About Weyauwega-Fremont School District
Just two years ago, school districts weren’t interested in centralized management of mobile devices. Many districts adopted a manage-your-own-device policy for teachers and staff. Then the mobile market exploded—introducing new devices every month, offering thousands of new applications daily, and lowering the entry price to the mobile computing world.
Today, even small school districts must take control of the mobile devices on their campuses or risk wasting valuable resources, budget dollars and time. Just ask Tony Jaworski, the technology coordinator for Weyauwega-Fremont School District.
“Mobile devices are having a huge impact on education,” he says. “If we don’t get a handle on mobile device management, it’s going to hurt our academic progress. Teachers really need to spend their time teaching, not searching for apps, testing them and making sure they meet the district’s core standards.”
As one of two people in the IT department, Jaworski and Rebecca Heczko spent many overtime hours this year helping teachers and staff download and configure apps for their smart phones and tablets. Though Weyauwega-Fremont only has 950 students and 126 staff, he knew the number of devices and education apps used by the district would skyrocket in the coming school year.
When Weyauwega-Fremont School District started purchasing mobile devices for student use, Jaworski started looking for a solution to help him manage the devices and increase IT staff efficiency to delivery policies and apps to teachers and students.
“We needed an MDM solution to manage not only iPads and iPhones, but also Android and other devices,” he says.
In addition to the multi-platform requirement, the solution needed to be centrally managed. Otherwise, the frequent downloading and updating of hundreds of mobile apps on various devices would create problems within the classroom.
Also, the MDM solution must be affordable, allowing the school district to stretch its budget as far as possible so more students could get access to mobile technology.
“In rural areas like Weyauwega-Fremont, many of our students don’t have Internet access at home, so mobile devices are very important,” he explains.
Novell ZENworks Mobile Management was the only MDM solution that met all of Weyauwega-Fremont School District’s requirements. “ZENworks Mobile Management allows us to use different mobile devices while not being locked into one vendor,” Jaworski says. “There’s too much flexibility and innovation in the mobile market to lock yourself in.”
With ZENworks Mobile Management, Jaworski can easily find out what applications are being used on various devices at multiple times during the day. The Novell solution is web-based, so the IT staff can manage devices from anywhere, without touching each device.
“You can’t physically take the devices out of the classroom; teachers and students are dependent on them. That’s where ZENworks Mobile Management really works well for us. I can hand out an app without forcing the device to be docked somewhere.”
For Weyauwega-Fremont School District, mobile technology is now a versatile educational tool—not a budget-eating beast or an uncontrollable distraction for students. The district currently manages 120 mobile devices, a number Jaworski expects to double and triple within the coming school year.
Novell ZENworks Mobile Management has improved efficiency for the IT department, allowing the small staff to manage a growing number of devices and monitor their resources, user access and compliance. They can also deploy and update apps automatically, and easily generate reports for school administrators.
“We really want our mobile devices to last and be reliable for students every day. If I can monitor them, I can guarantee that,” he says. “There’s just no way to measure activity and usage of a mobile device without ZENworks Mobile Management. Novell provides a great product for a great price and a great benefit.”