Hello Jamf Nation!
As most of the US and other Countries are facing school closures, I wanted to begin the dialogue between Teachers and IT Admins all across our Jamf Nation Community.
Please use this post as a means of sharing your best practices for managing devices outside of the K12 classroom, share app suggestions or lists of apps your district uses, approved e-Learning websites and another other resources you may be able to share. Links to already created resources are encouraged :)
Thank you to all who can contribute, and I hope we can use this post as a means of sharing resources with many school districts who may not yet have plans in place for providing remote instruction and support to students.
We understand that you are going through challenging times due to the COVID-19 threat and may be considering contingency plans for potential school closures. If we can play a role in developing or supporting these plans, we are here to help.
As your partner in learning, we want to try and alleviate some of those challenges. We would like to help you and all of your students by offering free Lexia licenses through the end of June, 2020, for any students not currently using Lexia in your school or district.
We will also provision Lexia Academy to assist with on-line professional learning for all educators who will have additional students using Lexia remotely.
Submit your request today to activate these licenses for your students.
Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:
• Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
• Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
• No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
• Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for lowincome families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
• News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
• 24x7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.
Adobe taking steps for sites utilising Adobe Console, I would suggest talking to your Adobe rep for more information.
With many Education customers facing physical campus closures and moving to online learning due to COVID-19, we’re announcing that we’re giving greater access to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps to facilitate distance learning. We believe that doing so will make it possible to keep coursework, teamwork, and student progress on track through at-home access to Creative Cloud for students and educators.
On March 12, Adobe announced that we’re giving our higher education and K-12 institutional customers globally — who currently make Creative Cloud apps available to students who login through on-campus labs — the ability to request temporary “at-home” access for their students and educators. This will be granted through May 31, 2020, at no additional cost.
To learn more and request access, please follow this link to the Adobe HelpX Page with the link to the form which IT Admin should complete.
If you're a Clever district they're providing Zoom Business accounts for free until July 31st. Zoom basic accounts directly from them also have removed the 40 min meeting time limit. Some setup is required and in the case of Clever&Zoom you're bounced from one to the other and in one case a human must approve a setting and they're understandably strung very thin right now. No complaints just an observation.
Additionally If you use Canvas as your LMS you can use BigBlueButton to start "conferences" with your students and parents. Very simple to use and it's launched from within Canvas itself.
One of the big things I can see is to get face to face time in a digital format. Depression from isolation will be a big issue as the days, weeks and months roll on.
Thus far we have been handing out replacement devices on a 1:1 basis (they need to schedule a visit to the office).
The office is minimally staffed.
Our theme is if e-learning fails they are to convert to paper and pencil.
This is a developing story and we need to adjust the best we can.
@Schmidty We have been doing as much remote support as we can for the time being.
If an in person repair or diagnostic needs done then it's a 1:1 appointment only basis like Adam is doing. They wipe the device down and show us from the CDC recommended 6ft distance. If the issue can't be fixed by the user at that time then we would take the device and have them sit down elsewhere. Make sure PPE equipment is used i.e. mask and gloves. We don't have any UV-C or UV-GI equipment so it's Clorox wipes or 70-91 percent isopropyl alcohol until we can purchase a UV-C lamp later next year(I suspect they won't be in stock until 2021).
Breakage we're just swapping the device out with another on an appointment basis only. They don't enter the building.
Right now we've spread out to 25 countries and about 27 US states. We are either shipping loaners and repair devices (FedEx) within the US (generally), or organizing Apple Authorized repair for users outside the US> Most users offsite are BYOD and maintain ownership of their devices so this is a bit easier.
In the US (NY metro area) since late March, for iPads and Macbooks we've been able to direct students and staff to contact Apple education directly in order to handle a repair via direct shipping to/from the end-user.
Our recommended procedure:
1. Students and faculty can call Apple Education support directly at 800-800-2775, option 3
2. Describe the repair issues with a support agent.
3. The agent will assess the situation, and a box will be sent to the person's house.
4. A credit card is required at the time the call is made. The credit card will be billed according to the type of damage -- $99roken screen & $299for all other issues. If the issue is covered under warranty, a hold may be placed on the card, but no charge will be made.
5. Applecare covers a limited number of damage claims per device. If the student's device has used all of the Applecare claims, s/he will be billed the full cost of the repair.
After we closed our physical campus (to all students and staff) in mid-March, for a couple of days before we started following the procedure above, we had people go to Best Buy to process a repair as an authorized Apple repair center, but then Best Buy closed its stores in our area. For a couple of days before that, we suggested going to the Apple Store for this, but then Apple Stores closed in our area. So far we've had success and reports of fairly quick turn-around times by having folks work with Apple Education directly.
Prior to all this, we had a member of staff who was authorized to directly open repair tickets in GSX (having done the Macbook and iPad Apple training). I don't know if that made a difference in being able to use our current procedure.