Asset management tools can help ensure students, faculty and staff have the digital resources they need without overburdening IT directors and their staff.
At Acero Schools, administrators tried to manage a school district of 7,500 students manually, however the demand was too high for the one system administrator and five help desk technicians.
"We were trying to manage service accounts for all of these students, and the teachers were spending way too much time just getting kids set up at the start of every class,” Robert Chinnici, IT director of Chicago’s Acero Schools, told EdTech.
Chinnici and his team are just one example of small K–12 IT teams struggling to maintain control over thousands of personal devices. With 20 percent of K–12 IT leaders in charge of over 15,000 devices, more schools are starting to adopt IT management software.
Once schools have their software in place, the question becomes how district IT leaders truly get the most out of their IT management tools? To help, education experts offer three steps to success.
1. Study the Benefits and Drawbacks of Management Tools
“Never stop learning,” says Chinnici, who is earning his Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.
“Always stay on top of the newest and shiniest technology available, because that’s what your end users are going to be focused on as well. And be sure you’re current on best practices, especially when it comes to maintaining security.”
2. Teach Necessary Skills to the Entire Team
Prior to installing the Incident IQ system at Henry County (Ga.) Schools, Chris Davis’s team assigned a single person from each school to enter all work order tickets. No more.
“The system is so easy to use, anyone can reach us right from their desktop,” he says. Because teachers and staff no longer need to go through a gatekeeper, “we’re resolving problems faster.”
3. Simplify the Management Process Through Customization
Sam Hernandez of Arlington (Texas) Independent School District suggests leveraging Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager, not only for tasks such as patching and updating, but also for computer imaging. “All it takes is a click, and you can customize everything.”
For more on how K–12 schools are using IT management software, check out Asset Management Tools Help Time-Strapped K–12 IT Teams.