Many of the business trends that are beginning to impact enterprises are also having an affect on K-12 education sector. Advanced service desk solutions could prove incredibly important in the industry, especially as school districts are tasked with trying to keep up with new technology challenges while facing restrictive budget limitations and public scrutiny. A good service desk enables schools to establish the operational excellence and technical oversight needed to ensure efficiency.
The technological challenges facing K-12 schools is especially clear in the results of a recent Project Tomorrow survey, which found students are using a wider range of devices and connectivity options to complete assignments and interact with educational content. According to a report from THE Journal, Project Tomorrow CEO Julie Evans revealed the results of the survey at the recent FETC 2014 conference.
Looking at Technology Changes in Education
The way that students view content is among the most dramatic changes facing educational institutions. Evans told audiences at the conference that approximately 89 percent of high school students have access to Web-connected smartphones. Furthermore, approximately 50 percent of students in grades three to five has access to personal smartphones. Beyond personal use, many students have access to either laptops or tablets in school, the news source explained. Evans told audiences at the conference that the education has moved beyond the tipping point and reached a point where mobile device use is now widespread.
The increased dependence on mobile devices is clear not only in terms of the number of systems deployed, but in what they are used for. Approximately 60 percent of students use smartphones to gain more flexible research options. Furthermore, 43 percent of those polled said they are using the technology to play educational games and 40 percent use smartphones to support collaboration efforts.
Diversity is a common theme when it comes to the devices that students are using and the way they use those solutions. Evans told conference attendees that the varied systems available to many students are allowing them to develop their own methods for using applications, services and different hardware to support their personal methods for learning.
"We find them using video, social media and cell phones for communications; they use e-readers for reading texts and articles; they write, take notes and do research on laptops," Evans told audiences at the event, according to the news source.
Considering How Technological Change Impacts the Service Desk
The wide range of devices in use by students combines with the diverse methods for using the hardware to create a wide range of management challenges. In particular, IT teams must be able to handle a likely increase in incident, problem and change-related tasks. Having a service desk that can handle these issues is particularly important for IT departments in the education sector. Any form of technological disruption can get in the way of teaching goals and make it more difficult for students to complete tasks on time. Furthermore, data protection efforts are especially critical in education, and poor management of incidents, problems and change can lead to data loss.
Increased mobile device use forces IT to deal with more operating systems, a wider range of hardware setups and new release management challenges as each solution needs to be adjusted to work with the various configurations being deployed by end users. This complexity increases incredible service management challenges and makes an advanced service desk a necessary component, especially as IT stability is necessary to support operational goals and protect student data. Without such capabilities, schools can end up experiencing major challenges trying to keep up with technological change.