Using Geofencing in Higher Education Establishments

Using Geofencing in Higher Education EstablishmentsIn this modern age, a higher education establishment isn’t just a place for books, encyclopedias and large places for studying, but instead, a big part of their information and resources are stored in computers, servers and workstations, making the handling of these assets one of the biggest roles of the device manager.

But this doesn’t mean they have to be behind every single student, keeping an eye like a harpy. We know they have got more important things to do, which is why Geofencing is a great tool to apply in this scenario.

This feature is another application for Geolocation that allows a user to determine a set area where devices can be assigned and restricted to this space. But this isn’t the only application that Geofencing offers for education and all the different responsibilities that this job implies. You only need to be a little bit creative.

The basics

This service is just like its name suggests: a fence, and its usefulness is the same for the digital world. By establishing a perimeter, you can give it the option for all assigned devices to recognize that they are being contained to this zone.

If a cellphone, tablet or any other device leaves the area, the manager will receive an alert saying that one of the devices has left the control zone without having to keep an eye on all of them always.

Easier to check on borrowed devices

We know that mobility is one of the main features of devices in this day and age, and keeping them in the same place would be almost impossible, especially if you’re lending devices to your students to improve their performance. Therefore, more than one Control Zone can be set to each account. 

Not all alerts must have a negative connotation. If you’re using your Control Zones to check if students are taking the devices to the place they’re supposed to, you can get alerts to keep track on how many students are using them and where. Through the backend, an IT professional can request the system to get a notification every time some enters and leaves a fenced area, and with multiple zones the person in charge can follow them without leaving their seat.

Customized messaging

Besides protection for the devices owned by the higher education establishment, Geofencing can be used as a communication channel with students.

Through its messaging system, an IT professional and the different departments inside the institution can implement a messaging campaign that can replace alerts on the devices, and instead show information of any kind.

This tool can be used by the communications department to let students know the latest activities on campus, and the marketing department to attract new students that are using lent devices provided by the institution.

This strategy has been used to customize ads and conversion methods, even to the point that it has been used by the US Army to recruit a certain area by using its geolocation capabilities.

Device Manager applications

It’s not all based on mobile device security and having to check if the devices went in or out of a control zone. Thanks to the interface of platforms that use this feature, such as Prey, you can also enable other options to make device management easier.

Just like you would assign computers or smart devices to a Control Zone, a manager can assign a unique tag to a device to every single asset owned by the institution to make searches, identification and asset management of each one of these.

Thanks to these types of tools, it will be easier to recognize which devices were lent, used and exactly which ones left the Control Zones without having to go through an extensive inventory every time there’s a problem.

Geofencing can deliver a basic tool at the beginning, but its use and different applications offer a window of opportunities that empower any IT professional to think about new and interesting strategies that fit into the institution’s needs for the good of it and their students.

Have you implemented a Geofencing strategy in your institution? Leave us a comment to know how it has improved your processes.{{cta(‘033e2d68-a3be-46f9-9c1c-cc6a5079e7d2′,’justifycenter’)}}

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi

Nicolas Poggi is the head of mobile research at Prey, Inc., provider of the open source Prey Anti-Theft software protecting eight million mobile devices. Nic’s work explores technology innovations within the mobile marketplace, and their impact upon security. Nic also serves as Prey’s communications manager, overseeing the company’s brand and content creation. Nic is a technology and contemporary culture journalist and author, and before joining Prey held positions as head of indie coverage at TheGameFanatics, and as FM radio host and interviewer at IndieAir.