How School Device Workflows Impacts Instruction

An effective school device workflow is more central to classroom instruction than ever.

As students transition back to brick-and-mortar school this fall, school technology teams confront a fundamentally altered educational technology landscape. Far from ancillary to instruction or a discrete block in students’ schedules, educational technology is more central to teacher practice than ever: students pick up their personal Chromebooks when they arrive at school, one teacher streams her lesson to students taking class remotely, while another monitors student work progress using Google classroom.

At the center of educational technology programming, however, are effective school device workflows. How do schools ensure they onboard new and returning students, track and monitor student device use, and of course, collect devices at the end of the year for redeployment in the fall? Perhaps most pressing, how will schools collect devices distributed at the outset of the pandemic, during which many students were given devices to take home for the very first time?

Effective school device workflows seamlessly address these and other educational technology challenges, allowing teachers and staff members to focus less on technology and more on educating students.

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Effective student technology onboarding smooths the way for classroom instruction.

If a teacher has to pause his lesson plan to assist a student with her device log-in or can’t find a student in the school’s Google Classroom roster, he loses valuable instructional time in the process. If a teacher spends even five minutes each day troubleshooting otherwise preventable technology problems, this loss can be staggering. Five minutes of daily instructional time lost to technology troubleshooting adds up to roughly 15 hours of instructional time over the course of the academic year, time that should instead be spent teaching students.

At the beginning of the year, school technology teams can prevent these and other issues from arising through effective student technology onboarding. By creating a thorough checklist of technology-related to-dos for both new and returning students, school technology teams can stay ahead of the curve, preventing common technology issues from distracting (or even derailing) classroom instruction.

An effective school device workflow isn’t static. Monitoring and interventions necessarily occur throughout the year.

It’s not enough to properly onboard a student at the start of the year. School technology teams must also regularly monitor and troubleshoot student device issues in the intervening months, as well as make changes to student device assignments and permissions as enrollment fluctuates.

The time around lengthy school breaks (e.g., Thanksgiving, winter / holiday, and spring break) often yields changes in student enrollment, whether it’s a student transitioning to another school, several students joining the school’s roster, or a handful of students moving from one class to another. When such changes occur, school technology teams need systems in place to both capture the changes and adjust student rosters across a range of school technology platforms, from online instructional modules to student information and data & assessment systems.

When a teacher receives a new student in his or her class, whether the student is transferring from another section at the school or joining the school’s roster for the first time, it’s often frustrating when a teacher attempts to locate the student’s information, only to discover it hasn’t been migrated from the student’s previous assignment. Effective school technology teams not only adjust a student’s device assignment to match their new enrollment information but similarly adjust the student’s registration across the full range of school technology platforms, saving teachers both a logistical headache and valuable instructional time.

When the school year ends, an effective school device workflow sets the stage for a smooth school year launch.

When students leave the building at the end of the school year, it’s the school technology team’s job to ensure, first, that every student device is collected before kids leave the building, and second, that each and every device is inventoried, catalogued, and flagged for repair as needed.

An effective device management system that captures these changes not only allows school leaders to make more sound purchasing decisions but also smooths the runway for an effective school launch in the fall. If schools know exactly how many working devices they have on hand at any given time, they can avoid the nightmare scenario of students arriving at school in August or September, only to find that they lack the requisite number of Chromebooks.

At CTS, we help schools manage their device workflows to impact student achievement.

Our team has worked with more than 60 schools across the United States to improve their device workflows and impact student achievement. Comprised of educational technology veterans and former school operations leaders, our team has the technical know-how and on-the-ground experience to improve your school’s device workflows so that you can focus on instruction. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your school accomplish its unique mission.