For the past 4 years I have worked to stream line and maximize total efficiency of the tech department at our school. Each year we have grown closer as a team, worked to identify each others strengths and weaknesses and become a true team when it comes to supporting the teachers in all their technological endeavors as well as helping them to grow more and more comfortable with technology.
In order to help them grow comfortable with technology they first had to feel a sense of stability and trust that the tech department would be there for them when ever they needed it.
Year 1 I introduced the Technology Request system to them. This system was not my own idea, it was implemented by the district as a way to manage technology issues that were being had in the district and in buildings. Teacher would fill out an online form and submit it, and it would then go to the building tech who would then prioritize the request and tend to it. As it was, my predecessor chose not to use this system. So when I introduced it and had my first
"customer" their first response when I showed up to their room, after receiving the request, was "I just put the technology request in, and now you're here to fix he problem?" To which I replied "yes, that's how it works"
Year 2 the technology request system got an upgrade and we began to implement the full version of the "Monthly maintenance plan" We began it my first year but we were able to fully provide month to month updates, cleanings, data backup, software installs, etc the second year. Simply put, the monthly maintenance plan is a method to ensure the livelihood of the technology in the building. With proper up keep of the equipment you increase the longevity of it's usefulness. The monthly maintenance schedule would be posted via email and teachers could respond if the time slotted for them was in conflict with their schedule.
Year 3 we completed the digitization of every piece of technological equipment that was in the building and entered it into our libraries data management system which allowed us to check out equipment with precision and locate the equipment at a moments notice. The huge benefit of this was that when a technology request would come in for a piece of equipment we could locate who had it and then retrieve it from them to check out to the next person. No longer were teachers having to hunt down who had the equipment they needed or if the equipment even existed in the building. They simply sent a technology request for the equipment and if we had it we would notify them and then either bring the equipment to them, if it was available, or we would let them know when it would become available and then bring it to them.
Year 4, was our year to receive an enormous amount of computers for our school. This year we introduced Microsoft live, and with it, a direct line of communication to the technology department, with the simple use of instant messenger. With this tool and the aide of my personal iPhone I have become instantly reachable, where in the past the only way to directly communicate with me was if I happen to be at my desk ( a rare occurrence) and answer my phone should someone happen to call. Now, with all the previous installments each year of new methods to streamline the tech department we are hoping to jump into the future of technology support with the simple implementation of three devices.
iPad 2, one for each member of the technology department.
With these devices we will be able to create a direct line to each other as we move independently around the building to tend to technology requests. It also puts the technology request system in each of our hands, this way when we go to work on one technology request, we can close it after completion and then check the system to see if any new technology request have come in, in the area we are at. By using Ping Chat we can let each other know which request we are working on and where we are headed to next to prevent doubling up on a single request.
With Face time, we now have the direct access to each others knowledge base. When one of the three of us comes across a technical problem that we can not repair ourselves, we can simply use face time to show one another what we are seeing, and then walk the other through what to do to repair the issue. This will severely decrease the down time that occurs now, when one of us must bring the equipment "in" to be looked at by another.
Lastly, using IM+ and MSN instant messaging we now have a method for teachers to contact us immediately when they have a technological issue in their class that is directly affecting student learning or teachers teaching.