Guest Post: Digital Equity and the Role of Modern Device Management

Modern Management of devices in the education sector is a hot topic and I’ve been having plenty of conversations around this recently from discussions with various Ministries of Education, through to school leaders and of course education IT partners.

Everyone is attempting to bridge the digital divide and find the best way to leverage the power of the cloud to achieve a simple and consistent experience for teachers and students whilst reducing costs and time from an IT perspective. Over the weekend I came across this great article from David Wain from Data3 in Australia where he goes into detail showing how taking a modern management approach to devices can increase digital equity – a key goal for most Ministries of Education and individual Higher Education and K-12 institutes.

As always, I encourage you read the original article in its entirety, along with the accompanying blog post showing Data3’s approach to Modern Management which included this excellent 2minute video overview:

My Key Takeaways From David’s Post On Modern Management

For those that are time poor, here’s my personal top of mind points from the post:

  • COVID19 has accelerated and highlighted the digital inequality in the education system, prompting a number of responses from various layers of Government, including mobile internet provisioning and supplying of devices for remote learning
  • Modern management can lower the bar for schools and communities to gain access to the crucial technology tools and systems to support modern learning.
    • It also means that the time currently spent managing traditionally complex ICT environments can be better spent supporting teaching and learning efforts.
  • In a modern management scenario, devices can be automatically provisioned at school or at home, with the right applications, security, policy and data storage requirements as part of a consistent ‘out of the box’ experience.
  • By contrast, traditional management systems are complex, expensive to maintain and require an enormous amount of time developing standard operating environments (SOE), patching systems and rolling out applications and policy.
  • The “new normal” is emerging with an expectation that IT can deliver the right learning experiences in a hybrid model – some students and teachers physically present on the campus, others remaining at home or offshore.
    • This requires a new paradigm of thinking when it comes to device management.
  • Modern Management can deliver improvements in accessibility for students with special needs – what if any school, regardless of size, location and ICT capability could, with just the click of a mouse, enable a group of students to log on to their devices, making full use of the amazing accessibility features of Windows 10?

David sums up his article in compelling fashion:

Across all scenarios, modern management has the potential to lower the bar to ensure technology access and in reducing complexity, it can then deliver a more productive, accessible and equitable teaching and learning environment.

Those are admirable goals and in these incredibly unusual times, it’s important all leaders in the Education sector are exploring how to ensure equitable access to technology.

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

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