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How Is Your Local School District Tracking Assigned Chromebooks?

4th grader using Chromebook

As schools are reopening, almost every school district is providing Chromebooks to students and teachers. We have all seen the news reports of moms and dads driving up to schools, popping their trunk and the teacher putting in a new Chromebook/iPad/laptop wrapped in plastic. The trunk is closed and off goes mom or dad with the school’s asset.

In previous years, the students in my local school district received Chromebooks which stayed in the classroom. Last year, I asked a local teacher how the Chromebooks were tracked. She said about a month into the school year she would receive a request to manually complete a form “documenting” which student was assigned which Chromebook and at the end of the year she was responsible for getting them all back.

With school starting soon, I followed up to see what they are doing this year. They are giving each student a Chromebook for them to take home. According to the teacher, when a parent drives up, one teacher writes the serial number and student information on a piece of paper and another delivers the Chromebook. She does not know what happens with that information.

My local school district provides Chromebooks to all students, teachers, counselors, etc. With close to 55,000 students and another 5,000 faculty, this means we will distribute approximately 60,000 Chromebooks. According to the contract each parent had to sign for the 2019-2020 school year, each Chromebook has a value of $314. That is over an $18 million investment that is being tracked with pen and paper! If a school district is issuing iPads or laptops, that amount will be even higher.

Despite the huge investment, very few school districts are prepared to address the challenges associated with managing these assets. They are challenged in accurately tracking who has which Chromebook. They don’t have a process in place for students leaving the district or transferring schools. They can’t ensure all the Chromebooks are returned. If a Chromebook is not returned, they are unable to identify which one is missing.

Recently, Greenville County Schools in South Carolina reported that nearly 4,000 laptops issued last school year to students are missing. They put the cost at $1.19 million. This does not include the expenses associated with trying to identify which ones are missing and trying to recover them.

How can you solve this problem? The solution is actually quite simple; an asset tracking system to automate the process. Every Chromebook, laptop or iPad has a serial number barcode and every student and faculty member has an ID number. When the Chromebook is issued, you scan the barcode and assign it to the appropriate individual.

Once this information has been captured, you have the ability to track all your assets with a simple check in/check out process. When the parent arrives at the school, the teacher scans the barcode and the Chromebook is checked out and assigned to the specific student. At the end of the year, it is the same process, only in reverse. The teacher scans the Chromebook and it is checked in. You can run a variety of reports showing the status of individual Chromebooks at any time. The ability to easily view current inventory helps eliminate expenses associated with purchasing unnecessary replacements.

AssetCloud from Wasp Barcode Technologies is the only asset tracking solution on the market that offers all the necessary software and hardware you need to implement an asset management system. To learn more, talk to your IT reseller or contact your Wasp channel account manager at channelsales@waspbarcode.com.