By Denis O’Shea, founder, Mobile Mentor.
If you had asked me a couple of years ago about what common challenges schools face from an IT perspective, I would have said a lack of device inventory and restrictive budgets. This isn’t the case anymore. The pandemic brought swift and necessary change to the way schools approach technology. When in-person learning became impossible, school administrators were forced to invest in technology to pivot to remote learning.
When COVID-19 hit, schools started supplying their students and educators with devices that made remote learning possible. They bought tablets and laptops in staggering numbers and shipped truckloads of devices to schools to provision and distribute. This generated a new set of challenges related to the management and security of devices.
IT teams at schools struggled to effectively manage the flood of new devices due to lack of time, lack of resources, or both. The result was that best practices were missed as the school environment was extended to the homes of millions of students and faculty. At the same time, cyber threats exploded and schools started to get hacked in record numbers. To date, our educational institutions remain one of the largest targets that exist for cybercriminals.
Now that hybrid and remote learning has become the new norm, schools must address the issues that came along with the procurement of large fleets of devices. They can begin by taking a critical look at their inventory management practices, identity infrastructure, and security of the devices.