'ownership triangle'. There are a few available that Schools have chosen to use such as Airwatch, jamF, Meraki - but by far, Zuludesk is the favourite as it's the only solution that was designed solely for Education. Each of these MDM solutions gives you a 'dashboard' from which you can visually manage your iPads from a single interface. These interfaces are what's called 'platform agnostic' - put simply, you can use pretty much any device to access your 'dashboard' and manage your iPads - Mac, PC, Linux etc.
The DET and jamF Pro MDM
Recently there has been a lot of movement in iPad management in relatio to how the DEt would like you to manage them. We've been doing this jobs for years - now the DET are moving to centralise things with Apple. Already, your iPad purchases from the DET are coming with jamF Pro licenses. The DET are also contacting Schools to get you set up with a jamF Pro dashboard which is why they're asking for your Schools Manager account details. All Schools are free to trial jamF to see if they would prefer to use it. Using any MDM is a simple case of switching to whichever MDM you prefer in Schools Manager and then of course, haivng that MDM comprehensively set up before switching to allow for a seemless transition.
Do Island I.T. Support jamF Pro and jamF School?
Yes. If you prefer to have us manage your jamF Pro, should you choose to use it, we're happy to do so - this is in the same way as we already manage many Schools in Zuludesk who want instant, friendly, expert help with no delay and with a single point of contact each time. We offer this service as the majority of Schools do not have the time or resources to not only learn these technologies, but to maintain them. We make it simple.
Should our School choose Zuludesk instead?
That's entirely down to your School and your principal. Our support and accessibility remains the same for either Zuludesk, jamF or Meraki. At this time, you are free to choose Zuludesk which is the better platform by far and recommended in the T4L newsletters - Zuludesk, it's worth noting, has been purchased by jamF and rebadged jamF School. However, the licenses you receive with your new iPads are not compatible with jamF School which does create a lot of confusion. We can speculate that agreements done between the DET, Apple and jamF will become clear soon ( the latter is owned by an investment consortium who may well sell in the coming months ) - logic and almost 3 decades of experience with Apple tells us that the DET and Apple are looking to secure the Education sector with jamF Pro for now, absorb Zuludesk into their existing product once jamF as a company is purchased by, perhaps Apple, this will then result in a unified single product controlled by the DET / Apple ( all purely speculative of course ). At this stage it's hard to say what is best for your School, but logically, whatever the DET recommend is probably going to be the only way to go. Sure, this means that existing customers of companies like ours who love what we do and the service we bring will no longer be able to supply licenses - but support will remain unchanged.
Our School has a support contract with Island I.T. - What happens if we want to move to jamF?
Island I.T. are committed to support your choice. There will be no penalty, no termination fees. We will simply migrate your support to the MDM you choose within your existng contract. We will not force you into another 12 month agreement, we'll simply switch support within your exisintg contract to the MDM of your choice. This, we feel, will completely aleviate any anxiety, stress or confusion over whether you should move or not and allow you to see if jamF is for you. We'll support you 100% either way.
Contact us to discuss Zuludesk and your free trial anytime.
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