Platform Standardization Strengthens Collaboration and Simplifies Management What’s the next challenge that’s about to hit your IT infrastructure? You can find it inside students’ bags, backpacks, and pockets. You’ll see a wide variety of devices and platforms—laptops running different editions of Windows*, Apple’s* operating system, and even Google’s Chrome OS*. Students and teachers are also bringing the latest Android* and iOS* smartphones as well as popular tablets by Apple* and Samsung*. Of course, every user wants to connect his or her device to your network without a second thought about platform support or security. There is a name for this state of affairs: like it or not, you are experiencing consumerization. This chaotic environment complicates your job in a wide variety of ways including: • Consumerization makes it very difficult and costly to meet users’ expectations to access content, files, and applications quickly and easily across many devices and operating systems; • Consumerization makes it very difficult to maintain your service-level agreements (SLAs) with stakeholders; • Consumerization makes it difficult to protect sensitive data; and • Consumerization makes it difficult to follow compliance requirements. If that isn’t challenging enough, multi-platform environments are beginning to show another crack that directly effects the teaching and learning experience and impedes effective learning: content decay. Applications that run on platforms based on Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems are not identical. When users view and update content on a platform based on a different operating system than the one used to create it, the content often displays incorrectly. If you make changes and comments based on content that does not display correctly, the content deteriorates further, and you have content decay. The Pitfalls of Content Decay In a multi-platform environment, learning opportunities can suffer because of content decay, leading to misunderstandings that can hamper communication, productivity, and learning. Students want to be sure that their teachers see their work accurately, and they don’t want their grades to suffer because the document they submitted displays incorrectly on the teacher’s device. For most teachers and schools, Microsoft Office* is still the gold-standard in terms of word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation creation. However, for schools using tablets based on the Apple iOS* and Google Android* operating systems, Microsoft Office is not available as a native app, which can cause schools to look for alternates that allow their students to read and modify Office files. As schools deploy more devices to support achievement on more rigorous standards, students and educators cannot afford to have learning suffer because the document they are using displays information incorrectly. When Content Decays, Learning Suffers The Impact of Content Decay on Learning The increasing adoption of technology-dependent teaching models such the “flipping the classroom” and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives have added more work onto both the teacher’s and the IT coordinator’s plates. For teachers who are “flipping their classroom” they are now responsible for finding (or creating) content that supports their curricular objectives and integrating it into their school’s learning management Read the full When Content Decays, Learning Suffers.