First, asset management software, which is used to track every asset.
School districts are using more devices and software applications today than ever before – and managing this can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially when remote learning is exploding. Between maintaining device fleets, software licenses, managing warranties, submitting claims and coordinating repairs, there is so much to do on top of creating exceptional learning experiences every day.
Asset management software helps IT directors stay accountable and keep track of who has what devices throughout the year. The software stores user details, hardware specs, technology fee payments, return dates and more. Asset management platforms also provide virtual helpdesk capabilities that students and teachers can use to let IT know when their devices fail.
Next, they should have mobile device management software to support every device.
Many years ago, school computer labs consisted primarily of Windows computers. Since then, computer labs have been transformed into hands-on learning environments like Makerspaces. Now, schools operate by wheeling in Chromebooks in carts, transforming a classroom into a computer lab. In classes where creative skills are needed for music, graphic design and video production, Mac computers become an option. To support every need, almost every school district has a mix of Chromebooks, Windows laptops and, in some cases, Macs or iPads.
IT directors use mobile device management solutions (MDM) to remotely manage all the devices in their inventory from one central hub. This is particularly important if school districts are using multiple operating systems.
Using MDM, IT teams can deliver standard security protocols, support patches and new applications remotely to all devices, no matter the operating system. At a time when millions of students are learning from home, this type of functionality is crucial. Mobile device managers can also geo-track devices to locate missing assets. IT directors can configure alerts when devices leave certain areas, which ultimately helps cut down on the number of devices that need to be replaced.
Data analytics tools should also be used to save money.
Understanding which technology is most effective at improving student outcomes and what types of software are being used by staff and students is extremely beneficial in helping administrators budget for their schools. Picture this. A school has 10,000 licenses for a piece of software, but only 2,000 of those licenses are being used. IT directors can use this as an opportunity to save money by reducing the number of active licenses. With purpose-built software solutions, IT teams can quickly scan all devices in their districts and identify every website, application and software in use. They can then cross-reference this information with licensing data to see where they waste precious budget on tools that teachers and students aren't using.
Perhaps more importantly, IT staff can drill down to the individual student level to see where learners invest their time and connect that information to performance data. Then, administrators can make inferences about what appears to be working well for remote learning and scale those specific solutions to improve student outcomes across the board.
Finally, filtering solutions should be used to keep students safe.
IT directors are accountable for what students can access on the web, both at school and home. Aside from protecting students from inappropriate material, filtering solutions can alert administrators or staff when students conduct concerning online searches. For instance, your platform could send a notification whenever students look up content on bullying or suicidal ideation. Of course, this is incredibly important and a worthwhile investment for the safety of your students.