If there was ever a time for educational institutions to consider the merits of equipment tracking software, it’s now. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an estimated 87 percent of the world’s students, or 1.5 billion people, have been affected by school closures. More than 180 countries have instituted nationwide school closures; others have shut down schools on a local level. In the United States, 50 states and territories have closed their schools.
The Challenges of Remote Learning
In this unprecedented environment, school-owned IT assets have moved out of classrooms and into homes. That shift requires an organized system for tracking those assets, their whereabouts and their condition until and after they return to the classroom. At a time when there’s such a premium on IT equipment, primary and secondary schools have quickly learned where they’re running short and may need to make additional purchases – both for staff and the students they serve. The budget for the average school is already stretched thin. This isn’t the time to let passive asset tracking practices result in lost or stolen equipment, missed maintenance and expensive repairs.
These issues apply to colleges and universities, as well. In a post for InsideHigherEd.com (“Teaching and Learning After COVID-19”), blogger Joshua Kim predicts that “online education will be recognized as core to every school’s plan for institutional resilience and academic continuity.” A significant number of universities already had online course offerings in place before the virus, while others hadn’t yet made a significant investment in online education. It’s safe to say, however, that those schools who hadn’t prioritized investment in online education are giving more thought to it now. Limited online infrastructures are likely disrupting students at those institutions. Across the board, institutes of higher learning will need to consider making additional investment in IT equipment for their staff and their students.
Equipment Tracking Software Prepares Schools for New Reality
Equipment tracking software assigns a unique barcode to each IT asset, making equipment management much easier. Users may enter additional documents, videos, or photos to asset records, track location using a check-in/check-out feature, and keep track of routine maintenance and software updates using custom reminders. Preventive maintenance and regularly scheduled software updates must be completed to keep IT equipment running as efficiently as possible, so there are no unnecessary disruptions to learning. Depreciation, tracked for accounting and compliance purposes, is also far easier to track with equipment tracking software; the entire lifecycle of every fixed asset lives on a single platform.
Rebecca Winthrop of the Brookings Institution (“COVID-19 and school closures: What can countries learn from past emergencies”; March 31, 2020) advises that schools plan for closures to last months, not weeks. However, we have the opportunity to build schools back better, including “the integration of technology into education. Remote learning may force many educators and school administrators to get up to speed on what technology can offer, and this increased level of fluency could be sustained postcrisis to assist student learning.”
Using equipment tracking software, schools of every variety can audit, track and monitor the IT assets they have, enabling them to keep their equipment running smoothly and securely and eliminating loss and waste. Asset Panda’s equipment tracking software enables educational institutions to track and manage their equipment and fixed assets using an intuitive and customizable mobile app. Easy to use and cost-effective, Asset Panda also offers an audit tool to help keep asset data up to date. To learn more about Asset Panda, visit assetpanda.com