Whilst Spending Round 2019 saw the government commit to a £7.1 billion cash increase in funding for schools in England by 2022-23, subsequent announcements indicate education will benefit from substantial additional investment, with further education colleges receiving £1.8bn in capital spending over the coming five years.
The UK edtech sector is predicted to soon be worth around £3.4bn, largely due to the extra funds educators will be investing in technology to meet growing demands for the digital devices integral to shaping future education. This may present challenges for schools, colleges, and universities, who will have more assets to manage and make accessible to students.
Allocating budgets for tech spending will therefore require solutions for removing barriers to learning and getting students the tools they need, when they need them, without having to encounter tedious sign-in, sign-out procedures.
Traditionally, a person or department within an educational institution is assigned to manage the devices available to students, keeping a record of loan transactions by entering names, times and dates into an inventory logbook or spreadsheet. Whilst manual practices have been adequate in the past, they cannot remain effective as the number of devices and complexities of student needs become greater and more varied.
Reconsidering antiquated processes will be a key factor in planning throughout the years ahead, but what else must educators consider to make the most out of their tech funds?
The pressure to equip every student with the right technology is already becoming more apparent and, whilst there is a focus on making laptops and tablets available to schools, such devices then need to be made readily available and easily accessible.
With staff and students often working on conflicting timescales, some studying on-site as others learn from home, it can be a big challenge to ensure devices can be accessed and can negatively impact productivity.
For students to deliver assignments well and on time, educators need to remove any obstacles to device availability which means providing convenient, hassle-free access to laptops.
Keeping track of many devices can present a burden on staff members having to balance the urgency of loaning items to students with being accountable for hefty inventories.
Knowing where every asset is and who has what, whether there are broken devices in need of repairing, upgrading, or replacing, can involve laborious admin processes which are time-consuming and not entirely effective.
Automating laptop loans services can simplify existing processes, enabling educators to work more efficiently as information on individual items can be easily accessed, so swift action can be taken whenever issues arise over device functionality or overdue returns.
Ensuring staff and students are safe inside and outside of the classroom is a priority for any educational institution, along with safeguarding its assets.
When these assets include laptops and tablets, educators must mitigate the risks of such items, and data stored upon them, falling into the wrong hands.
Installing a central location where devices can be securely stored when not in use can prevent assets being lost or stolen, whilst offering greater visibility over who has accessed individual devices.
Modern technology is an investment which can cause a big dent into the budgets of all educational facilities, especially when devices are having to be replaced frequently.
Software upgrades and minor repairs need to be carried out on laptops and tablets swiftly to avoid devices breaking down altogether, otherwise the need for replacements can further increase.
Putting in place an intuitive asset management system can offer greater control and awareness of devices, generating automatic alerts whenever issues need addressing, which extends the lifetime of devices, reducing unnecessary expense.
A smart solution…
As educational providers continue to spend on tech for both home and school learning, managing devices will form a major aspect of all digital strategies.
Putting in place a system which can adapt to an ever-evolving range of technological advancements and individual requirements demands an advanced solution.
Intelligent locker systems offer the answer to schools, colleges and universities seeking to make electronic devices more accessible students by delivering an effective laptop loans service.
Many institutions across the UK have implemented iLockerz to provide an automated facility for students to collect and return a variety of devices which can be charged when stored. Offering a straightforward experience for students, these intelligent lockers also allow staff to track and monitor assets in real-time through its fully auditable software.
Looking ahead to the future of edtech, educators should consider an intuitive locker system with unrivalled capabilities and integration options which fulfil their specific asset management needs – not only now, but in the years to come.
Discover a solution for managing your devices here: