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Proper digital asset management lets IT leaders take the lead in helping schools unlock the full potential of digital devices.

How IT leaders tackle 7 digital asset management challenges

Proper asset management lets IT leaders take the lead in helping schools unlock the full potential of digital devices

Key points:

  • Poor digital asset management can lead to lost class time, missing devices, and lost funding
  • Innovative approaches to asset management let K-12 educational institutions optimize their operations
  • See related article: 5 ways our district streamlines edtech ecosystems

With kids out the school door for the summer, IT leaders now face the daunting task of organizing, identifying, and managing the many thousands of devices per district that have been in the hands of students over the past year. In K-12 education, the importance of digital asset management–from Chromebooks to iPads to chargers and more–cannot be overstated.

Schools and districts run the risk of wasting class time, losing valuable devices, and incurring financial losses if they fail to effectively manage the hardware, software and systems that are essential in today’s classrooms. Fortunately for IT leaders, powerful new digital solutions can be leveraged to address many logistical and functional challenges.

In addition, working to introduce a device stewardship model can help address the issues around devices being lost, forgotten, or carelessly handled. When students take responsibility for their technology, they become good stewards of their devices. And when a culture of good device stewardship is embedded across schools and districts, key asset management tasks become easier, more accurate, and more productive for all.

But most of us in educational IT aren’t there yet.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I’ve seen the full array of challenges that exist in digital asset management because I’ve been working in K-12 technology for more than 15 years. I started out at Knox County Schools (KCS) in Tennessee as a technology teacher and eventually became the district’s IT asset management specialist, responsible for more than 80,000 Chromebooks across 94 locations, along with technology issue ticketing and asset management.

When it comes to managing digital devices in schools, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly–and that’s a bunch of middle schoolers handling anything breakable!

Top digital asset management challenges–and how to address them

Beyond the collision of adolescence and technology, there are a number of problems that school IT leaders continue to face when it comes to digital asset management. Here are the top challenges, along with suggestions to create greater visibility, communication, and accountability.

  1. Outdated record-keeping systems: Deploying centralized record-keeping systems can help school IT departments meet the challenging task of maintaining accurate and up-to-date inventories of devices, ownership information and maintenance histories.
  1. Difficulty in tracking missing devices: New technology can tag and track missing devices and identify missing tools and devices. Administrators can then take necessary steps to locate or replace them, minimizing financial losses and ensuring the availability of devices for future use.
  1. Inefficient maintenance and repairs: Schools need to maintain comprehensive maintenance histories for devices, allowing for proactive repairs and minimizing downtime. This streamlines the maintenance process and ensures that devices are in optimal condition for student use.
  1. Lack of streamlined device allocation and usage monitoring: Comprehensive device management systems allow schools to easily track devices, monitor their usage, and assign responsibilities to specific users or departments, optimizing device allocation and ensuring efficient usage.
  1. Financial risks associated with accidental damages or losses: Offering optional insurance programs for devices provides families with the opportunity to protect against such risks and mitigates financial losses for both schools and families.
  1. Insufficient planning for device replacements: By analyzing usage trends, device lifecycle, and future requirements, IT leaders can proactively budget for necessary device replacements, ensuring a seamless transition between academic years and avoiding unexpected financial burdens.
  1. Too little communication, collaboration, and visibility: Providing a centralized platform for all stakeholders involved in the asset management process facilitates communication and visibility. This ensures clear lines of communication, seamless collaboration, and enhanced transparency among administrators and IT staff.

As the importance of technology in education continues to grow, so too does the need for efficient asset management processes. Schools and districts must recognize the significance of comprehensive device tracking, clear communication, and streamlined management systems.

By adopting modern, innovative approaches to asset management, K-12 educational institutions can optimize their operations, reduce financial losses, and enhance student learning experiences. With proper asset management, IT leaders can take the lead in helping schools unlock the full potential of digital devices, empowering educators and students alike.

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