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laptop student

New York City begins effort to track all the technology in its schools

Feb. 21, 2023
The “Central Inventory Project” will log the hundreds of thousands of devices being used in schools and central offices.

The New York City Department of Education is putting together a centralized inventory to keep track all of the technology being used in the school system.

Chalkbeat New York reports that the “Central Inventory Project” will log all technology being used at schools and central offices—tablets, laptops, desktop computers, printers and smartboards. City watchdogs have criticized the education department for having no centralized system keeping track of the devices.

Twenty-six teams of five people each plan to visit all district and charter schools, as well as all central offices. So far, they’ve covered 660 schools and offices in 519 buildings.

The need for remote instruction during the Covid-19 pandemic prompted New York City, the nation's largest school system, to buy 550,000 iPads and 175,000 Chromebook laptops at a cost of about $360 million.

City officials are hoping to count how many devices are in schools and central offices, as well as how many of those they’ve assigned to students for use at both school and home, according to a spokesperson.

The inventory effort is addressing an issue raised years ago by former Comptroller Scott Stringer, who noted in multiple reports that the school system had no centralized system for tracking computer hardware.

A 2017 audit, for example, found that the department was missing more than 1,800 computers, laptops, and tablets. And a 2021 audit found that the education department had logged iPads for 5,000 students who had not been marked as having received those devices. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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