Mobile Manager – Hierarchy and Inheritance

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What you’ll learn:
  • The advantages and flexibility of using a Mobile Manager with a hierarchical structure
  • How Mobile Manager sets policies via inheritance
Introduction:

Lightspeed Systems Mobile Manager is set up the same way your educational institution is set up, in a hierarchical fashion, which is part of what makes it such a powerful solution for schools. The top level is your Organization, followed by your Groups. Setting up your devices in this way gives you the most flexibility to configure your settings to work the way your organization works, allowing smaller groups down the hierarchical tree to be configured especially for their needs without affecting other groups.

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Take a look at the inheritance

With the hierarchical setup, Mobile Manager sets policies via inheritance. By default, when you configure a setting, it automatically applies the setting to all the child groups beneath it. This allows for rapid configuration across your district, while still remaining agile, allowing individual groups to set up their own policies.

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About Inheritance:

Similar to genetic inheritance, your groups are set up to inherit traits from their parent group and pass those settings on to their child groups. Unlike genetics, if you want to change the settings for a particular group, you can!

Locking Policies

If you wish to impose settings on a group or groups, and thereby not allow them to alter the inherited configuration, you can easily lock the policy setting.

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Multiple Groups

Devices can be in many groups at once. If, for example, as shown in the figure above, a device is in Group F it would inherit settings from Groups C and A. The device will only show a single group. This is because Mobile Manager will now compile all groups’ settings into a single profile for the device to make changes show on the devices faster.

Devices get the lowest settings on the tree. For example, if “Allow use of camera” is disabled in group A but is enabled in group G, then cameras will be enabled unless “Allow use of camera” is locked in group A.

When an administrator applies a restriction or allowance to a group, the users will pick up the nearest applicable policy on the hierarchical structure. If there is a conflicting change that has been made by two administrators at the same hierarchical level, then the most restrictive policy is applied.

Inheritance Example

In our demo environment, Bennetville ISD is the Organization. Under the main organization we have several groups, each composed of a different school. We highlighted the Organization in red and the schools, which are our Tier Two groups, in green below.

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Within each school, there are further groups. For example, Lake Middle School has groups for individual classes, such as a English, Spanish, and Social Studies, as well as a dedicated group for IT Students and one for Staff. These groups are Tier Three groups, proceeding Tier Two (Lake Middle School) and Tier One (Bennetville ISD.)

These unique groups allow us to assign different settings (policies) to different groups based on the needs of the particular group. For example, we can give individuals within the Staff group less restricted access to various functions. This allows us to assign a certain set of more restrictive policies to students and another set of less restrictive policies to staff. You will learn more about policies in following lessons.

The following screenshot shows the breakdown of Lake Middle School within our demo environment. The Tier Three groups (individual classes and the staff group) are highlighted in green. The current Tier Two group (Lake Middle School) and the Tier One organization (Bennetville ISD) are highlighted in red. The group in which you currently are will always show in large font size on the upper left corner of the Mobile Manager interface, where “Lake Middle School” currently shows in the screenshot.

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The following setup pushes us further, into the Tier Four group, English. In this case, you can see the Tier Four group (Honors) highlighted in green, while the Organization, Tier Two group Lake Middle School, and the current Tier Three group English highlighted in red. You can always know where you are within the Mobile Manager interface by referring to this hierarchical navigational structure.

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With the hierarchical setup, Mobile Manager sets policies via inheritance. By default, when you configure a setting, it automatically applies the setting to all the child groups beneath it. This allows for rapid configuration across your district, while still remaining agile, allowing individual groups to set up their own policies. In other words, all settings (policies) that you have set for your Tier One group (Bennetville ISD) will automatically apply to all tiers under in (in this case, to Tier Two groups, which are the different schools, and all Tier Three groups, which, in the case of Lake Middle School, are the various classes and the Staff group.) Just because policies are passed down from one tier to the other does not mean that each tier absolutely has to follow the policies of the previous one. You can assign individual policies to individual tiers that will override the inherited policies.

The following example illustrates the concept of inheritance.

Currently, we have the camera policy within Bennettville ISD, the Tier One organization, set to Off. (Policies will be explained in detail in Lesson 6.)

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As a result, the policies in all Tier Two groups (and those in every following tier), are automatically set to have the “Allow use of camera” settings to Off, inheriting the settings from the Tier One group.

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Every single group within every single tier under each Tier Two group will also inherit this setting.

Conclusion:

Knowing how group hierarchy and inheritance functions will go a long way toward understanding what is needed for a successful setup. Take the following short quiz to assess your knowledge!

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