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Microsoft Intune for Education Helps Schools Easily Set-up and Manage Classroom Devices

On Tuesday, Microsoft Intune for Education, a simple tool for schools to set up and manage devices, as well as several affordable and powerful Windows 10 PCs from Acer, HP and Lenovo for students to help improve learning with prices starting at $189 were announced.

At the BETT conference in London, Microsoft announced “Intune for Education”, a new cloud-based application and device management service offering easy setup and management in shared learning environments.

Educators “face more demands than ever before, with nearly 50 percent of teachers serving as their own tech support in their classrooms,” he says. With Intune for Education “either IT admins, or teachers can get up and running in minutes on Windows 10 devices and easily manage shared devices.”

It’s perfectly suited for schools of any size that want a cloud-based solution to manage their Windows 10 devices. To manage few devices, “admins or teachers can automatically enroll in Intune for Education by logging in with an Office 365 Education email account,” he said. While for many devices, “Set up School PCs app can be use to set up any number of Windows 10 devices,” and when a teacher or student logs in to the new device, it’s customized for their unique needs.

Because, it’s based on Microsoft Intune, larger school districts or schools with large, full-time IT departments can take advantage of cross-platform support to manage iOS and Android devices and integration with System Center Configuration Manager.

Intune for Educations’ Express setup feature easily set up default policies for all devices and users in a class, school or district in a matter of minutes. “Schools can customize over 150 granular settings, assign them to a student and apply them to hardware, apps, browsers, start menu, Windows Defender and more,” he said. These settings follow the user to any device when they sign in.

It also makes it easy to assign and deploy any combination of web apps or education apps from the Windows Store for Business. Once customized, users can acces them at their next login and follow them to any device, “so students and teachers always see the apps they are supposed to see, and no apps they shouldn’t.”

And, integrating with other Microsoft cloud services including Office 365 Education, School Data Sync (SDS), it automatically creates groups based on school roster data, so apps and settings can be applied to students, teachers, devices, specific schools, or specific classes or sections with no additional work required. “Any changes to the roster will be reflected automatically in the group.”

In addition, also in working is a new, integrated console for Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) that is built on the Azure console.

“With an integrated EMS console, we can now bring together all the different areas where IT wants to define risk polices that govern access – this allows you to define a complete and comprehensive set of rules,” writes the team.

This new console experience serves for defining conditional access policies. “you can define access policies based on identity risk, device risk, application risk), and location (i.e. apply different policies when on a corporate/known network vs. a public networks),” added Microsoft.

Conditional Access Microsoft Intune + EMS

The following screenshot shows the architecture of this new experience built on the Microsoft Grpah. “Below is a simplified view of how this all comes together. The console itself calls through an authentication layer (AAD, of course) into Microsoft Graph, that directs the call to appropriate Microsoft service – Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, AAD, Intune, etc.”

You should think of the Microsoft Graph as effectively “the Microsoft API.” All of the services are building at Microsoft are being built on the Microsoft Graph.

Integrated Intune + EMS Admin Experience Microsoft Graph

Intune for Education will be available in preview in the coming weeks and broadly available this spring for $30 per device, and via volume licensing.

Now Windows 10 devices offer the power, performance, and security schools need at the same price as Chromebooks, with none of the compromises, writes Yusuf Mehdi.

Finally, a new update launched today for Minecraft: Education Edition, with popular requested features such as Global Pause, to take a quick break to transition to a new activity;

  • accessibility features like text-to-speech for in-game chats;
  • an updated user interface for managing in-game settings;
  • a 256-block world height for greater building capabilities;
  • complete gameplay from the first night to The End dimension;
  • and new “Minecraft mobs” and items including igloos and polar bears in snowy biomes.

Update: Microsoft released campaign REST APIs for the Windows Store, help media agencies promote apps and manage their ad campaigns easily.

‘Promote your App’ is a feature within DevCenter that “let you create ad campaigns for apps to grow your audience and engage with them.” Using this feature “you can leverage advanced targeting capabilities and use popular ad templates to advertise apps among Windows users,” added Microsoft.

Developers can continue to use DevCenter dashboard as well. Any campaign created under a single account – whether through the dashboard or API will be accessible from either channel.

To get started, media agencies that would like to know more and get access to promotion APIs, should sign up here.

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