In the course of digitalization of the education system, more and more schools are dealing with the introduction of tablets. There is a variety of possible use-cases: tablets enable interactive lessons with digital excursions into the Internet as well as use of interactive learning content, which is being offered in numerous apps today. It does not take much imagination to understand that the good old computer room with its stationary PCs probably will not have a big future.
Welcome to the digital classroom! Find out what is important when introducing tablets in schools. In the following we will show possibilities for efficient administration and summarize the essential use-cases and functions.
There are basically two forms of tablet use in schools:
Usually, this variant consists of one or more class sets with a selection of tablets, which are brought to the classroom by the teachers in matching wheeled suitcases. The tablets are distributed to the students and collected again after the end of the lessons.
From an IT point of view, this 1:n scenario poses the challenge of equipping the tablets with a uniform software package, setting some security policies and being able to simply delete the created data if necessary. A tablet management system suitable for schools, also known as Mobile Device Management (MDM), must provide the appropriate functions:
Depending on the tablet's operating system (Apple iOS, Google Android), various functions are available for teaching. With the Apple Classroom App, teachers can access specific content on student Apple devices and restrict as well as monitor tablets if needed. Samsung does offer a similar function for Android devices.
In the second scenario, students have their "own" tablet, which is either provided by the school or (co-)financed by parents in a leasing model. This automatically results in further application possibilities, such as permanent, cross-curricular work with the tablet or the use of the tablet outside of school.
On the IT side, a distinction should be made between the different operating modes "school" and "leisure" in the 1:1 scenario. In class, the school is responsible for securing and operating the tablet. Outside the school building, students should be able to use the tablet in as many ways as possible, for example to play games and communicate with friends, which should obviously not be possible during lessons. An MDM system should therefore be able to switch between these operating modes. In some cases, attempts are made to solve this requirement in two different ways - time-controlled or location-controlled. Both approaches have their technical challenges in terms of stable operation. For the time-based approach, special cases such as weekends, vacations, free periods, and student absences must be taken into account when automatically executing school and free time modes. For the location-based approach, the triggers must be provided technically without gaps via GPS, WiFi SSID or iBeacon. With this approach, there is always the possibility that devices bypass the automatic detection. For this reason, Relution offers the time and location-independent control of the devices with the teacher console and thus creates the flexibility to start and end the lessons by the teacher intuitively for all participating students, depending on when the lesson starts or ends. This means that the devices only go into school mode when it is actually needed. Outside of lessons, all functions of the devices that are basically enabled are available. This is a practical solution that can also be applied remotely to homeschooling devices. The Relution Off-time mode can also be used to set when the devices are automatically locked, e.g. at night, when they are no longer to be used at home. The next day at the start of school, the devices are then fully operational again.
Outside of school hours, parents are often interested in exercising a certain amount of control over their child's tablet, such as restricting its use in terms of time or content. Especially iOS offers the possibility to restrict the screen time, as long as this function has not been deactivated via the MDM system.
Relution for Education is a tablet management software especially for schools and teaching companies, which covers both application scenarios described, 1:n and 1:1 equipment, for Android tablets (preferably Samsung) as well as for iPads. Due to its multi-client capability, all schools of a school board, for example, can be conveniently operated from a single server. Thanks to its intuitive interface, the tablet inventory can be managed, secured, configured and distributed without much training.
Relution is based on an organization model that ensures the multi-tenant capability of the system. There is a superordinate level, the so-called "store orga", which provides an app store. This gives it global control over all apps.
Users only see the apps that are released for their organization (school). There are one or more "Orga-Admins" per school. They are responsible for the app release process at school level. All new app versions that have been released for this school in the store organization are available for release.
In order to use Relution for education, an education license is required. In the Relution portal under „Devices" -> "Education“ classes can be created by making a corresponding entry with the name of the class and assigned teachers and students (users). This can also be done automatically via LDAP import from the school's own server after connection.
Once a class is created, this information is available in the Apple Classroom App. This means that when you create a class in Relution, all tablets in the class are automatically configured so that the Apple Classroom App works. A detailed description of this functionality can be found under the following link:
Relution and Apple Classroom
As an extension to the functions of the Apple Classroom App, the teacher console within the Relution App is available. It also receives its configuration via the classes created in Relution. As soon as an education license is activated, the teacher receives an additional menu item in the Relution App called "Lesson" that provides the teacher console.
Among others, the additional functions include:
The plus symbol allows you to create and define lesson profiles:
To start a lesson, a class and a lesson profile must be selected:
The button "Join classroom" takes you to the class overview with the students assigned in the Relution portal with their corresponding status. The individual students can be selected and removed. The lesson is started by clicking "Join classroom". In this step the length of the teaching unit can also be defined.
The timetable for this also comes from the Relution portal and was previously defined under "Settings" -> "Timetable":
As soon as the lesson has started, the corresponding apps are installed on the students' devices and placed on a allowlist, web links are created and restrictions defined in the applied lesson profile are executed.
This way, students only receive the apps, content and functions that are relevant for the respective lesson. All applications and functions of the student devices that are not desired are not available for the lesson. Furthermore, it is important to note:
When the desired end time is reached the lesson is automatically ended. Otherwise, the lesson can be ended manually by pressing the "Stop lesson" button. After a lesson is stopped, the active student and teacher devices are deactivated. Web links as well as the restrictions including allowlist are removed. In shared device mode (1:n scenario) installed apps will be removed after the lesson. In the 1:1 scenario, installed apps remain on the device.
With Relution for Education, interactive teaching with attentive students can be guaranteed in the digital classroom while promoting media literacy at the same time. As a tablet management system that conforms to data protection regulations, school authorities and schools can guarantee smooth lessons with little administrative effort.
The system ensures compliance with applicable data protection laws such as the European Data Protection Basic Regulation (DSGVO) while being easy to use and offering a wide range of services. Relution is developed and operated in Germany - optionally as a cloud solution, for installation in the school or at the school authority.
Learn how Relution is setup in 4 easy steps: