Educators rely on their technical support teams almost as much as students rely on their teachers. Because there are usually a lot more teachers than there are technical support people, and there are a lot more students than there are teachers, both professions can learn from each other how to maximize their time.
As with any working relationship, this one begins with awareness and ends with mutual respect. Here are five suggestions for achieving optimum results:
- Awareness – when teachers realize that IT support people are pulled in many directions, and often must prioritize their time based on factors that may not be apparent to the teachers. Support teams are often charged with keeping old systems functioning far beyond their normal lifespan. They are likely one of a very few people who understand the entirety of an organization’s environment. They need to stay current in equipment, software, networking and all the other facets of the entire infrastructure. IT people on the other hand, must appreciate the pressure teachers are under to deliver specific results that have little to do with their passion for teaching. They must deal with unruly students, parents, testing procedures and other distractions so when a system is down or a computer does not work as expected it can add stress to their day and the overall process
- Communication – IT professionals need to learn the language of education and teachers need to learn the language of IT. There are many terms unique to each environment and the entire process will work better when IT professionals refrain from throwing around techno-speak and TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms) while teachers refrain from using HLL (High Level Language) to impress their listeners. Search for common ground and KISS (Keep It Simple, Sam)
- Responsiveness – As in any working environment, both professions need to concentrate on being as responsive as possible whenever a problem or issue arises. The world of education can be highly stressful and there are going to be challenges. When everyone remembers that“life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain,” the clouds will clear and the storms will pass.
- Prompt Problem Resolution– The most important thing IT professionals can do for their part of the relationship it to do everything they can to resolves teacher’s IT issues as quickly and efficiently as possible. Fortunately, everything HelpDesk® from GroupLink goes a long ways towards helping them maximize their time. For example, the 100% Web Help Desk allows tech support people to access their automated ticket tracking system from anywhere and at any time. Teachers are not the only people who take their work home with them! Just like you see teachers grading papers wherever and whenever they can find the time, you see IT professionals logging in and resolving issues at all hours of the day and night.
- Mutual Respect – this leads to our final comment that both professions can learn from the other and understand how important their respective roles are in the education of students. Computers play an increasingly important role in the process and without teachers, there would be no educational system.