How School IT Providers are Meeting the Challenge of Remote Learning

School IT providers have gone the extra mile to meet their clients’ needs.

With the advent of widespread remote learning, school IT providers face unprecedented challenges when it comes to meeting the needs of school leaders, teachers, and individual families. Rather than working directly with teachers and administrators, many school IT providers now work directly with families to troubleshoot common technology issues, becoming almost as integral to a student’s day-to-day routine as teachers and instructional support staff. 

As school IT providers have risen to meet this challenge, school leaders have similarly adjusted their own expectations about what a school day should look like. As schools begin to transition back to in-person instruction, many leaders are looking for ways to integrate online instructional platforms, self-directed learning opportunities, and other positive insights from remote learning into their regular school programming. With the support of school IT providers, remote learning has offered school leaders the chance to reimagine schooling itself.

School IT providers have helped schools figure out what products to purchase to meet the needs of remote learners.

In addition to providing day-to-day troubleshooting support, school IT providers have become trusted partners for school leaders seeking to make the most of their limited funds, leveraging providers’ knowledge of the educational technology landscape to purchase products that make sense in both the short- and long-term.

For example, while some schools may be tempted to make substantial investments in additional hardware by, say, increasing their school’s student-to-Chromebook ratio, school IT providers may be able to recommend a more cost-effective route that still accomplishes the school’s goals. Never mind, of course, that schools might not actually purchase the device from the IT provider. By going the extra mile to support school leaders’ decision-making processes on purchasing and other instructional technology matters, school IT providers have added significant value to school programming. 

More at-home learning means more networks to manage.

While in-person learning normally requires a school IT provider to manage a single network across one facility, widespread remote learning has dramatically increased the scale at which school IT providers operate on a daily basis. Each student’s home network, for example, might require custom solutions that demand additional time from support technicians.

While a school IT provider may be familiar with the layout of a given school—knowing, for instance, where certain wireless dead zones may be lurking or which closet contains a particularly finicky router or switch—technicians have little insight into the physical layouts and common technology issues faced by individual students in their homes.

As a result, school IT providers have spent increased time solving otherwise routine technology issues, using their in-depth knowledge of common operating systems to directly assist students and families with the challenges of remote learning. 

School IT providers now work directly with students and families to troubleshoot a range of IT problems. 

This shift to assisting families and students directly represents a dramatic departure from school IT providers’ normal routines. Rather than interfacing with the same group of teachers and administrators during a given school year, technicians encounter dozens of new families on a weekly basis with whom they have little experience working.

Getting to know individual families and walking each student or parent through an individual technology problem has proved a tremendous challenge for school IT providers. Nonetheless, providers have risen to the challenge, patiently troubleshooting each individual issue to ensure students can resume learning.

As schools begin to transition back to in-person instruction, school IT providers will work with schools to reimagine their day-to-day programming and technology use. 

Rather than simply moving on from the tremendous challenges of remote learning, school leaders are working with their IT teams to chart out a path forward, brainstorming ways to further integrate technology into their daily school programming to reach learners who may, for instance, not respond well to traditional instructional methods. School IT providers are central to this paradigm shift and can provide school leaders with both short- and long-term strategic advice that aligns with their programmatic needs and budgetary constraints.

At CTS, we’ve helped our school partners meet the challenges of remote learning while also keeping the focus on each school’s unique mission. 

From troubleshooting individual families’ tech. issues to providing strategic advice to school leaders navigating uncharted territory, our team has helped more than 60 schools across the country tackle the challenges of remote learning while also keeping the focus on their unique missions. As schools begin to transition back to in-person instruction, our team stands ready to assist school leaders with the challenges that lie ahead and leverage our deep expertise in the educational technology sector to help leaders make decisions that make sense both now and in the future. Contact us today to learn more about our services, and how we can support your school’s unique mission. 

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