Who to Call When You Need Help

Photo Credit: Nick Youngson http://nyphotographic.com/

The beginning of the school year is always exciting, but it can also bring stress.  And when technology isn’t working the way you would like it to, that stress is exacerbated.  To get the right help to you in the shortest time, you need to know who is best positioned to help you.

First of all, always start with School Dude.  I’ve included the link to Faydeen Sateriale’s email at the bottom of this post to make it easier for you.

Next, look at the type of problem you are addressing and decide who is best equipped to help you out.  I use the following to help me: is the issue related to boxes (devices) and wires or to people and pedagogy?  While this is certainly a gross oversimplification, it can be your starting point for understanding your problem.

Is the problem related to boxes and wires, or to people and pedagogy?

Information Technology (IT)

IT is responsible for the “boxes and wires” side of this equation.  Essentially, they make sure that the network is up and running, the internet is flowing to and from your buildings, the servers process requests properly and keep the data required by the district and state, and that the devices that use the network are working properly.  

Technology Integration

The role of tech integration is to take all of this wonderful connectivity and associated services, along with the provided devices, and turn it into an amazing teaching and learning experience.  This is where the “people and pedagogy” side of the equation comes in.  Your Tech Integration Specialist is the expert on how to use technology and digital resources to amplify the best pedagogical practices.  (remember that technology tends to amplify both poor and great pedagogy, so make sure you’re integrating it for the latter.)  These can be major transformations or simply much-needed accommodations.  

Learning about continents?  Talk to your Tech Integration Specialist about digital and connected resources for learning about other parts of the world.  What about partnering with same-age classes around the globe through Skype or Google Hangouts to share experiences.  Think of your kindergarten students as they process that Australia celebrates Christmas in the summer!  And they can take you outside with their devices to prove it.  Learning about trees or habitats?  How about partnering with a park ranger or crowdsourcing pictures of trees and habitats in different parts of the country via Twitter?  Toss out that ELA genre diorama and replace it with a book trailer.  Access first person accounts of important moments in history.  You can also expand the range of learning needs to address through simple resources/tools such as screen readers, audio books, video tutorials, magnification, tools to support organization and executive functioning, and more.

Tech Integration Specialists can often help with device or software issues, but this is because they have experienced these or related issues in their practice.  Generally they have not taken courses or earned degrees in computer science or IT.  Their training is in teaching with technology.

So, if you are freaking out because the overhead projector you desperately need for your first day community building activity is refusing to recognize your chromebook or everything is a funky shade of green, put in a School Dude ticket and then let your building Tech Integration Specialist know about it.  It might be a simple cable switch-out that the they can do for you but, if not, you’ve already taken the first steps to getting help from IT.

If you want to transform your first, last, or any day in between community-building activity by infusing tech into it and teaching your students about the global community, or you want to organize your workflow with Google Classroom, then get in touch with your building based Tech Integration Specialist or me, your Mobile Learning Coach.

Together, we make education in Burlington better.


School Dude login and/or initiate a request

Burlington Public Schools employees may access School Dude user information when signed in to their BPS accounts.

Please use and bookmark the updated link below to initiate School Dude help tickets for all technology issues or questions (including printers

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