Exeter West Greenwich (EWG) is a 4-school district teaching approximately 1,700 students. Their recent adoption of mobile devices the classroom greatly expanded the number of computers managed by the school districts IT department.
Providing CIPA compliant mobile device management for a rapidly increasing number of student issued mobile devices.
Provide on/off network web filtering and simple deployment of software applications.
EWG selected OSHEAN’s iboss MobileEther SaaS product as a cost effective solution to compliment the school districts 1:1 initiative.
Member Overview: Exeter West Greenwich (EWG) School District is comprised of three elementary schools and a combined junior/senior high school with an annual enrollment of approximately 1,700 students. The school district has an above average, 90%, graduation rate. Through close communication with students’ families and the community, EWG school district provides a comprehensive support system that nurtures the development of students’ academic and social needs. EWG’s goal is to ensure students are provided with the skills needed to be both college and career ready. Strategically, EWG believes in the use of technology to increase workflow efficiencies, improve collaboration and prepare students with the skills required to compete in the global workforce.
Application Overview and Challenge: Exeter/West Greenwich School systems is one of several K-12 school districts in Rhode Island that embrace technology in the classroom. More specifically, junior high students are issued Apple iPads and High School students are issued Google Chromebooks. While the benefits of providing students with computers can be extremely helpful, it does come with challenges, especially, with mobile devices such as iPads and Chromebooks. For example, in a protected school environment with a secure, Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) compliant network, the risks of downloading malicious software or accessing inappropriate web sites are greatly mitigated. However, when these devices leave the school and operate on un-trusted or unfiltered networks they ultimately become vulnerable.
In the 2014/2015 school year, EWG school system issued Chromebooks and iPad mobile devices to a trial group of Junior and Senior High School students. During this initial deployment phase, EWG School’s Director of Technology, Jeffrey Bain, was faced with the IT security and software application management for each new mobile computer. Successful Implementation during this initial deployment phase was crucial because the School District’s laptop program was scheduled to expand to 600 devices in the not so distant future and starting out right was critical to overall adoption. To top it off, this massive increase of user devices did not result in additional IT staff.
Goals: EWG School Districts needed an innovative and flexible solution to better manage the growing number of mobile devices. The primary goals that Jeff Bain and his IT team needed to address included:
- efficiently managing the multitude of software applications teachers and students require – including: Google K12 App Pack, Buzzmath, Noteability, iMovie, Quote Books and Code Academy.
- overcoming the need to manage multiple passwords and authentication workflows.
- instituting a CIPA compliant web filter both on and off the school’s managed network.
Solution: The iboss MobileEther mobile device management (MDM) product allows IT administrators to easily protect, manage and enforce organizational policies for Mobile Devices. MDM allows IT administrators to dynamically deploy apps, locate and wipe devices (if lost or stolen), and enforce device level restrictions with comprehensive reporting tools. In addition, the OSHEAN/iboss partnership offered seamless integration to EWG’s iboss web filter, ensuring Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and CIPA compliance - whether the device is on or off campus. “OSHEANs partnership with iboss provided our school district with the network and tools needed to affectively roll out hundreds of mobile devices. The iboss MobileEther cloud service is a superior solution compared to other technologies we explored” said Jeff Bain.
Results: Since implementing OSHEANs iboss Cloud-based web filtering and mobile device management in February of 2015, Jeff Bain and his IT Staff were able to meet their goals. MobileEther is the only security solution that integrates robust Web security with a full featured mobile device management service under a single pane of glass. The software suite provided a holistic solution at an attractive price point. All of the teachers and students participating in the school issued mobile devices now have a means to:
- deploy new applications to mobiles quickly and efficiently – without the need to increase IT support staff
safely and securely surf the Internet
- direct access to the required set of software application programs
- enjoy the simplicity of Single Sign-on - elevating the need to authenticate into each application
- centrally manage user account policies and ensure compliance through iboss’s powerful reporting platform
Summary: EWG schools are working towards a 1:1 technology initiative that would provide each junior and Senior high school student with a personal mobile device. The need to effectively secure and manage these devices on and off school grounds is critical to the success of the program. Leveraging OSHEANs trusted partnership with iboss, EWG school district was able to solve the issues associated with filtering inappropriate web content and deploying over sixteen types of software applications. This is all being achieved within the existing staffing levels. "EWG enthusiastically embraced the iboss suite enabling the district to bolster security, simplify device management, and improve end user experience. Jeff’s deployment was an overall huge success" said Kevin Longo, OSHEANs Solutions Engineer.
ABOUT OSHEAN & iBOSS
OSHEAN, Inc. is a non-profit coalition of universities, libraries, K-12s, hospitals, government agencies, and other non-profit organizations dedicated to providing innovative Internet-based technology solutions for its member institutions and the communities they serve. OSHEAN is committed to our members, for whom we seek to provide top quality, low cost, high speed telecommunications, internet, and Above the Net services. It is the mission of OSHEAN to continuously seek out technology solutions that best benefit its members. Working collaboratively, we are able to deliver affordable, dynamic services that answer the IT needs of our members.
iboss Network Security is an industry leader in Network Security, Bandwidth Management, Compliance based Mobile Device Management and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) management. iboss provides solutions that protect thousands of enterprises, service providers and government networks against a new age of cyber-threats. Our game-changing security platform with innovative architecture is backed by over 60 patents and patents pending, and chosen by over 4000 enterprises worldwide to increase their security postures. This has made iboss one of the fastest growing cybersecurity companies in the market.