2. Develop a technology-maintenance plan

The first step in any management plan is to run a complete inventory of all devices, settings, and applications, allowing you to detect any holes in your coverage. This can be complex for districts who manage devices manually, but there are multi-platform device-management systems that simplify the supervision of a complex device assortment. These systems can also provide greater visibility and control over devices that is key to meeting strict security and privacy mandates for student information. We use FileWave to automate our device management and ensure we meet security and reporting standards. After completing your inventory, your next step is to target updates for only those devices that need them.

As part of your maintenance plan, you can do a spot check on your software licenses to ensure you’re not exceeding your license count or purchasing excess licenses. The maintenance plan should also include a network requirements audit. During the first half of the year, any increase in 1:1 devices or evolving throughput requirements may have placed additional strain on networks. These break periods are a minimally disruptive time to address capacity issues.

3. Prepare for the future

As we identified earlier, leveraging technology for learning is a bottleneck for many IT departments, so the final step in every maintenance window is to ensure that classrooms are well equipped with any new technology. IT teams should also ensure that device operating systems are updated for secure operation and compatibility with software needed to support the upcoming term that includes a busy season of standardized testing.

A 3-step plan for smart #edtech maintenance

While pushing out system updates to all devices is important, pushing out new applications to all students or staff doesn’t make sense when not every student or staff member will need every app. This approach to application management is also not cost-effective. Instead, our team maximizes the short spring break maintenance window with tools that support smarter software distribution, allowing applications to be pushed out by grade, location, or content area. We also promote user agency by updating our software self-service kiosk so teachers can make decisions about which software best supports their instructional objectives.

About the Author:

Throughout his 28 years with the Lincoln (NE) Public Schools, Kirk Langer has held a variety of technology positions directly supporting the use of technology as a catalyst for increasing business productivity and teacher effectiveness in support of student learning. In the aftermath of a catastrophic fire eight years ago, Langer has been a driving force in a transformation that has moved Lincoln Public Schools from a district that integrates technology to a district where technology is integral to the delivery of service and instruction.