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How very timely.  A teacher just brought me the Sony Viao laptop he
managed to purchase without consulting anyone in IT a year ago.   The hard
drive has died, about 8 days after the warrantee expired.  Could I please
make it work again?  Does he have a recovery disk set?  no.   Sony wants
$48 for  the set, sigh.   Any other backups of any type?  heck no.

My answer to non-standard hardware is really the same as for everything
else, which is I'll give it my best effort, as time permits, and I'll take
all the support requests I get and triage them, factoring in such complex
variables as how mission critical the problem is, not just to the
requestor, but to the school as a whole, how many people are impacted, and
to what extent, whether there's a deadline involved, how much effort is
likely to be required to remedy the problem (which is obviously greater
for stuff I'm not familiar with), etc.  And of course, any priority I set
is subject to review by higher authorities (which is fine with me,
really).   



Bob Wickberg
Technology Coordinator
Brattleboro Union High School District # 6
802-451-3418

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>Folks,
>
>I'm wondering what schools are doing about supporting technology that 
>educators are receiving when they take college classes, professional 
>development and go to conferences?  It is always nice to get "free" 
>equipment, but what happens when the camera stops working, the projector 
>gets a short in the custom cable, the ipod battery fails or the laptop 
>boots to a blue screen of death?  Are these "free" devices dropped off 
>with the tech support team, with an admonition to get them repaired 
>before the next class so the lesson (which is planned around the device) 
>can proceed?
>
>One of the resources that is limiting what we can do with technology at 
>St Albans City School is technical support.  If the teachers can't count 
>on their technology working they can't integrate it into their work with 
>the kids.  Since I started there 2+ years ago we have gone from 300 
>computers to 500 computers and the amount of student hours using 
>technology has increased 10 fold (thanks to Lucie's efforts).  With this 
>has come an increase in the amount of tech support that people have 
>needed.  However, there has been no increase in tech personnel.  So we 
>work smarter.  This includes no "one offs" allowed.  These one of a kind 
>devices are more difficult because we don't understand them, we don't 
>have parts and in the case of computers we don't have images, which are 
>integral to our supporting a large number of machines configured so the 
>end user has the greatest degree of flexibility and autonomy.
>
>What do you do when someone comes back from a conference or a class with 
>a laptop that you've never seen before, with an operating system you 
>know won't work with your network?  How do you support it when it gets 
>an incurable virus and the person who must have it to teach their next 
>lesson looks at you blankly when you ask for the recovery CD?  How do 
>you schedule in figuring out the document camera that can't resolve 
>anything if the room lights are on?  What about the camera that you've 
>never seen before that suddenly stops working?
>
>I know Rita and I would be willing to work on these things in our spare 
>time.  The problem is there is precious little spare time.  Can we tell 
>people that this free equipment can not be repaired as quickly as the 
>equipment we specify?  In effect is it OK to say free equipment can not 
>be mission critical?  Can we ask the organizations that give out this 
>equipment to take some responsibility for it once it has left the 
>conference?  Maybe then they would see the advantage to a 3 year warranty!
>
>Am I just being ungrateful?
>
>Craig Lyndes
>Franklin Central SU