From the Field
School Administrative District (SAD) #4 Guilford, Maine
SAD #4 is a small, rural Maine school district with 700 students PK-12 that launched their 1-to-1 initiative in 1999. SAD #4 maximizes technology support resources by limiting the technology tool purchases to one vendor and maintaining most technology support within the district with specified trainings. A district staff member is certified in warranty repairs for the vendor so that most repairs are completed on site to reduce costs and repair time.
The district also offered a technology repair course for students at the high school so students could help repair computers. In order to minimize loss of use, the district maintains a spare device in every classroom in addition to a stock of temporary devices. The district built the additional device purchases into their initial budget and also purchases older devices at the end of the lease cycles. Finally, over the last three years, the district has reduced the number of servers from 12 to 4 by moving services to the cloud, reducing purchasing and maintenance requirements for numerous servers.
Each campus should develop and evaluate a plan for their tech support system and a process to identify areas of strength and needs. As technology continues to evolve tech support plans will need to accommodate new technologies, identify technologies that need replacing and where and how to spend their tech support funds. In addition to customer satisfaction and minimizing student time without technology tools, IT leaders must analyze costs and plan for upgrades.
As indicated in the tech support systems section, including an evaluation system for tech support users will help to evaluate the rate and quality of the tech support services and the customer satisfaction levels.