Last Update October 31, 2020: We improved the overall article.
In the world of education, technology matters more than ever. IT departments at today’s schools are working into overtime to make sure everything is running properly and that all the resources are accounted for.
Technology in the classroom is by no means a new concept. Back in the 1920s, with the rise of radio, a new era of on-air classes began to pop up.
Beyond this, we welcomed the overhead projector in 1930, then videotapes in the 1950s. Today, more things are digitized than ever before.
The IT department has never been busier, and it’s never been more vital to school districts across the country.
As we gear up for the next school year, take the time to consider the current load of the IT department at your school.
Could you make any changes to make these professionals’ lives easier? Here are some tips to get you started.
Start With Automation
First, give a second thought to automation. A lot of schools shy away from automation due to the stigma that it’s a way to get rid of jobs. In reality, automation is a wonderful asset to any school.
Teachers, faculty, and administrators alike are often busy completing tasks that could otherwise be automated.
Things like payroll, lesson plans, and so on can be automated much faster than ever before. This gives these professionals a chance to focus on things that matter more — like students.
How does this help the IT departments at these schools? It brings the focus back on the teachers and what they really need, instead of simply adding new technology for the sake of innovation.
Be Strategic with Technology
As we’ve said before, the right tech tools can be a fabulous asset to any school system. The key word here is “right” tools. You can’t adapt to every new technology and expect it to magically improve your daily life within the school. You need to be strategic.
Too many schools are bogged down with shiny-object-syndrome. They see something new and amazing, and they just have to have it.
While it’s true that trying new things can be a great way to boost productivity, it can also have the opposite effect.
IT departments are usually stretched thin enough as it is. They can’t manage a plethora of new applications within this same timeframe as well.
Using a cloud strategy advisory can help you pin down exactly what tools you need and which you can live without – for example, it might be a remote desktop software that you need to help your employees handle tech issues.
It will also help your IT department master the select tools you have chosen to use, thus making them more efficient.
Train Your Staff
Training your IT department is always a great first step, but it shouldn’t be your only step. IT departments are usually swamped helping teachers, faculty, and other admin perform relatively routine tech tasks.
From updating computers to ensuring cyber security, these are small things that should be able to be performed by regular non-IT staff.
Allowing your IT department to host regular training events for teachers, faculty, and staff can help them gain confidence in their new tech tools.
The more equipped they are to handle the routine things, the less time will be wasted with IT staff working on small bugs and errors. Plus, in this day and age, we can all stand to be more conscious about our online security.
Preparing for Tomorrow
Finally, it’s up to today’s IT departments in schools to prepare for the next generation of technology. There are a lot of new trends on the horizon that are expected to hit regular school systems soon.
From biometrics to Augmented Reality (AR), the IT staff of today should start preparing for what’s to come.
Encouraging your IT departments to take these new challenges head first is a great way to get your community involved. Who knows? You might find the next best thing that’s the perfect fit for your school system.
How is your IT department currently handling its workload? If you’re like most schools, it’s time for some changes. The good news is that these tips above will go a long way towards changing how your IT system operates from the ground up.
A few key changes will make all the difference. It’s time to prepare for the new year by getting your tech tools in order and brushing up on your digital security. With these tips in mind, you’ll be unstoppable.