Asset Management Software For Schools: How Its Used (and Why)
Think back to your district’s assets pre-2020. What did your inventory look like? Smart Boards, projectors, computer labs, and maybe a fair amount of student laptops if your district was forward-thinking enough.
That all has changed—rapidly.
It’s time to look ahead and return your district’s investment and ensure that your students have continued access to the classroom—wherever it may be located.
What is school asset management software?
School asset management software is the technological platform that houses and tracks all assets owned by the school district.
That seems simple enough, but think about what that boils down to: a tracking system for every student Chromebook, every staff laptop, every printer across your schools, every desktop within each school.
The amount, status, and distribution of your district’s educational assets can quickly become overwhelming in today’s tech-driven age. School asset management and Chromebook Management Software are critical for managing thousands of district assets and connecting students to their educational tools.
Why do school districts need their own software for asset tracking?
K-12 school districts have unique needs that industry-neutral asset management software doesn’t support.
Wake County, which has over 161,000 students in North Carolina, was one of the districts that had to exponentially grow their student assets in the past year. At the end of the day, Wake County ended up spending $48 million on new student devices so learning could continue in remote environments—that’s a huge amount of money and devices that need to be tracked and monitored.
Budgeting and staffing challenges for school districts mean that smaller IT support teams are inundated by the issues from student devices. Acero Schools in Chicago exemplified that, as their team manually managed most of the IT assets for 15 schools and 7,500 students.
Districts need smarter tools to work with the unique demands of K-12 student device support. Each moment that a student’s Chromebook is broken or lost means missing a moment to learn or participate in the classroom, and that is the last thing any school district wants. Adaptable, reliable asset management software lets IT teams optimize their workflows, providing technicians with immediate access to relevant device and ownership data.
The importance of school-specific workflows
Furthermore, managing educational assets is not as cut-and-dry as it might appear. Student assets are not stationary—with the addition of remote learning, Chromebooks don’t remain solely in the school.
Because assets are always on the move, your district needs a way to keep track of each student’s laptop location, as well as a way to get in touch with your IT team if any technical issues occur while the student has the device.
Moreover, assets are linked to the individual student that checks out the device. Your asset management system should connect with your district’s student information system, especially if your district has a 1:1 initiative in place.
That way devices are directly tied to the students using them, and IT teams can easily locate and contact students when a support issue arrives.
Barcodes, audits, and real-time inventory control
In order to successfully keep track of your district’s devices, you’ll need tools to help you capture asset data and support inventory management best practices.
With a unique asset tag, student assets can be quickly scanned and tracked. Barcode scanning makes deployment and collection days a breeze, as staff can scan the device, the student’s ID, and have the device’s ownership updated in the asset management system in real-time.
Additionally, if an unknown student device is found on campus, a scan of its barcode sticker can tell us which student has checked out that asset, enabling the easy return of the device.
Touchless audits, on the other hand, require no physical effort to implement. Touchless audits are another name for audits that use recent login data to verify devices are in working order. Touchless audits allow districts to constantly monitor the operational status of student devices, without adding a large administrative project to the IT team’s workload.
Assets can be counted as “verified” when the assigned user logs into their device. If a device isn’t used within a window defined by your IT team, it can be automatically flagged for a manual follow-up to ensure that the device is in working order.
School districts can conduct IT asset management audits to achieve complete accountability large inventories, and avoid year-end surprise device shortages.
K-12 asset management software in action
Let’s take a closer look at how K-12 asset management software is used to manage student devices.
Jessica Ax, Technology Innovation and Assessment Coordinator for Moreno Valley Unified School District, was looking to upgrade her asset management solution. Her previous asset management methods were not keeping up with the demand to get student devices out the door and working properly for remote-only classrooms.
“Originally, we were doing a swap system with broken devices using a Google sheet,” she recalled, “It made me tear my hair out. I had to go into the existing management system and move the student’s assigned Chromebook away from them and give them a different Chromebook—and this was done one-by-one.”
Jessica’s asset management process was completely transformed with Incident IQ. Instead of updating student devices one at a time, Incident IQ combined their help ticketing and asset management system into one platform, as well as integrated with their SIS and MDM—providing valuable device information to their IT team and saving a huge amount of time in the process.
Jessica customized their asset tracking software in Incident IQ for their “COVID swap.” Jessica then put in all the possible issues that could result in a student asset being returned to the district—cracked screens, missing keys, and more.
When students came in with their malfunctioning devices, they walked up through a COVID-protocol window, where a staff member would check-in the device with a barcode scanner. The device would then pop up on the staff member’s screen, and they could easily put in the reason for the swap, assign, and distribute a new device within seconds.
Not only did this eliminate the need for manual, time-consuming data entry, but this new “COVID swap” technique provided Jessica’s IT team with data-rich help tickets in a user-friendly manner.
“Incident IQ saved the day for us,” said Jessica.
The value of all-in-one inventory management
Asset management can’t afford to be siloed from your district’s help ticketing system anymore. More and more devices are being sent away from the schools and into the hands of K-12 students, so it’s crucial for students and staff to have ways of getting help with their devices as soon as possible, while giving IT teams accurate asset data.
Software solutions like Incident IQ empower IT teams to provide better support for their district assets, providing students with greater access to the classroom, and allowing districts to maximize the value from their technology investment.
Want to learn more about combining asset management with help desk ticketing? Watch our presentation — Tackling the Support Challenges of Today’s Transforming Classrooms to hear firsthand how districts are adapting to modern K-12 support challenges.