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Control Your MDM Strategy: Higher Education Charging Solutions

by Natalie Schlueter

Higher Education mobile device management (MDM) strategies are increasingly more difficult as time progresses. Each student has not only one device, but multiple devices that are necessary and important throughout the day.

Colleges and Universities are under the high expectation of providing high quality technology to science, engineering, and other hands-on tech-savvy environments for their classes and seminars.

Additionally, current college students are highly knowledgeable in technology and expect their school to be able to keep up with technology advancements in education, and their personal tech needs as well.

With all this in mind, it is imperative that college and university IT and tech teams consider and, more importantly, control their MDM strategy with best-in-class charging solutions. Not sure which charging solutions are best for your use cases?

Find out below how Bretford can help solve your IT tech problems, streamline fleet management, and help save time and money.

Lab, Lecture, or Other Classroom-Only Devices

Specific programs need specific devices and software that can be difficult to manage if the students are using devices provided for classroom use from the organization. These situations occur in advanced lab seminars, or other field activity work with specific software use.

Students anticipate and expect their college experience to have the most technologically advanced and implemented lesson plans, stay ahead of the competition with technology not only being accessible to them, but ready to go when they need it.

Investing in a provisioning tool like the PowerSync Pro™ allows for IT teams, or even lecturers with information technology experience to charge, sync and provision devices in order to be prepared for coming classes and keep each student device up to date.

The PowerSync Pro™ is made for classroom-specific needs in mind. Smaller work spaces that need a specific software will benefit from having this small-footprint charging solution in the environment.

When looking for devices that provision and sync for classroom use, ask the following questions to get started:

  1. Will my charging solution also need to secure the devices overnight?
  2. Will my charging solution be used as a place for students to put their own devices, or will be used for organizational device use only?
  3. Will my charging solution need to have provisioning tools on it or is syncing capabilities sufficient?
  4. Will the devices need to be moved around the classroom or can they remain in a central location?
  5. Will the devices be primarily iOS devices, or will the classroom be using a mix of iOS and other device forms?

Asking these types of questions will get the ball rolling as to what type of solution you are really looking for. Your device management strategy should include multiple conversations about the charging needs for each classroom, lab, and lecture hall space.

What about charging in public spaces and student unions?

In most college environments it is mandatory, and expected, that students have a personal device for use in the classroom and to do out-of-classroom work.

In fact, after the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be assumed that 99.9% of students used laptop devices, or some sort of personal electronic device, for learning purposes.

How does this translate into communal charging solutions? Wall outlets and other forms of public charging are perfectly viable solutions for when students are at their study space, sitting next to, or using, their devices.

What happens when student devices need to be charged when the student is not present? This is when personal locking stations, or charging lockers, come into play.

Providing solutions for students when they are actively doing something, but need their device secured and charged is the optimal way to ensure efficient student productivity and ownership.

With Bretford’s TechGuard Connect® Charging Lockers, each student has:

  1. Power in every locker bay with an AC outlet and two USB-A charging ports to charge up to three devices
  2. Keyless access with a personal 4-digit code
  3. Assisted lighting in each bay to allow for easy connecting of devices to the locker
  4. Intuitive lights to make it easy for students to check availability of locker bays from across the room
  5. Clear viewing windows for students to monitor devices while in bay, if necessary

Students can jump from studying to extra-curricular intramurals in the same space with continuously charging their devices without worry. As an organization, you can provide ease of mind to your students with ample and diverse charging options available for their use.

Student unions might be the most important part of your device management strategy to fulfill student expectations. Just as each classroom environment and professor expects students to have ready devices, students expect their college or university to provide them easy access to what they need for their devices.

Public charging capabilities are necessary for any organization looking to get ahead in the technology game. Investing in charging lockers for your device management strategy is an easy way to show students, administrators, and the board that your IT team cares.

Are you looking to deploy devices to faculty?

If your organization does not use iOS devices, or is looking for alternative solutions for larger devices to ensure mobility, a safe charge, and easy access to networking to push automatic updates, a Bretford Link® Cart could be your new favorite solution.

Managing a large fleet of tablets or phones is one difficulty, but managing a fleet of large laptops that need to have mobility and regularly be updated is another feat. In order to feel confident that faculty devices will be ready for each setting, a cart with smart charging and ability to push updates and sync is imperative.

A fast-paced environment with many faculty members involved requires an IT department to be prepared with the current updates and data on each laptop as fast as possible. The Link® Cart provides the IT team an easy way to update and pull data from devices while they are sitting in the locked, charging carts.

How does the Link® Cart do this? It comes with:

  1. Pre-wired ethernet cables to be able to deploy devices almost immediately
  2. A secured charging space for devices to be able to charge overnight or without supervision
  3. A sophisticated power manager that continuously analyzes power requirements and efficiently charges devices in a round-robin cycle
  4. Two cooling fans for temperature management
  5. Industrial grade 5” wheels and dual handle design to ensure safe and easy mobility

Faculty devices are just as important as student devices and should not be overlooked in a mobile device management strategy. Ensuring that all faculty have the necessary technology to perform their job well will ensure that your college or university prospers throughout the year.

Let’s not forget about the traditional solutions!

Sure, technology is great, but what about those traditional solutions that are worth more than many let on? A traditional AV cart, when made right with the right use case in mind, can support IT teams, faculty, and students.

Mobility, ease of use, durability, and flexibility are all things that AV carts can offer. After all, faculty can have all of the technology in the world, but if there is nowhere to store it in transitions from room to room or out of an office, the technology does more harm than good.

It can be difficult to navigate technology and other traditional solutions like books and paper while moving from room to room to teach classes. It is imperative that AV carts are a priority for faculty members when discussing a mobile device management strategy to factor in quick movements, and storage for personal equipment throughout the day.

The Bretford Mobile Instruction Cart, or MIC Cart, allows for easy storage of all personal equipment throughout the day, while supporting technology use and student success.

The MIC Cart comes equipped with:

  1. Pre-assembled functionality right out of the box
  2. Adjustable height with four positions from 26” to 42”, accommodating any user
  3. Two cup holders to provide a secure area for liquids and can double as a pen/pencil holder
  4. Power on board with a 6 outlet power strip with 20’ cord for easy device connection
  5. Non-slip grip rubber mat on top of the cart to keep items from moving around en route

Although this does not seem like the first thing to consider in a device management strategy, it is important to remember that devices are most effective when there is an organized and planned strategy in using and storing them.

In this strategy, traditional AV carts can be beneficial for a clean, simple solution.

Make sure you are prepared.

As we near the school year, continuously check-in on the progress your team is making toward a successful and efficient mobile device management strategy. More than ever, students and faculty are relying on mobile devices and laptops to support and amplify their teaching and learning experience.

Make sure you are preparing students and faculty with the most up-to-date software and devices to ensure a smooth year ahead. Reach out to one of our Sales Representatives by calling (800) 521-9614 or by heading to our website and clicking our “buy now” button to fill out your information.

Invest in quality charging solutions to amplify your mobile device management strategy and control your device deployment today.

card PowerSync Pro 2nd Gen

PowerSync Pro™

iOS . iPadOS 

Charge, provision, and re-provision a shared pool of iOS or iPadOS devices. For organizations looking to manage a large pool of iPhone, iPad mini or iPad, the PowerSync Pro™ Smart Hub provides a best-in-class hardware experience for simplifying the management of these devices.

Bretford adjustable height cart in black pumice color, side view

Mobile Instructor Cart

AV Cart

Designed with the educator in mind. The Mobile Instructor Cart is the perfect teacher’s assistant, with enough space to hold all your technology and instructional tools. Built-in cup holders, a pullout shelf, and on-board power outlets make this cart ideal for on-the-go teaching.

Link Side Artic White

Link® Cart


Keep laptops secure, charged and up to date. This rugged Link® Cart is equipped with Ethernet cables, dedicated space for a rack-mount network switch, and two fans for cooling. This cart makes it easy for IT administrators to push updates to all devices simultaneously.

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