Headquartered in Xi’an, China, Excoord Group has offered technology solutions for educators since 2014. Its Xiaomayi mobile teaching platform for K-12 education is used by teachers in school districts across China to facilitate group discussion, explain exercises, and deliver quizzes and results. Students also use the solution for homework and teacher feedback.
The Excoord mobile teaching platform, built on Samsung tablets, has earned an excellent track record by helping teachers in schools across China improve classroom education. Teachers use the solution to facilitate group discussion, explain exercises, and deliver quizzes and results. Students also use the solution for homework assistance and teacher feedback.
Some schools, however, reported that students were using the devices to play instead of learn. Students were using the tablets in class to exchange media files using Bluetooth, for example. Meanwhile, parents complained that their children were playing games on the tablets after class instead of studying. Some students had also performed factory resets of devices — which then deleted all installed learning resources.
Excoord Group put together a list of requirements when it realized it needed better control over its mobile teaching platform. The company wanted to increase student focus during class and help students manage time with devices after school. Additionally, the company wanted to add controls to protect the underlying platform and prevent students from adjusting settings.
Excoord reached out to its technology partner Samsung to help it refocus its solution on education and improve device oversight. The team used Knox Configure, a cloud-based service that enables organizations to remotely configure a large number of Samsung devices and tailor them to specific needs. After adding new controls and remote capabilities, Excoord tested the updated solution in two classrooms before rolling it out more broadly.
To keep students focused in-class, the company blocked students from downloading and using certain applications and prevented students from using the Media Transfer Protocol and Bluetooth. This effectively shut down students’ ability to share entertainment files. The team also prevented students from accessing specific settings to disable firmware updates and the factory-reset capability.
To keep students focused after class and to prevent device abuse, Excoord was able to develop the capability by tapping into the features of the underlying Samsung Knox Platform for Enterprise—an advanced security and management framework built into every Samsung device, and available under license. Excoord is now able to restrict tablet use to between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and for three hours total on weekends.
The Samsung solution also enables remote management and deployment capabilities, which helps the Excoord team keep tablets up to date with the latest apps. The team uses the cloud portal to push and automatically install new study apps as they are released.
We build solutions that help teachers teach and students learn. Samsung Knox Configure helps us make the solution better for schools and students in a way that is easier for us to manage.
With Knox Configure, Excoord was able to encourage effective and appropriate tablet usage. The company has reduced in-classroom distractions and can control when and for how long students can use the tablets. Schools report better use of student time and improved device management.
Students using the tablets during school are more productive—a benefit for students, teachers, and parents. Schools now have more control over device usage and can enforce rules about which apps can be downloaded.
New tablet controls have eliminated parents’ previous concerns about students misusing the tablets and racking up excessive screen-time after school.
By using a complete Samsung solution that includes Knox Configure, Excoord saves 30 percent on labor costs, by reducing the need for manual deployment and technical support. Device management is now simplified and remote. All devices are registered with Knox Configure and completely managed. The company now resolves issues easily by dynamically deploying the school's profile.
“With the Samsung solution, we can manage students’ tablets more effectively,” says Haifang Wen. “The improved solution greatly relieves the pressure from parents previously concerned about inappropriate use of the tablets.”
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