As technology in the classroom becomes the norm, schools must find safe locations to store the devices, as well as physical tech infrastructure, requiring these locations to be identified before the technology purchase is made, according to EdTech: Focus on K-12.
Locations like libraries and empty classrooms or computer labs are good storage options, and charging carts are typically compact and easier to store in small spaces.
Upgrading to more powerful hardware in their physical tech infrastructure is another way schools can free up space while storing more data, though transitioning to the cloud for data storage solutions is another space-saving option. And cloud storage providers also now offer flexible storage solutions often at a lower cost than in-house hardware investments.
It is critical to plan ahead when making tech purchases so each school has the bandwidth and physical capacity to store and use the devices. That said, the physical storage requirements of technology are still in an evolving state. As technology gets more sophisticated and hardware becomes more advanced, less physical space is needed. Data can also now be stored offsite in the cloud, removing the need for expensive on-site data centers.
Some schools are off-loading data storage to the cloud, where the information will be safe in the case of a disaster. On-site data storage centers can require additional staff to maintain and large amounts of energy to power and cool.
But while the cloud is efficient and saves space, concerns persist about the security risks that can lead to data breaches. However, research indicates that the biggest data breach risks arise not from district-purchased cloud services but from cloud-based applications used by teachers.
Among other recent trends in the education space are hyperconvergence infrastructures, which provide more data storage and efficiency. Hyperconvergence centralizes the systems of data computing with storage and networks. The idea is to make data storage less complex and more scalable.
One of the hyperconvergence framework’s biggest advantages is that it allows the district's IT team to secure the entire infrastructure, rather than having to protect each school's server separately. Though hyperconvergence systems are often more expensive, tech experts claim they are worth the cost. In the long run, this technology saves time and space while optimizing school data storage.