The penetration of digital technologies has made life easier for both educators and students. Students thrive in a digitised learning environment as it helps them gain and implement their knowledge in more creative ways. For example, they can create presentations instead of dreary textual assignments and academic papers. They can also substantiate their assignments with a diverse range of informative content available on the internet. On the other hand, educators use digital technology in order to create more interesting lessons and engage students in myriad ways. This ensures that students learn more actively and retain more information. It also increases their eagerness for each lesson and lecture, keeping them deeply focused on their academic pursuits.
Computer libraries in schools and universities play an integral role in this, and hence, must be well-equipped to keep pace with the digital advancements. Uninterrupted availability of optimally functional computing systems is the basic expectation of both students and teachers. Campus IT staff have to meet these expectations consistently and more efficiently.
So, below is a list of what IT admins should focus on to stay at par with the demands of both educators and students:
Maximum system availability: In order to ensure that students are gaining maximum benefits out of the institute’s digital facilities, they must be provided with computers and digital resources that are always running at peak functionality. Libraries in academic institutions can achieve this by investing in a library computer management software. Such software enables instant system recovery in the event of a malfunction.
In case of any system glitches or performance issues, an IT staff member or the teacher conducting the class at the moment can simply restart the affected device and revert it to the predetermined pristine configuration. Every restart clears the system of user-made changes, thereby allowing no scope for unapproved elements to remain in the system. By restoring computers to the admin-defined configuration with a restart, the danger of systems being vulnerable to unauthorised changes is totally removed. Consequently, students and educators do not have to endure extensive delays. They are always able to leverage the institutes’ technology infrastructure to improve their educational experience.
Unrestricted computing experience: One of the major dilemmas faced by IT managers at educational institutes is the choice between maintaining system integrity and offering unrestricted use of digital devices. As mentioned above, students and teachers expect well-maintained workstations with full accessibility, particularly to the internet to have access to the widest range of knowledge resources. However, unrestricted access is liable to make endpoints vulnerable to undesirable and possibly malicious changes. Often, IT personnel attempt to resolve this conundrum by implementing group policies which allow different users various levels of liberty with regard to device accessibility. But structuring various access levels is a tedious task and consumes a lot of time, effort, and resources.
A library computer management software resolves this dilemma with ease. It eliminates the need for micromanaging user activities as IT team can simply execute a system reboot at the end of each session to get rid of all the unwanted elements that get accumulated when the device is in use. As the original unaltered state can be restored instantly when required, both teachers and students do not have to be restricted in their computing experience, as their activities pose no long-term threat to the device integrity.
Total device protection: Maintaining a consistent and optimised state across hundreds of devices manually is an extremely difficult feat. Continued infection of devices by harmful cyber elements or unauthorised alteration of settings makes them unstable and liable to frequent malfunctioning. This requires the IT team to frequently fix and recover these devices, without which students would either have to use sub-par devices or will be left with limited access to digital resources.
In this regard, library computer management software that can immunise the system configuration from user-initiated changes is highly effective. These software products protect the admin-set system configuration from the inputs generated during sessions of user activity. This data is stored temporarily like a cache and is blocked from permanently affecting the system configuration. The software discards this cached data when the device is switched off or restarted. As a result, irrespective of what a computer is used for, the preferred state of the device remains unaltered even if no precautionary step is taken. Hence, computer libraries in educational institutes can provide full liberty to educators and students in terms of using the device to enhance the teaching process.
Simplified device management: A library computer management software facilitates easier management of multiple digital devices in school and college libraries. For instance, it allows the IT team to remotely manage system updates and deploy software on all library computers. Scheduling automatic shutdown and restart of computers after a certain period of inactivity or after every user logs off is also possible, thereby restoring the preferred device state.
During maintenance activities, such as updates and installation of software patches, certain functionalities of the device often become unresponsive or slow. Therefore, the best practice is to schedule such tasks when devices are idle. IT staffers can use a library software system to automate and schedule such maintenance tasks in just a few clicks.
Considering the constantly rising teaching and learning expectations of today, a library computer management system ensures maximum system availability and provides a non-restrictive computing experience for students and faculty to reap the benefits of classroom technology and improve academic experiences.
Jose Richardson, Marketing, Library Management System Software
Image Credit: Library Management System Software