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Providing Technical Support for Remote Education

Michael Nutter

April 8, 2020

With Ohio schools closing due to coronavirus concerns, many districts are facing new challenges as they make the switch to remote learning.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is transforming life as we know it. Across industries, the novel coronavirus is disrupting business-as-usual practices — and the field of education is no exception. Specifically, making the switch from standard classroom-based learning to remote lessons has posed new challenges for students, teachers, and school districts alike.

In an effort to reduce the spread of the virus in spaces where large numbers of people congregate, Governor Mike DeWine announced the decision to close all Ohio schools on March 12. This decision left many districts and educators scrambling to figure out what interim solutions are possible given the current situation. While not all schools are able to support remote learning in response to the state’s school closures, many districts that do have the right technology and resources in place are working overtime to transition to online education.

Districts that are able to provide remote learning as an option can help offer continuity of education to their students, as well as add structure for parents adapting to their own changing work circumstances. However, doing so will undoubtedly present a fair share of pain points for districts accustomed to delivering in-person lessons. Fortunately, understanding those pain points and looking to third-party providers for support can help ease the transition to remote education.

The Challenges of Implementing Remote Learning

Fully embracing and implementing remote learning is a challenge under any circumstances, but it is even more so when the switch is sudden. With little time to prepare, districts have had to rapidly rework their plans for the semester and adapt to new limitations.

Some of the biggest challenges when it comes to remote education relate to the complex logistics of implementing such a program for so many individual educators and students. For one, districts must first address the potential lack of student access to devices and Internet connectivity — without which students will be unable to engage in digital learning. This may involve distributing hotspots to households in need, or finding creative access point solutions that respect social distancing guidelines.

From there, districts have to work through the process of rolling out digital lesson plans, which will involve immense technical coordination as well as consideration of how face-to-face lessons can be adapted to a screen. Beyond these big, more obvious issues, there are a large number of questions that school districts likely will not have thought about before the shutdown. For example, how will students — particularly young students who may not have their own emails — log in and access all the necessary accounts? Do teachers have a good space in which to create their digital lesson plans, such as a fully set up Google Classroom? Perhaps most importantly, how will IT teams deal with the influx of tickets as educators and students begin to rely on technology for their lesson plans?

In order for a digital education to operate smoothly, districts need to have a plan in place for the increased IT support demands that will arise due to the transition to remote learning. The success of remote education requires that technology functions as promised. More than ever before, it’s critical that IT support is available to address problems ranging from password resets to device connectivity issues.

A Trusted IT Partner for Remote Education

With schools expected to be closed through the end of the academic year, it is incredibly important that school districts are able to provide support for their students and educators to facilitate remote learning. Considering the emphasis on technology in the current education landscape, a trusted partner can provide the perfect way for districts to keep up with new IT demands. Facing these increased IT challenges, many Ohio school districts are turning to QuantumSpeed IT (QSIT) and Vinson Managed Services for support.

We’ve recently updated our QSIT Teacher Help Desk into a custom-built answering service that can help your district avoid long ticket backlogs. Our newly developed QuantumSpeed IT service offers always-on IT support for teachers, administrators, parents, and students adapting to remote education. This is the perfect solution for schools that have the infrastructure in place to migrate to remote learning but are struggling to keep up with increased tech support requests. QSIT provides on-demand access to IT experts, helping your staff get tech issues resolved in real time. To provide extra support to districts currently fielding increased calls as they transition to remote learning, Vinson is currently offering a 30-day free trial.

For districts looking for a strategic partner that can offer a greater degree of support, Vinson Managed Services is the robust solution you need. With our IT Managed Services offering, experts that specialize in K-12 technology can help your district build out comprehensive plans for today’s biggest edtech issues, from networking and infrastructure to end-user technologies. Our technicians can help you order and install new devices, provide students with Internet hotspots, and apply for funding. And like QSIT, Vinson’s Managed Services also provides access to 24/7 technical support that can help handle more complex technical issues.

Here at Vinson, we work exclusively in the K-12 education space in Ohio, and we understand the amount of stress you are under to provide an education that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff. We also understand that transitioning from face-to-face lessons to remote education is a challenge, no matter how prepared you are. A trusted partner like Vinson can help ensure your technology runs smoothly — allowing you to focus on your students and their education.

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