Keller school district officials are coming up with new solutions for technology services, including hiring students to provide training.
Keller’s contract with Dell Services ended in August, and administrators came up with several components to replace the services, Joe Griffin, chief technology officer told trustees at the Oct. 12 board meeting.
Dell sold its internet technology services company to NTT and the cost went up, Griffin said.
Administrators shopped around and found a better network and storage cloud plans from Region 11 Education Service Center, along with an online help desk from Servicenow.
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Griffin said the cloud storage would save Keller schools $100,000 a year.
Providing help support to staff members has been a challenging part of the transition. In May, officials recorded just under 1,400 service requests. Last month, there was almost double that amount.
Some of the problems came from the deployment of 3,000 new Dell computers and upgrades to Windows 10 for KISD educators. Griffin said some bugs in the software have prompted quite a few calls.
The technology department has been hiring additional staff members to take over many of the services provided under the old contract. Officials are prioritizing help requests to meet the most critical needs first.
Last spring, administrators hired a group of students—the Keller ISD Genius Bar— to provide training and support. Students helped familiarize teachers with their new computers.
Aaron Rister, technology specialist and trainer for Genius Bar students, said they surveyed teachers for what services they wanted and the primary request was help with the Canvas Learning Management System. This fall, students have been providing training on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. They also have technicians available to address computer problems.
District officials are looking for additional ways to utilize geniuses for staff and students.