This week Microsoft has released some major announcements at the annual BETT Show in London. You can read the full announcements on the official blog here, however the one that caught my attention the most was Intune For Education:
For me, this is a key solution for schools to consider to simplify the management of Windows 10 devices, particularly for those schools that may not have dedicated ICT staff. The things that impressed me were:
- It’s cloud based, there is no need to install locally as it is hosted in Azure and is scalable, making it suitable for schools of any size whilst remaining simple enough for part-time ICT admin staff to use.
- There are a number of school-specific policies pre-configured to promote security for school devices (there are over 150 settings you can configure if you choose)
- There is an express setup for schools that allow for quick deployment of new devices for different groups of users.
- Your list of purchased applications in the Microsoft Windows Store For Business are automatically synchronised to Intune For Education allowing to easily choose which apps you wish to deploy e.g. Minecraft licensing in the Business Store.
- There is an auto-enrollment feature meaning students or staff automatically receive the apps specified by the school when they first log in.
- For super quick deployment there is free access to the “Schools Setup PC App” that creates a USB key to quickly configure common settings on a new device with a single key press – no need to get it on the wireless network first!
- Intune for Education supports Student Data Sync to automatically create groups of students/teachers for customised group permissions allowing more granular control over policy.
- Policy will “follow the user” so if you have different policies for different year levels, these will automatically apply as a student moves from year to year.
- There is a test/assessment mode. Students can log in with a special account to be used when taking assessment which will lock the device down to pre-defined access levels.
These features represent a significant leap forward with technology offerings for managing Windows 10 devices in education. To learn more, check out Microsoft Education.
Update: A couple more videos showing how Intune for Education can be used, along with the benefits of Digital Inking: