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Internship part II

July 21, 2010

Excerpts from my final reflection
… My role as an intern was two fold. My first job was to observe the technology director and complete tasks that she assigned to me. My second job was to assist the field technicians in their day to day maintenance of the district network, hardware, and software…
…I was flabbergasted when we worked on a teacher’s cell phone so that the teacher could pull up school email on their phone. I do not think technicians should work on a teacher’s equipment. It seems to me it would be a huge liability issue. What if we accidentally broke the phone? Would the district then buy that teacher a new phone? What about the hourly wage that is being paid for the tech to work on the teacher’s phone? We were easily working on this teacher’s phone for an hour. When I think about a district’s technology department and the salary of those who work in it I automatically think of tax payer dollars. If it was a one time occurrence that would be one thing, but this happened on multiple occasions where the field tech I was working with worked on a teacher’s personal equipment during district paid work hours. If I were the technology director in this case I would make a policy for the field technicians that they could work on a teacher’s personal equipment after or before work. If they wanted to be compensated for their time they would have to take that up with the teacher. I would emphasize to them that it is a liability issue. However, the technicians did have a LOT of dead time while software was being loaded onto computers to work on teacher’s personal equipment. In this case as the technology director I would recognize that there is dead time for field technicians and create a database of jobs that could be done from any computer in the district. Technicians working on the “to do list” of jobs could earn extra compensation, per job. Regardless, there needs to be something technicians could work on for the district while software is being loaded, or during dead time. What falls under or what does not fall under the umbrella of the technology department is a tough issue. In my opinion a technology department responsibility should be district technology equipment only…
…The field technicians were able to do an amazing amount of trouble shooting with remotely logging into a teacher’s computer. Remotely logging to troubleshoot should be considered before traveling to the building to fix the problem on site. This will not happen if the field technicians are all out traveling around fixing problems in all different buildings. All troubleshooting problems should go to one person, instead of different people who are assigned to different buildings. This person would be given the title “remote tech” and when they receive a work order they first try to see if it can be fixed remotely or by advising the teacher through a chat session. If the problem cannot be fixed remotely or through a chat session it then goes to the field technician who travels to the site of the problem. If it is still not fixable it will probably lead to the purchase of equipment. If it is a network issue it goes to the network administrator, all others go to the technology director. If there is software that needs to be installed it goes to the remote technician. If there is hardware that needs to be installed it goes to the field technician. Organizing the two field technicians in this way will save on transportation expenses and lead to faster response times despite fewer technicians and more buildings.

Questions I am still pursuing:

  • What does an ideal school technology staff look like?
  • How should a technology department handle growth in the district?
  • What are the essential skills of a school technology director?
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