October 1, 2023

Key points:

  • Poor digital asset management can lead to lost class time, missing devices, and lost funding
  • Innovative approaches to asset management let K-12 educational institutions optimize their operations
  • See related article: 5 ways our district streamlines edtech ecosystems

With kids out the school door for the summer, IT leaders now face the daunting task of organizing, identifying, and managing the many thousands of devices per district that have been in the hands of students over the past year. In K-12 education, the importance of digital asset management–from Chromebooks to iPads to chargers and more–cannot be overstated.

Schools and districts run the risk of wasting class time, losing valuable devices, and incurring financial losses if they fail to effectively manage the hardware, software and systems that are essential in today’s classrooms. Fortunately for IT leaders, powerful new digital solutions can be leveraged to address many logistical and functional challenges.

In addition, working to introduce a device stewardship model can help address the issues around devices being lost, forgotten, or carelessly handled. When students take responsibility for their technology, they become good stewards of their devices. And when a culture of good device stewardship is embedded across schools and districts, key asset management tasks become easier, more accurate, and more productive for all.

But most of us in educational IT aren’t there yet.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I’ve seen the full array of challenges that exist in digital asset management because I’ve been working in K-12 technology for more than 15 years. I started out at Knox County Schools (KCS) in Tennessee as a technology teacher and eventually became the district’s IT asset management specialist, responsible for more than 80,000 Chromebooks across 94 locations, along with technology issue ticketing and asset management.

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