The new teaching assistant: ESM can retain educators and resolve bottlenecks in universities

Building on ITSM and ITAM, enterprise service management has assumed a broader and increasingly essential role in education that will last long after the pandemic ends.
By: | April 15, 2022
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Nate Riley

The pandemic changed education forever. The size and scope of the shifts to remote and in-school learning have left schoolteachers and college professors burned out. Many have joined the so-called “Great Resignation.” Others are considering doing so.

More than half of the National Education Association’s 3 million educators are thinking about leaving the teaching profession, according to a recent survey. Almost 90 percent cited burnout as their primary reason for reconsidering their careers. The survey also found that Black and Hispanic educators were among those most likely to quit or take early retirement.

Ironically, some former teachers are now working in educational technology, creating IT service management (ITSM) and IT asset management (ITAM) systems that can boost productivity and educational outcomes in schools and universities, help retain educators, attract young people to the profession, and perhaps lure back those who have fled. “Teachers’ ability to absorb and transmit information quickly, manage stress and multitask are high-demand skills,” The Wall Street Journal wrote recently.

ITSM, ITAM and new educational technologies that combine those tools within enterprise service management (ESM) systems are leveraging those skills and empowering teachers who might otherwise experience frustration and friction without the latest time-saving tools.

Realizing potential

The pandemic showed that educational institutions need cost-effective ESM that can support information technology, curricula, human resources, and asset management amid fast-changing conditions. Today, school districts and universities can address those needs with automated, AI-driven ESM systems that resemble the platforms that large corporations with far-flung offices have been perfecting for years.

Marrying ITSM-related digital agents and service automation, human resources and ITAM capabilities to manage the lifecycle of assets from procurement to disposal, these systems can help educational institutions to reimagine their missions, operations, and budgets. Imagine online, cloud-sourced resources for classroom materials and media, testing, and communications — think virtual meetings and lectures — as well as human resources and tech support for teachers and administrators.

Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to help speed these interactions supports the potential of remote learning while simultaneously granting institutions the flexibility of switching between virtual and in-class learning as needed.

Meeting and managing needs

ESM systems are fantastic tools for retaining teachers. Educational ESM holds everything in one platform, from documents and policies to educational materials. These user-friendly tools make it easier for teachers to work, especially those educators who are considering leaving their jobs due to the strains and pressures of the pandemic.

When a first-grade teacher discovers on Tuesday afternoon that they’ll be teaching their Wednesday class remotely, for example, they must move their lessons online quickly and receive assistance so that they’re ready to teach on a laptop by the next morning. Two years ago, steep learning curves, tech glitches and other frictions were routine in this process. Now they’re inexcusable. Through data automation, employee management service provides teachers with a platform that meets their needs.

Providing these services is important. Managing them with ITSM is equally, if not more, essential. Without the latter, nobody gains the full benefits of the former. Schools also want to cut costs as they add a new layer of administration that they rightfully expect will become a permanent fixture of their annual budgets. They need the benefit of ITAM that controls spending on licenses, overbuying and other inefficiencies. Hewing to the academic schedule, they also need to implement ESM systems within 90 days – less than the average semester.

Intelligent automation and AI-powered digital agents, for instance, can help teachers navigate often frustrating processes with ease. Sophisticated enterprise service management can provide all onboarding documents for new teachers in one place and allow educators to order materials and supplies and know where in the school they are located. This machine-driven learning allows everything to be done online, eliminating trips across campus to drop off supply forms and calls to human resources with policy questions that can be easily answered through an ESM system’s digital agent.

Running like a business

These tools can also alleviate pressures on universities. A wave of retirements is coming as faculty members grow older. Student enrollment dropped by more than 1 million students since the fall of 2019. Higher educational institutions have piled on debt since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, suggesting they need to become more efficient in the near future as their revenues plateau or decline.

ESM systems can help universities maintain their operations while cutting costs. These solutions strike the optimum balance between quality and cost while featuring multiple options for ensuring cloud-based or on-premises security, licensing, and other issues, too. ESM solutions that offer mobile-based solutions and AI-powered digital agents, moreover, can add a high level of convenience that counteracts the hassles and frustrations that inevitably arise with remote learning, especially for tech-savvy professors and students.

Corporations for years have been conducting group meetings, sharing documents and slides, and collaborating via online tools. There is no reason schools can’t run like businesses while staying focused on the pursuit of knowledge and the search for the next generation of teachers.

Nate Riley is Enterprise Account Executive at Symphony SummitAI.

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