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Future Trends in Device Management for Schools

May 28, 2024 jill Blog


The world of K-12 education is evolving rapidly, especially in the post-pandemic, remote-forward world. The pandemic expedited the changing classroom technology landscape, as individual devices now play an increasingly pivotal role in facilitating learning.

With technological transformation, the need for comprehensive device lifecycle management in K-12 schools is more critical than ever. Device lifecycle management (DLM) is a way to manage multiple devices from start to finish — from planning and acquisition, through maintenance, and to disposal. It is also crucial for security purposes, as 2023 saw a record-breaking number of data compromises.

For educators and administrators to keep pace with educational device trends and security, it’s essential to examine the current state of technology in the classroom to identify the future scope of school management systems. This will help K-12 schools optimize their resources, enhance security, and ensure the smooth operation of technology-driven learning.

Here are some emerging educational technology trends that highlight the importance of having a proper device lifecycle management system in place:

U.S. Statistics About Classroom Cybersecurity Concerns

* Cybersecurity ranks as the No. 1 concern for EdTech leaders.

* Over 1 million students were impacted by 65 ransomware attacks in 2022, costing over $9.45 billion in downtime.

* One in four schools were victims of cyberattacks in 2022.

* Only one-third of school districts have a full-time employee dedicated to network security.

* Two-thirds of EdTech leaders feel their district has insufficient resources to deal with cybersecurity issues.

* 65% of school leaders say spending will increase on digital security over the next two to three years.

* 34% of teachers and 34.3% of administrators believe educational devices are the most vulnerable part of their technical infrastructure.

* 26% of teachers say they have not received digital privacy or security training.

U.S. Statistics About Technology in the Classroom

* An estimated 55.7 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2025.

* 90% of middle and high school district leaders and 84% of elementary school district leaders said they provided devices for every student.

* 81% of teachers believe technology positively impacts the classroom, and 69% use digital learning tools regularly.

* 66% of educators believe data analytics help them make informed decisions about which technologies to purchase and implement in their schools,

* 59% of schools report having at least one device for every student.

Emerging Trends in Device Lifecycle Management for K-12 Education

After reviewing the above facts and statistics surrounding technology in the classroom, we’ve identified these eight emerging trends that will likely shape the landscape of device lifecycle management in K-12 schools.

Data-driven decision making

Data analytics will become a cornerstone of device lifecycle management. As mentioned above, 66% of educators believe analyzing data will help them make more informed decisions, including selecting appropriate devices for K-12 students, when to refresh the devices, and how to allocate resources efficiently. By monitoring performance and usage patterns, schools can ensure they invest in the right tools to support their goals and learn how to conduct a proper device needs assessment and management plan for incoming students.

Remote device management

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote and hybrid learning models, which can also help reduce the loss of learning days due to inclement weather or other hindrances to getting into the classroom. As a result, more device lifecycle management tools will evolve to accommodate remote device monitoring, ongoing device maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Security and privacy enhancement

Cybersecurity remains the No. 1 concern for EdTech leaders…and for good reason. In an era of increased cybersecurity threats and data breaches, keeping security tight across K-12 educational technology is paramount. Schools will need to integrate robust security measures, like remote device locking and data wiping, to protect the data of students and teachers in the event of theft. Although cybersecurity is a top concern, physical security is, of course, important, as well. When navigating bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in schools, school leaders must set up a plan to prevent and address device theft.

1:1 device programs

It will continue to become more common for K-12 schools to provide each student with their own device (a 1:1 device program) or laptop lending program. Offering a device to each student helps to increase accessibility to technology for all students, helping to improve digital literacy and facilitate personalized learning experiences. However, it also requires efficient device management and tracking to ensure every student can access a fully functioning and secure device, so be sure to follow best practices for device distribution. And of course, you can’t forget that a secure device collection process will be necessary at the end of the school year.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Undoubtedly, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are a growing trend, but how will they play into device management in schools? Both AI and ML tools can help predict (and therefore prevent) device failures, thus helping schools identify potential issues before they disrupt the learning environment. These technologies allow for timely maintenance and proactive planning.

Customized support and training

As educational devices become more present, device management solutions will offer customized support and training for teachers, faculty, and students. This will further empower educators and learners to make the most of their devices and foster a more technologically savvy school environment.

Community collaboration

Introducing more technology in schools will likely lead to increased engagement with the community, local businesses, and nonprofits, helping to bridge the digital divide and bring internet access to underserved students. Device lifecycle management also includes strategies for equitably distributing and maintaining these devices.

Why Device Lifecycle Management in Schools Is Important

Current trends and statistics reveal that the use and prevalence of technology in the classroom will only expand, which is monumental to enhance teaching and learning and empower students for the technological future. It also means it’s more important than ever for schools to implement device lifecycle management of these devices.

With more educational devices comes more responsibility to monitor these devices for functionality and security. As mentioned, most K-12 schools do not have a full-time employee dedicated to cybersecurity. You need to support your IT team with efficient laptop lending program management to improve functionality and safety for your teachers, faculty, and students.

Juan Hernández is the content specialist for Prey, which offers an all-in-one device management solution for K-12 learning devices,