Working in Education? Or do you have customers that are? This post is for you. Intune for Education were introduced a couple of months ago and will add lots of value for teachers and students – as well as lower the amount of time used by IT to manage Intune. In this post we will go through a basic setup, based on the available sample-files for School Data Sync. Later post will cover SDS in a bit more depth, as well as additional configuration for Intune and Intune for Education.
If you havent signed up yet, please visit sign up using this link. You will also, as I will show you later in this post, need to add Office 365 and Azure AD licenses as well. If you already have a working tenant with licenses, you could start by going to the Intune for Education portal and sign in using your Azure AD credentials. You will also need access to the Office 365 portal.
Remember! Currently Intune for Education ONLY supports Windows 10 PCs. If you are using an older Windows OS, iPads or Android-tablets you still need to do the configuration in the Azure Portal.
When you log on to the Intune for Education portal for the first time, you may find it to be a bit, empty.
The account you access the portal with (this goes for all staff that need access) needs to have a Intune for Education license assigned. The easiest way to do this is in the Admin Center of the Office 365 portal. Choose your user and assign the license.
When the license has been assigned you can log back into the Intune for Education portal, which will now be a bit more populated.
Now, the easiest way to get going is by using the Express Configuration. This will also be the easist way for a teacher to configure a new groups, class or course. So, remember that you can use the Express Configuration more than once.
When you launch the Express Configuration the four steps that you need to walk through are shown. Get school information can be done in several ways (Ill use the School Data Sync in this example) and is basically to set up the necessary groups, teachers and students.
Choose a group to set up lets you choose the group to configure. The group is an Azure AD group, and usually represents a grade, class, group or team. The Express Configuration can be run as many times as needed to configure all the required groups.
Choose apps to install – not much to explain here, I will go into more detail on this later on.
And lastly Choose group settings were you configure the settings that will be applied to the user and/or the currently used device.
After you’ve pressed Get started you get to the second page of the wizard were you are asked to add school info.
The suggested approach to this is to use Microsoft School Data Sync (SDS). This enables you to sync data from your SIS (Student Information System) to Azure AD and Intune. Several SIS are supported, but today the focus is primarily on North American as far as I can see. You can however use CSV-files exported from your SIS with SDS as well, which could be a temporary solution for you until your SIS is supported.
But then again, if you for other reasons have your students and teacher in Azure AD or a local AD, you can use those groups as well. Ill go into more detail on SDS in a coming blog post. In this I’m using the publicly available sample data which you can download from GitHub. You can use them as they are for testing purposes, edit them to suit your needs or use them as templates to create your own CSV-files. Again, ill cover this a bit more in-depth later on. In this example I havent done any changes to the files.
You enable School Data Sync and the next step is to create a new profile.
The profile will enable you to sync different schools with different settings if you like to. For this example we are doing a manual import, but if you have a supported SIS or if you set up the SIS toolkit you can automate this. Another piece of the upcoming post. 🙂
When you have chosen how to connect you need to configure your sync options. You an already existing Azure AD tenant you can update your existing users with more information. If you are configuring a new tenant you add the users from scratch.
Now its time to upload your files. The sample files consist of six files with information on schools, sections, students, teachers and to what course a student has enrolled to as well as what students (and course) each teacher are responsible for. You also have additional files if you would like a UK sample school instead of an US one.
When the files are uploaded you can configure what attributes to keep – this is the default selection. You can configure if a teacher should have the right to over-write a section (group) name as well as configure a later date for when to add the students to each section. Lastly you allow the teachers and students to be managed by Intune – and there by configure to add a Intune license to each user.
The two following steps lets you configure additional options for students and teachers. The most essential parts of this are probably what domain the teachers and students should use as well as what license. This could again be a reason to use different profiles.
You are then asked to review the settings you’ve made, create the profile and then start the sync.
The initial sync will take a couple of minutes, but you are able to follow the process by refreshing the page. When the sync is done you will get success message telling you all went well. In my case I didn’t have enough licenses to assign, so I ended up with a bunch of errors. However, all users, groups etc has been created and you can fix this later on by running an additional sync or adding the licenses in the Office portal.
Time to head back to the Intune for Education portal and continue the configuration.
The second step let you choose the group to configure. Again, you can run the configuration as many times as you like to configure your groups. Also remember that a student may be a member of more than one group, so apps, settings and so on could be combined in the end. If you have used Intune previously you will feel right at home.
This may be the right time to point out something essential: As you may already have realized, Intune for Education isn’t really introducing anything but a more user-friendly GUI. Everything you do in the Intune for Education portal will be visible in the regular Azure portal as well.
This means that you could run into some challenges when you have IT-staff configuring policies etc in the Azure portal and teacher in the Intune for Education portal. The challenges may not be technical, but rather process and/or policy related.
However, lets move on to the next step, time to choose apps!
You are able to deploy web-apps, Store-apps and desktop-apps. Some of them are pre-populated, some are additional apps that are popular in Education and later on the apps you add yourself (covered in an upcoming blog post) will be visible.
Choose the apps you would like to deploy to the group you are configuring (you can of course edit the selection later) and go on to settings.
The settings that are configured in this step are probably the settings a teacher would like/need to configure. Again, you have additional settings (for wi-fi, e-mail and so on) in the Intune for Education portal as well as in the regular Intune portal.
When you are done you are asked to review the settings for the group you have selected and after that you are done with your first group! Now you can either start enrolling devices or re-start the wizard again to configure an additional group.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and others will follow. If you have any questions, please drop me a comment!