How can educational institutions maximize their ROI on interactive touchscreen investment
By Nadav Avni, Chief Marketing Officer of Radix Technologies
Public schools are under enormous pressure to deliver equal education to all. However, they must also contend with multiple budget cuts and limited resources for education technology tools. Even more challenging, schools are expected to generate a good return on investment (ROI) for their tech investments. School districts must justify their expenses, whether improving the broadband infrastructure or supplying device management software to ed tech solutions.
Today’s school districts must be smarter when spending precious technology resources. For example, some districts that invested heavily in remote learning by improving the network infrastructure reported mixed results. This is mostly because districts’ initiatives were limited to the school side. The network improvements failed to reach impoverished students with connectivity issues at home.
Thankfully, not all educational investments failed to deliver a substantial ROI over the last few years. One significant improvement many school districts undertook was using interactive touchscreen devices. When these devices are backed by reliable device management software, schools can be confident they’re getting a strong ROI.
Interactive Touchscreens Offer Numerous Benefits for Schools
Interactive touchscreens started on the right foot using one system to replace three venerable school devices: the whiteboard, the projector, and the video player. The teacher can now play video clips, present a slideshow, and write text on the board. Upon dismissal, the teacher saves open documents, takes screenshots, and shuts the machine down. Meanwhile, the school IT administrator runs the device management software to ensure everything is okay.
Of course, touchscreens aren’t just about replacing old equipment. Today’s kids learn their first letters, words, and even objects through smartphones and tablets. Instead of the TV, they watch their first videos on YouTube. Children grow up using touchscreens to operate apps and play basic games, so it makes sense to use this same touchscreen technology in school.
Interactive touchscreens are the modern whiteboards. In replacing popular and well-used school equipment, touchscreens do have certain advantages over their predecessors, including:
The Ability to Promote Active Learning
Interactivity allows students to participate in the learning process instead of just sitting, listening, and writing. Touchscreens let them take control of a presentation, scrawl the answers on the screen, and even collaborate with other students. In fact, a recent study concluded that between young students who used an interactive touchscreen, tablets, and paper, those using touchscreens reported the highest motivation to learn.
Better Classroom Management
Instead of having bored or inattentive students, classrooms with interactive touchscreens now feature engaged school kids eager to participate. However, the challenge is the continued production of engaging and challenging course materials teachers can feed their students. Modules can come in the form of interactive, gamified activities.
Time Saved for Teachers
Teachers enjoy the use of interactive touchscreens for their daily classes as well. Touchscreen technology has enabled teachers to reduce the time spent on tasks such as setting up equipment, loading learning materials, and even getting students to pay attention. Conversely, this gives them more time to focus on the material and pay closer attention to students.
At the end of the day, however, interactive touchscreens are a sizable investment to any school. Not having the means to protect, maintain, and manage these devices is a surefire way to ruin any hopes of a good and fast ROI.
Reliable Device Management Software Is Key to Achieving a Good ROI
Device management software also plays a critical role in ensuring the devices are ready for class. IT administrators can connect remotely to any touchscreen to diagnose problems and apply fixes. This is much quicker and more convenient than scheduling an appointment with tech support whenever a device fails.
However, investing in educational technology may not guarantee a good return on investment, whether outright or long-term. The challenge is identifying which investments can provide the best chances of a good ROI. In this case, a smart investment in touchscreen devices and the right device management software can provide better long-term and short-term returns.
The Right Device Management Software Manages, Maintains, and Secures Your Investment
Any substantial educational technology hardware investment should come with companion device management software. This ensures a reliable solution can provide the proper management, maintenance, and security services your investment deserves. In this case, school interactive touchscreens can benefit from having a cloud-based, remote-access device manager taking charge of their upkeep.
Secure and Remote Connectivity for Low-Level Access
Using cloud-based secure connectivity, school district IT administrators can connect to any and all touchscreen devices to apply system and software updates, fixes, and patches. The administrator can also choose whether to apply updates to selected devices only or across the entire fleet. Periodically, the IT team can perform remote checks for each device to spot problems early on.
Assign Access Levels to Stakeholders
Aside from management and maintenance, the device management software can formulate strategies to assign access levels to authorized users based on their requirements. For example, admins and IT teams can access the operating system (OS) and system files, not learning modules or private data files.
Teachers and instructors will have access to learning materials and student files but no authorization to change system settings or install new apps. Finally, school principals and administrators can collect usage data from each device and consolidate them for analytics. These insights can help leaders formulate strategies for the next school year.
Provide Outstanding Security Services
Administrators can also use the device management software to apply security measures in case the touchscreen devices run into trouble. They can shut down devices that report unauthorized access attempts and deny unrecognized attempts to log in. Admins can also choose to wipe local data from any device remotely to prevent data theft.
Invest in the Right Device Management Software
Proper device management using the right software can enhance the lifespan of your school’s touchscreen devices. This is why it’s essential to add a provision for reliable device management software when budgeting for education technology hardware investments such as touchscreens.