Ed Tech Magazine: Districts use MDM to secure tablets

(July 20/2012) While most school districts are grappling with how to best manage and secure mobile devices, few have the challenge that the IT department at McAllen Independent School District in Texas is facing. As part of an initiative to transform learning in the district, every student, teacher and administrator — nearly 27,000 people in all —will receive a tablet computer by this fall.

Pat Karr, the district’s coordinator of network services, prepped for the deployment by familiarizing himself with what it would take to oversee the new assets. The best solution was some form of mobile device management (MDM) to secure the units, control content access for different types of users and remotely wipe sensitive data from devices that are lost or stolen. After four months of evaluating products, Karr selected MDM software from AirWatch.

As the tablets are distributed (about 7,000 have been handed out so far), users must download the AirWatch client and set up an iTunes account. They enroll the device using Active Directory credentials through the AirWatch client or through McAllen’s AirWatch website, which assigns the appropriate credentials, password and device profiles. AirWatch also pushes down any web clips, documents and required applications.

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