When I was in school, the closest thing to “student technology” was the electric typewriter I used in typing class―that is, unless you were the A/V guy who got to plug in the television and run the Betamax videos!
All across the country, schools are implementing 1:1 programs that equip each student with a connected device that empower educators to open whole new worlds of student-centered learning. Today’s K-12 students are as reliant on the uninterrupted performance of their devices for research and creation to collaboration and testing as any business user.
But students are way tougher on devices than most business users, and school districts typically have very limited IT support, and tight, fixed budgets. In short, it’s not easy to keep student technology working so young minds can keep learning ― as we’ve learned working alongside school districts across the country.
1:1 x 8,000
Consider the case of the Tift County School District in Georgia, which wanted to implement a 1:1 initiative for its students.
“We believed that learning and teaching could have better outcomes if students could access learning resources and the internet on their own computers,” says Jonathan Judy, the school district’s chief technology and information officer.
With 8,000+ students on a dozen campuses―and an IT organization of just 9 people―the hurdles seemed high. Selecting the right technology was only the first challenge:
- How would they distribute devices on the first day of school?
- Maintain devices, so students could learn without interruption?
- Get the computers ready for the next school year?
When customers like Tift County and others asked for help as they modernized their classrooms, we recognized the opportunity to build on the proven expertise, logistics and scale of our factory-based and on-site client deployment and support services to develop a portfolio of Student Technology Services that precisely address K-12 needs.
- On the first day, schools need to hit the ground running. Dell makes sure each student’s device is configured, loaded with the right OS and software, and securely connected to the network. The logistics alone can easily overwhelm an already stretched IT staff, so we help with everything from staging, tagging and distributing new devices, to registering and enrolling users and removing and recycling trash.
- Throughout the school year, students need working devices to do their daily assignments. From the daily bangs, drops and slams of every-day student use to chocolate candy embedded in the ports (true story!), even the most durable classroom devices may need technical support. That’s why Dell Student Technology Services include new repair options designed exclusively for K-12 schools. Our “one-step repair” technical support requires a single hardware diagnostic before Dell takes over the support effort, so schools can keep student devices up and running with minimal effort. Also, our Unlimited Incident Accidental Damage service was developed specifically to address the increased rate of accidental drops, spills and bumps that occur in the school environment and is available ONLY to K-12 schools. We know that no matter how careful students are, accidents happen, so this specialized service means device repair is covered―no matter how many times it’s needed.1
- At year end, there is the often-overlooked challenge of how to collect and inventory devices during what is already a busy time in most schools. In addition to collecting, cleaning and repairing devices to make sure technology is ready-to-go on Day 1 of the next school year, we can help store devices safely offsite. And, as devices reach end-of-life, we’re ready to help with recycle and resale, including documenting data sanitization, safe materials disposal and asset resale value.
Now, with our new suite of Student Technology Services, we can help schools streamline IT processes, so their staff can focus on maximizing learning time.
The Right Student Technology Services Make a Difference for Staff and Students
We accomplished our otherwise impossible 1:1 strategy with powerful devices and an outstanding level of service from Dell,” says Judy.
What’s more, there’s been a 50% decrease in staff time spent on repairs. “Instead of researching every issue, we let Dell take care of it―with much greater efficiency,” Judy says. “And we don’t just get standard break/fix warranty maintenance from Dell, we are also covered for accidental breakages.”
The most important result?
Learning and teaching are changing for the better,” says Judy. “Teachers and students are enthusiastic about the virtual curriculum and the ability to manage tests, papers and communications online. Student motivation and engagement in the classroom have clearly improved.”
Thinking back on the impact of technology from my own school days, it’s worth noting that while Betamax is long gone―being able to type quickly and accurately whether on a typewriter or a keyboard, is still an awesome and necessary skill to have!
If you are looking for a partner who understands the needs of K-12 education―contact your Dell EMC representative to learn more about bringing these lifecycle services to your school district.
1 Accidental Damage Service is only available during the term for Dell’s limited hardware warranty or upgraded service contract and excludes theft, loss, and damage due to fire, flood or other acts of nature, or intentional damage.
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