Why Your School District Should be Tracking Tech Devices

Technology has proven to be a dynamic and revolutionary tool for learning. It plays a critical role in the development of personalized learning initiatives, serves as a supplement to teachers’ lectures and lesson plans, and enhances student engagement. In 2015, approximately $4.7 billion dollars was spent on technology in K12 schools—and this trend isn’t likely to slow down.

Schools utilize tech devices to touch on every step in the education process—from classroom SmartBoards to 1:1 device policies. As technology continues to penetrate education both inside and outside of the classroom, your district may find itself responsible for more and more costly fixed assets.

With these valuable tools comes a wealth of concerns, including the risk of theft and computer tampering, as well as the probability of early expiration if devices aren’t properly maintained. In this post, we’ll explore how tracking school tech devices can help your school minimize headaches and maximize resources.

k12 asset tracking

The idea is rudimentary: The more high-priced items contained within your school’s walls, the higher the risk of theft. Recently, a student from a school district in the Midwest was arrested for the theft of 35 MacBook laptops—and that’s not an isolated incident. A simple google search will elicit countless horror stories, many resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars’ worth of computer equipment.

Discourage Theft & Misuse

One possible solution to better track your tech assets is a scanning software solution. In addition to assisting in your manual inventory processes, it can be used during everyday classroom activities to ensure security.

Tracking School Tech Devices in the Classroom

For example, consider using a scanner to assign laptops or tablets to a specific classroom during an activity that requires each student to have access to their own. When class is over, ensure that no one leaves the classroom until all borrowed devices are moved from the classroom back to a device storage cart, using a scanner.

When properly implemented and maintained, a device tracking system can result in total asset visibility. This leads to an increase in accountability among students and faculty alike. When the students and staff know that costly items are being patrolled, theft and misuse may be deterred.

k12 asset tracking

Total expenditures per pupil in public elementary and secondary schools reached $11,711 in 2015, and are expected to continue to climb—reaching a projected $12,739 by the year 2020. With spending on the rise and budgets declining, proper stewardship of current assets is critical in resource preservation.

Extend Useful Life

By utilizing asset tracking for your tech devices, your district can facilitate a long, healthy life for your technology assets in a number of ways, including:

  • Recognizing when it’s time for maintenance and updates
  • Recognizing when it’s time to take it off the books

Time for Maintenance

In addition to helping you locate existing assets, tracking can also make it easy to access and review asset details such as status. Regardless of your district’s method of choice, establishing a routine for tracking school tech devices can help to keep you informed on their condition.

With proper recording, you’ll know when it’s time for a computer to be serviced or updated. These routine maintenance and preservation efforts can lead to an increased useful life for your assets, and a higher ROI for your district.

Time for a Write-Off

Keeping a watchful eye on your tech devices can also help you identify when it’s time to write off an asset. Device theft is an unfortunate reality, and no school campus is immune. Tracking school tech devices not only helps you identify and secure the items that you do have, but also exposes assets that have been stolen or gone missing.

Let’s refer back to the Midwest school, where it was discovered that more than 30 MacBooks were stolen. Instead, let’s imagine that the theft had gone unnoticed. As a result, the computers continued to appear on their accounting ledger. Three years later, the problem is discovered. At this point, they’d also discover that as a result of the overlook, they’d overpaid on their taxes, and had also spent three years paying to insure 35 laptops that didn’t exist.

Situations like these are common. Identifying missing assets (commonly referred to as ghost assets) is crucial for accounting purposes. Failure to properly account for them can result in severe and unnecessary expenses.

Technology is constantly evolving, and its role in the classroom continues to grow. But when resources are scarce, an investment in new software, hardware, or devices can feel like a risk. When properly monitored, your school’s devices can recognize a healthy and fulfilled [useful] life. No computer can live forever, but tracking school tech devices properly ensures that you’re maximizing the potential of each device, as well as your ROI. university surplus management

Access this 100% free on-demand webinar for K12 school districts.

Learn more about the challenges associated with some of the current asset management processes your district may be using, with a big focus on spreadsheets.


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