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Houston ISD Supports Changes in K-12 Digital Content Purchasing

Published by Megan White at December 18, 2014

Hayes Software clients from Houston ISD made headlines this month by helping lead the charge for interoperability standards for the purchase and use of K-12 digital content. This new style of small batch purchasing (by the chapter, lesson, video, etc.) would increase usability and options of digital content in the classroom.  Education Week is reporting that these changes could “upend long-established purchasing patterns and help educators more easily access materials from multiple vendors.” 

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MDM vs. Physical Asset Management: What’s the difference, and do I need both?

Published by Megan White at October 20, 2014 | Categories: 1:1 Initiatives, IT Asset Management

If you’re a district administrator or technology director, it’s likely that your school has recently increased the amount of mobile technology in your classrooms. It’s also likely that you’re anticipating and preparing for the addition of even more devices in the next several years. And undoubtedly, the challenge of tracking and managing those devices in a secure and efficient way is at the forefront of any instructional technology conversation.

These technological additions to your classrooms are one of the most important investments your district will make, so it’s important to ensure that it’s protected and managed correctly. So you do some research and purchase a mobile device management (MDM) system. All set, right? Wrong.

You think your investment is protected with MDM software alone; this simply isn’t the case. Read on to learn the differences between MDM systems and physical asset inventory management systems, and why it’s important to consider them both as you safeguard your district’s investment....

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Gain Financial Buy-In for 1:1 Initiative Infrastructural Investments

Published by Anna Maxin at December 13, 2013 | Categories: 1:1 Initiatives

The curriculum leadership in your district is pushing to integrate mobile, high-tech learning devices into the classroom, throwing phrases like “1:1”, “BYOD”, and “Connected Learning” around loosely.  The fact is, it falls on you, the Director of Technology, to get it all done, and more often than not the entire success or failure of the initiative can ride on your shoulders.

Here is the problem.  There are many infrastructural items needed to correctly facilitate the curriculum’s vision, yet the person approving the budget, your CFO, only sees them as added costs. You need to prove that the added infrastructure will mitigate the financial, security, and PR risks for your new 1:1 initiative, ensuring that students and teachers are held accountable for each device, are adhering to usage policies, and that the district won’t spend more money than necessary replacing devices.

If you build the discussion with your CFO correctly, by talking in his terms, you should have a compelling business case to get the budget for what is necessary.  As T.H.E. Journal wrote in March, you need to make the CFO your BFF...

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Psych 101: Updating your District Asset Inventory Practices

Published by Anna Maxin at November 22, 2013 | Categories: IT Asset Management

Many districts are feeling the pain of outdated asset management processes and procedures, utilizing practices put in place before the days of highly mobile, low cost technology devices now considered necessary to our school and work days. These instructional changes can be an opportunity to address inventory problems that have been frustrating staff for years. It goes without saying that being good stewards of district asset investments takes some resources but the biggest overlooked challenge is often psychological...

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6 Tips for a New Campus Instructional Material Coordinator

Published by Anna Maxin at October 10, 2013 | Categories: Instructional Materials, Quick Tips

Managing instructional materials for a campus is not an easy task, even for the most veteran inventory control specialists.  Campus coordinators wear many hats, working as a liaison between your school and parents, and meeting the needs of the principal and teachers, on top of managing thousands of dollars of instructional assets.  Keeping track of who has what material can sometimes be the least of your worries.

So when the responsibility of managing these assets has been thrust upon you, what do you do?  I recently sat down with both current and past instructional material managers and asked what advice they’d give a person new to this inventory management role at a school. 

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