1:1 Initiatives Require Unexpected Infrastructure

By Anna Maxin

There is no doubt that 2012 was the year for 1:1 initiative buzz at school districts.

From large to small districts, getting technology in the hands of students has been front and center in administrative meetings and news mediums all over the country.  Districts are realizing the potential of implementing an effective instructional technology program to increase student achievement.  However, 1:1 device initiatives are still relatively new to K-12 leaving many administrators wondering what should be done to implement a sustainable program.

Like all initiatives, it starts with a solid foundation.  All too often basic program infrastructure needs are identified late in the planning when someone eventually asks “how do we know which student has what device?”  If you feel like you don’t have the resources to put a comprehensive 1:1 strategy in place, fear not.  Inventory automation makes these initiatives possible by increasing efficiencies and mitigating risk for your district.

Centralized Record Keeping

A successful 1:1 initiative requires that records are kept, maintained and reportable up to the district office.  Ideally, both device and student records should be stored in one easy to access system. Thus allowing you to not only know which current student is assigned to what laptop, but also which student damaged it 3 years ago.  These records, including information such as fines and damages stay with both the item and the student for their life within your district.  This information is incredibly useful for accountability and the enforcement of student device handling policies and procedures.  Data longevity of both device and student history is critical to understanding the total cost of a 1:1 initiative.

Communication Tools

Every educator knows that miscommunication with parents can lead to major headaches.  The last thing you need is an angry parent wondering why their son or daughter was charged a fine for damaging a device for which the student says they never received.  Inventory automation tools designed for 1:1 initiatives allow you to easily print or email a receipt, giving you the needed record trail to have the edge in disputes.

Risk Management

Student equality is a hot topic in education – you need to prove that every student that is supposed to be assigned a 1:1 device actually has access to that item.   Quick access to information is paramount for any administrator which is more easily achieved with robust reporting tools.  A key component to this is linking inventory records with your student information system to identify newly enrolled students or prepare yearly budgets with expected enrollment growth.  This means that finding the right information requires less hunting through disparate systems, making sure no student is left without a device.

What do you think of the 1:1 initiative buzz? How are you preparing to get technology in the hands of your students? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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