Asset Management Software Aided in a Smooth Transition
Average school district use of different EdTech products each month has risen from 952 to 1,327 since March of 2020, and K-12 schools are finding that asset inventory management software is vital to maintain an efficient, well-managed institution, but that was true long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. As the landscape continues to change and schools make decisions on in-person, distance or hybrid learning, it is important for school districts to consider all the ways that implementing new asset management strategies now can assist as we navigate the ongoing pandemic, and how these systems will serve an important purpose well into the future.
When you think of asset management, of course you think of the obvious, devices to track — such as Chromebooks or tablets — loaned to students by the school district. You may not think of the less obvious advantages of employing asset inventory management software and how it helps schools navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many schools with existing 1:1 programs quickly adapted to accommodate distance learning because students already had individual devices assigned to them. Some schools issued hotspots to students to take home, while others set up Wi-Fi connections in school parking lots to bridge the gap for those who depended on their classroom time for reliable internet access. School districts using asset inventory management software were also able to quickly provide families with the IT assistance they needed to enable remote learning, and were able to easily track where each asset was, and who was responsible for it.
Schools were able to use their asset inventory management software for contact tracing as well. As an example, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District in California had a student come on campus to switch out a broken laptop and later learned they tested positive for COVID-19. The school was able to track when the student was on campus, who they might have interacted with or exposed by tracking the timestamp from when the student checked out their new laptop. By combining that timestamp with security footage, administrators created a contact tracing map, informed students and staff that may have been exposed, and avoided a potential school outbreak.
While asset inventory management programs were vital in the smooth transition to virtual learning, and solved many problems felt during the onset of COVID-19, they are becoming absolutely necessary as school districts continue to invest in new technology and deploy devices to students.
Asset Management Software Creates Accountability and Peace of Mind
Utilizing asset management software creates a sense of accountability among students and families. Having school staff actively scan their devices to their student record and explain that they are responsible for that resource, creates a sense of duty to care for the device and they will know there is a digital record if they do not.
Having the ability to track assets gives peace of mind to administrators and teachers. Using a quality asset inventory management system creates the ability to track a device with a click of a button and access records at any given time.
Employing an asset management system also creates the ability to track spending and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Whether it be specific purchases made using categorical funds for students with special needs, or for a special grant funded program, tracking this spending is vital to continue qualifying for those funds. Tracking funding expenditures in an asset inventory management system also allows a school district to forecast future budgeting needs accurately.
The Bottom Line
Whether it be now, to help curtail challenges associated with distance or hybrid learning, or in the future as school districts continue to invest in new technology, asset inventory management software is essential in the efficient operation of lending devices, budgeting, planning, and creating peace of mind for school administrators, teachers, students and families alike.