taking a holistic approach to school technology management
31st May 2016
“We wouldn’t hand a textbook to a student without knowing what’s in it. In the same way, we can’t hand a student a handheld device without being able to see what they’re doing on it.”
– Brian Pitts, Longview Texas Independent School District
In a recent podcast on Larry Jacobs’ Education Talk Radio, Impero Software CEO Sam Pemberton chatted with Longview Texas ISD Technology Director Brian Pitts about embracing digital learning. During that conversation Brian explained his district’s approach to network, classroom, and internet safety management. Based on Longview’s philosophy, here are some tips for taking a holistic approach to school technology management.
Use technology management that meets teachers where they’re at
At Longview ISD, the technology helpdesk is staffed with an instructional technology team, not just IT technicians. When teachers call into the helpdesk, they’re talking to master teachers who “get” what is going on. This allows the technology team to meet teachers where they’re at, so to speak, by having an understanding of their needs and day to day goings on with digital devices.
Choose technology that helps everyone who touches it
When Longview was searching for network management solutions, they looked long and hard at their options. Rather than merely choosing software that met only the needs of the IT department, Longview decided to use a solution that would also help teachers, administrators, counselors and students. By implementing Impero Education Pro, the district is now able to help everyone who touches technology in school to use and manage it in safe, appropriate, time saving, and innovative ways.
Use technology that allows focus on teaching and learning
Before adopting Education Pro, some of Longview’s teachers were using tools that allowed them to see student computers on their LAN connected desktop computer. While helpful, this didn’t work for teachers who wanted to walk around the classroom and be involved with students, which is optimal for engagement. Once Education Pro was deployed, teachers gained the ability to access their console via a portable laptop connected via wifi.
For behavior management, teachers are able to utilize Education Pro’s activity log feature. Because the function logs activity on all devices connected to the school network, teachers and administrators are able to review any flagged issues later in the day. This allows teachers to keep class focused on learning, and take the time later to assess issues and put them into context.
Take a holistic approach to technology and software
It can sometimes seem like the approach to technology management is to install a solution for each individual problem. That’s what the technology landscape was like when Brian started at Longview nearly two decades ago. Over time, though, he discovered that having one consolidated solution for as many issues, devices, and people works better in the long run. This holistic approach to managing a school’s technology infrastructure was the main reason that he chose Education Pro.
Technology lessons are learned over time
As with all things, best practices and solutions for school technology management are learned over time by trial and error. Along with learning to take the holistic approach explained in this blog, Brian also learned that when you take care of a school’s technology for twenty years, most of the past mistakes made are your own!
To hear more about Brian’s mistake-making, and his great problem solving skills, listen to the full Edutalk Radio podcast here.
To learn more about about how Impero Education Pro can help provide your school with a consolidated approach to network, classroom, and internet safety management, get in touch today.