Have You Outgrown Your IT Infrastructure?
5 Signs It’s Time To Upgrade
As an educator and school leader, it’s frustrating to see IT issues negatively impact your students and teachers. Unstable networks, connectivity issues and aging devices all stand in the way of your students getting the most out of each lesson.
All these issues are signs that your school’s IT infrastructure isn’t meeting your current needs. Here’s what you need to look for when considering an upgrade to your school’s IT:
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1. Connections Drop, Bandwidth Can’t Keep Up With Demand
As charter schools grow and more students and teachers bring multiple devices to school and more teachers use adaptive instructional software in the classroom, it’s easy for a school’s network to be unable to keep up with demand.
Drops in technology during lessons, the inability to log on all students for assessments, lack of access points for wireless – these issues make it difficult for teachers and students to get the full benefits of technology.
Your school’s IT resource – either in-house or outsourced – should be monitoring the demands on the network, adding additional access points as needed and making sure that any connectivity and bandwidth issues are addressed promptly.
Taking a more proactive approach to scalable infrastructure also makes it easier for schools to adjust bandwidth as demands increase.
2. Student, Teacher Devices Are Outdated
As devices such as Chromebooks, laptops, and other devices age, they can’t keep up with the new software that teachers may want to use in the classroom. This can be anything from not being able to run the latest OS to not being able to run Flash or other applications.
Regularly evaluating the types of devices needed and making sure the current devices can handle the demands of new software eliminates issues caused by outdated devices.
Taking a strategic look at what types of devices are purchased, how frequently they’re replaced and how they’re maintained are good ways to ensure you’re getting the most value from your IT investment.
3. Your Admin Team Can’t Leverage Full Range Of Systems
Charter schools have a wide range of data they can access and use to improve student learning. Accessing and analyzing this data relies on a range of systems – student information systems, behavior management systems, learning management systems and classroom management systems – to name a few.
Without the ability and bandwidth to access and analyze this data, school leaders and teachers are missing out on valuable opportunities to improve student learning.
Having both the bandwidth and technological knowledge to implement and run these systems will give charter schools a valuable tool to help meet their educational goals.
4. You Spend A Lot On IT But Don’t See The Results
Many schools spend money on new equipment and IT services but don’t see improved performance. New equipment is great but only delivers results when it’s the right equipment, is set up properly and regularly monitored and adjusted as needs change.
Often, charter schools would be better served to reconfigure what they have and not make major investments in new equipment. When new equipment is needed, instead of taking a piecemeal approach, charter schools will see better results from looking at the overall IT network and strategically adding the right devices.
5. You Have Security Issues With Your Network
While you may not think of charter schools as a prime target for hacking and other cybersecurity issues, outdated security settings and devices can make schools an easy target.
Configuring networks correctly, following current cybersecurity protocols and monitoring systems for any breaches help ensure the safety of student, teacher and financial data.
Take A Proactive Approach To IT Infrastructure
After identifying these five common IT issues, take a strategic approach to correcting them. Instead of tackling each area individually, look at the overall network and do a needs assessment with your in-house or outsourced IT services provider.
Consider what your school needs over the next 3 to 5 years and then budget appropriately. By taking this long-term approach, you’ll get more from your IT spending, have fewer issues and be better prepared to give your students and teachers the IT services they need to meet their educational goals.
Share Your Experiences:
What issues do you have with your school’s IT infrastructure? Do you find it difficult to get technology-aided lessons working correctly? As your school grows, where do you see IT “growing pains”? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
- There are 5 common warning signs that your IT infrastructure is outdated. Your school has:
- Connectivity and bandwidth issues
- Devices are slow or unable to run new programs
- Admin teams can’t access and analyze student data in a variety of systems
- Your IT budget is growing but you’re still seeing issues
- Security issues such as data breaches
- IT issues can impact a school’s ability to reach their overall educational goals
- Working with your IT resources – either in-house or outsourced – to do a 3 to 5-year needs assessment can identify IT issues and proactively address them
- Taking a proactive approach saves money and ensures schools are seeing the full benefit of their spending