When the IT team were looking for a fast, affordable and easy way to stop student devices going missing, HiddenApp stepped in.
How HiddenApp helped Catoosa Public Schools save thousands of dollars in lost devices, and contributed to student attendance and safety.
All the teachers and staff at Catoosa Public Schools, Rogers County, OK, US, have a shared goal - to give the best possible education to their 1800+ students. One of their learning principles is to make sure each student has the learning technology to support a superior education - which includes a school-owned Chromebook each. But, with almost 2000 Chromebooks at large over 4 schools and 9 sites, it wasn’t always easy for Samuel Hoch, Director of Technology, to stay in control. “I’m responsible for all technology in the school district. From Chromebooks to iPads, to printers and phones. TVs, switches, networking components, and internet circuits - the works,” says Samuel, “so attempting to find lost devices without an effective way of actually doing so costs in hours of time as well as money. “Sam was tired of the lose-replace cycle, but that wasn't the only problem. “We’re big on a sense of responsibility so, before we replace a device, we always ask thestudent to search for the device for a few days. It’s not an immediate replacement, nor should it be. But it does mean that the student is without a device for a few days and this means they lose out on their education. We needed to solve both of these problems fast.”
Samuel found HiddenApp and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to setup and deploy across his whole fleet of 2000 devices. He says, “Setup is incredibly simple. I’d assumed that we’d need to manually install it on every device - but that wasn't the case at all. It was just so easy to install, and we had it up and running in minutes.”
Solves problems from day one (almost)
With HiddenApp installed, Sam was able to track down lost devices in seconds. “It proved to be invaluable within days of setting it up,’ he says. “We've used it on numerous occasions to locate lost or stolen Chromebooks, and saved thousands of dollars compared to previous years of not having tracking software. It’s a win for the student, too, as speedy locating means they’re not without their device for long. And if the device is stolen rather than just lost, we know about it immediately. We’re never left wondering. There’s no ambiguity.”
Making IT roles easier
HiddenApp has supported Sam and his team to make their roles easier. “I truly enjoy helping students get the best education possible, and, in my role, that means keeping them connected, assisting them and solving their problems fast, ”says Sam. “When I’m contacted to track a device, I can now answer, "Yes - I'll get right on that." Before HiddenApp, I had to explain that we didn't have a way to track.”
Supporting student attendance and safety
The District is serious about education and that means it’s serious about attendance. It expects 90% attendance from each student, and a legitimate reason for non-attendance every time.
HiddenApp has given the District a mechanism to support attendance. “Students aren’t tracked,” says Samuel, “but if students have reported into school but aren’t actually there, we want to know why. We've used HiddenApp more than once to locate students who have done this, and that alone is worth the price. The earlier we can fix attendance issues, the better the outcomes for the student,”
The District is also passionate about student safety, and HiddenApp’s geofencing feature has the potential to alert the school should a student go missing - although, fortunately, Samuel hasn’t had to address this so far.