Board considers AirWatch to keep track of device apps

By JOSH COTTON

jcotton@timesobserver.com

With students in special education programs throughout the Warren County School District currently using iPads, and the potential for “bring your own device” to school floating out there in the future, the ability to configure and remotely administer those devices is integral.

If a recommendation by the board’s Finance Committee is approved by the full board, that technology will be in hand.

Brian Collopy, coordinator of technology/information management, told the committee that AirWatch cloud-based technology, “allows us to get more ‘granular’ (sl. more detailed) with all the things we are looking at bringing into our schools.”

Collopy said that with the prevalence of laptops and tablets there are, “so many opportunities to load apps on these.”

He explained that AirWatch would allow the IT staff to, “remotely administer changes to those machines,” and would, “limit hands-on support on (a) device.”

According to an executive summary prepared for the committee meeting, “AirWatch is one of the leading companies providing cloud and infrastructure based mobile device management, allowing technology staff to support mobile devices and laptops over the internet and local networks. The solution allows consolidation of applications, files and settings through a web based management interface delivered through a custom profile. Installations and configurations are done over local or public networks, reducing the amount of time technicians are required to have hands on access to equipment.”

“There are a lot of applications that would be good for a lot of different things,” Collopy added. “We think that if we go with a ‘bring your own device’ solution sometime or a one-to-one program, this would directly benefit that as well.”

Collopy said that the district is seeking to purchase 1,000 licenses at a cost of $21,800 for three years.

Interim Director of Pupil Services Ruth Nelson said iPads have been out in the special education classrooms this year and said, “(I) can’t begin to speak of how many days you spent working on it. This will save hours, hours and hours of work.”