Long before the pandemic hit, the education sector was already gearing towards the integration of technology into school curriculums. And 2020 only amplified that desire, as the importance of technology in learning became more evident.
According to the results of this EdWeek Research Survey, 73% of district leaders and teachers believe that 1-to-1 computing will make high-quality teaching easier. And with this, the likelihood of schools acquiring more IT equipment is much higher. Adding school IT assets, (software or hardware) can solve several problems in schools. Managing them though is a whole different story.
Traditional asset management in schools doesn’t actually promote accountability when it comes to handling these not-so-cheap school property. And in a sector that is so financially focused, that could be a serious problem. Can schools guarantee that students or even teachers are going to be responsible, and mindful of these assets?
Relying on old-school pen and paper or spreadsheets for recording and tracking asset movements just won’t cut it, especially now as we enter a new era of learning. Let’s talk about why an IT Asset Management (ITAM) system is vital for schools, how it can enhance the educational setting for students and teachers, and help schools work within their budgets which are already stretched thin.
Better Inventory Management
Implementing a one-to-one method requires schools to track the movement of a lot of loaned devices. So many students pass through the education system each year, making it difficult to keep track of every asset, let alone their condition.
IT asset management solutions like Teqtivity can help school managers and administrators know where each of their IT equipment is located at all times, and to whom these assets are assigned. The school’s smart asset management system can also send email reminders when a device needs to be returned at a specific date. There’s no longer a need to run after students just to have them return the school’s IT equipment. This reduces the risk of assets being lost or stolen and improves accountability.
Moreover, a smart asset vending system tracks the lifecycles of all assets. A school’s asset custodian will know if a laptop is nearing the end of its lifecycle. They’ll also be able to monitor which software is installed on every device. Because the school board is regularly updated on asset conditions, they are more likely to make informed decisions on the next budget hearing, ultimately saving the school a lot of money.
Streamlined Distribution Of Assets
When handling IT equipment, schools need to make sure that these assets are available for teachers and students, when they need them, especially for activities, and events like a play or a recital.
With hardware asset management, you can track how many assets have been distributed so far, and how many are still in working condition, available for use. It can also warn the school if they are overspending on some devices or are underutilizing the others. This process of streamlining the distribution of technology devices makes assets easier to manage and cuts down unnecessary spending on technology.
Improved Reporting Accuracy
Schools have a responsibility to regularly make reports about their assets as these are public items. And reports and auditing processes require putting together accurate data. A better auditing process will help show key stakeholders that the school is managing its resources effectively, and responsibly. For this to happen, every asset needs to be accounted for.
When using an asset tracking system, there’s no need to manually encode data on a spreadsheet, avoiding the likelihood of human error. The process of consolidating data has already been automated to make auditing and reporting more straightforward.
School administrators can then print out customized reports at any specific time because the data is accurate and in real-time. They’ll be able to retrieve key information on school assets, such as depreciation values.
Reliable Preventive Maintenance
Faulty IT equipment can interrupt day-to-day operations. How many times have classes been delayed because a projector is not working properly, or a laptop has crashed?
Smart inventory management includes maintenance modules, built-in to the system. Staff or students can log issues with the equipment. Asset managers can then come up with a preventive maintenance plan to make sure that catastrophic failures don’t happen. More reliable maintenance on IT equipment helps minimize disruption and cuts down costs associated with maintenance issues.
In preparation for a post-pandemic life, educational institutions around the world have already shifted to new ways in how to students learn. More schools are investing in technology use in their curriculums. But this major change in the education sector takes a lot of effort and planning to succeed. An IT asset tracking solution can help schools get there.