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Support | 3 min read

The Role of IT Support for Schools & the Education Industry

Written by Mickey Chavannes

For centuries, schools have endured cosmic shifts in curriculum and culture while the world’s technology advanced in leaps and bounds. Today, that tradition continues — especially after the monumental transformations in the education industry forced by the pandemic. 

Existing curriculum and teaching methodologies aren’t always conducive or receptive to the rapid development or use of technology. The explosive growth in EdTech has garnered in a new era in pedological practices. An EdWeek Research Center survey in 2021 found that nearly two-thirds of teachers, principals and district leaders were experiencing technology fatigue. ¹ Therefore, it is more important than ever to find ways to support the workloads of education industry.

If you’re managing the technology for educators and carrying the weight of the technology world on your shoulders while guiding those that are teaching the next generation, you don’t have to bear the burden alone. Take a look at the different IT solutions for schools that can lend you a hand.

Key Technology Challenges Schools Face

Some of the technology challenges in the education sector are universal. Anyone connected to the internet is vulnerable to a cyberattack to some extent (no one is 100% protected), and working within a strict budget is an obstacle in almost every organization.

However, educational institutions also experience many other issues that most in the corporate world typically don’t have to deal with, including:

  • Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Compliance
  • Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
  • Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)
  • State-mandated compliance
  • Managing multiple campuses
  • Network configurations throughout districts
  • Student record keeping
  • Protecting the private data of minors and teachers
  • Student and classroom learning needs
  • Outdated legacy systems

And that’s just scratching the surface. The role of technology in the classroom is unique in that data must be protected even as it’s shared across multiple locations, while students must have what they need to accommodate their learning — and, likewise, teachers must have the right tools to enable that learning.

Technology Solutions That Make the Grade

Addressing these challenges while facing tight budgets, regulations, additional obstacles brought on by the pandemic and an ever-growing politicized landscape for school districts is no easy task. Such complex concerns require solutions that manage everything while making it easier for those managing technology for teachers, students and administrators.

Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)

With massive amounts of data requiring accessibility from different locations, something school systems may turn to is hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)

HCI is the combined infrastructure of different servers, storage, computing and networking integrated into one simpler system. Schools throughout the U.S. can benefit from HCI because it:

  • Reduces costs
  • Simplifies day-to-day management responsibilities
  • Provides a reliable network to users
  • Delivers dependable continuity

HCI’s simplicity and reliability are a way to relieve the burden of outdated tech and create more bandwidth in your day. These systems are designed with the needs of schools in mind. No additional licensing is needed, and they’re often less complex than many other network solutions, simplifying the management and maintenance of the infrastructure.

Related: The Importance of IT Governance in an Effective IT Strategy

A Reliable Technology Management Provider

It’s one thing to get the hardware and software you need; it’s something else entirely to ensure that the technology is proactively serviced and evolves as schools continue to adopt more integrated learning capabilities.

What a vCIO Can Do for You

A true Technology Management partner — such as Elevity — not only provides the equipment you need, but also serves as a consultant and strategist to ensure your systems operate at peak efficiency from day one. 

With this partner, you’ll have access to a dedicated virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) who consults and strategizes with school administrators and IT departments to achieve their technology goals and, ultimately, help improve learning environments for students.

A vCIO begins by analyzing your current IT environment and developing a strategy that includes software and hardware recommendations, security measures, process evaluations, compliance considerations and more. 

Additionally, you’ll have a full team of technical experts to provide automated security and software updates and 24/7 system monitoring and support, plus user training and professional development recommendations that work for the staff and students.

These functions are part of a comprehensive IT roadmap that’s customized to address each school’s unique needs and budget considerations. This roadmap is reviewed quarterly to look at the big picture plan for your institution. There are also monthly or bi-weekly meetings with your designated client success team, meaning your outsourced IT department is more than a service, but a member of your team that is able to adapt to changing needs and evolving technologies.

Is Your IT Support Head of the Class?

The addition of an experienced and dedicated Technology Management partner and vCIO is critical to ensuring successful implementation of technology solutions in addition to anticipating the needs of administrators, teachers and students in the future.

And if you already have your own IT department, a Technology Management partner like Elevity can still offer assistance. It’s added support for your existing personnel, collaborating and sharing tasks so they’re more readily available to meet your needs.

Now is a great time to do an inventory of what your school system already has available for support. What does a support desk need for the best results? We’ve created a checklist that covers crucial components no service desk should be without. Click the link below to download our free checklist: How to Set Up a Help Desk.

Checklist for Support Desk Needs

1EducationWeek (EdWeek), Tech FatigueIs Real for Teachers and Students: Here’s How to Ease the Burden, March 8, 2022

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