4 Steps to Implementing an
End-to-End IT Solution for Remote Education
by Terra NorineSeptember 15, 2020
Districts across the country are approaching the new school year in a multitude of ways. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for achieving success, especially when it comes to IT matters. Teachers and students may be more familiar with remote learning than they were six months ago, but there is still room for improvement heading into the 2020-2021 school year.
With the right computing solutions and end-to-end IT support, you can facilitate smooth, enriching learning experiences for remote students. You can also create significant capacity for teachers and enable them to focus on meeting their students’ deepest needs.
From an IT perspective, it’s important to think beyond ad-hoc fixes and temporary stopgaps. You need to design a comprehensive IT ecosystem that doesn’t overburden your tech staff or burn out educators and students.
Here are four steps to help get you started.
1. Clarify Your Needs
Before taking any action, reflect on your school’s goals, capabilities, and limitations:
- What are you trying to accomplish this year?
- How can technology help you achieve your goals?
- What are your IT capabilities and protocols today?
- What are your current limitations or needs?
These are just a few questions to jumpstart conversations and provide clarity around how you should invest your time, resources, and energy. Every school district is different, which is why you need to figure out your objectives first.
2. Conduct Research & Plan Accordingly
After you articulate your goals, conduct research to see what technologies and products are available today. Along the way, you will discover what others are doing to meet their IT needs. You will also identify important areas you are forgetting to consider.
In our experience, school leaders often overlook:
- How to promote student equity
- How to monitor student progress with certain technologies
- How to demo and purchase new products
- How to distribute products
- How to train teachers and students on new products
- The value of white glove services
- The importance of warranty plans
By going through this process, you will realize what your district truly needs. And if you invite a trusted partner, like Trox, into the conversation, you will get to the right answers for your school and map out a path to success.
3. Provide Upfront Professional Training
Over the upcoming year, educators will have to manage a slew of new applications while still fulfilling their teaching duties. From video conferencing platforms to messaging apps, there is a lot to manage beyond traditional LMS software.
Survey your educators and ask them what they need from a training standpoint. Provide professional development opportunities or point them to free online resources and tutorials. If necessary, host workshops to walk through features or systems that may be particularly troublesome.
The aim here is to make teachers feel comfortable with all the tools they will use before students enter the digital classroom. Doing so will go a long way to minimizing disruptive learning experiences and increasing confidence in remote education for all involved.
4. Set Up Ongoing Support Channels
Without a doubt, there will be a wide range of technology issues that surface over the coming months. Teachers, students, and parents need to know exactly what steps to take when devices and applications don’t work as intended.
Consider creating and sharing documents that explain how to troubleshoot issues to common problems. Set up an IT hotline to field questions and diagnose problems in real time throughout the day. Ultimately, the best support setup will depend on your specific needs.
How Trox Can Help
The Trox team recognizes that implementing technology to support remote learning - whether entirely or as part of a hybrid model - may seem intimidating or overwhelming. Stakeholders across all areas of education are working with unfamiliar technologies, devices, and applications as we adapt to life during COVID-19. Without outside help, it can be hard to develop streamlined solutions that work well for everybody.
Trox has been a leading provider of educational technology solutions and services for over 30 years. Our team has deep expertise and experience to guide school leaders through the process of selecting, procuring, implementing, training, monitoring, and maintaining end-to-end IT solutions. Contact our team today to learn more about how we work alongside administrators, educators, and IT staff to help spec and design the optimal IT support structure around current needs.
About the Author
Terra Norine is vice president of Sales Enablement for Trox. She helps streamline the company’s sales productivity and works with technology vendors to introduce technology to the EdTech market. She finds joy in helping educators understand how to implement emerging technologies, like virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics, and digital fabrication, to enrich their STEM and STEAM programs to elevate student engagement. Most important, she is passionate about working with educators to find ways to provide equity in the classroom for all students.