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- Survey families to collect information about the numbers, types, and condition of devices used in their homes to support remote learning. Consider asking about use of external displays, game consoles, smart watches, and electronic toys. Follow-up this survey with another about software and apps.
- Assign technology process leaders to key efforts and publish their contact information on the district intranet and/or internet. Only the vendor management lead roles require any technology knowledge. All other lead roles are primarily communication and process roles, including:
- Family device return leader
- Staff device return leader
- Device vendor management leader
- Internet/Intranet communication leader
- Technology Infrastructure evaluation leader
- Infrastructure vendor management leader
- Select an issue tracking tool. Technical processes are dependent on good documentation. If your district does not have an issue tracking tool, there are many free options and Google sheets can also work. Without issue tracking, management of device and technology infrastructure issues will be difficult.
Do Before School Opens
- Appoint family technology liaisons to support communication regarding the use of technology (the existing parent organization may be able to fulfill this role).
- Develop district-wide procedures for return and inventory of district owned devices as part of a return to school technology plan. The procedures should include:
- safely bagging devices collected at schools.
- transporting them to a central location.
- sanitizing the devices prior to a repair or replacement evaluation.
- Conducting prepared maintenance routines to remove malware and fix standard issues including, screen, keyboard, or battery replacement.
- Identify an asset tracking tool for device processing. Although it may seem less important now, it will be nearly impossible to do an inventory after school has restarted. Because devices will have been purchased with local, state, federal, or grant money, eventually an inventory will be demanded.
- Identify a vendor to assist with processing returning devices, if needed.
- Develop on-site triage of staff devices to minimize the time that staff may be without a device.
- Stage device processing areas as needed to run procedures. Supplies, instructions, and equipment should be moved to areas where work will take place to make school opening as smooth as possible. The device return lead should oversee this work.
- Place orders for replacement devices. Utilize industry published device failure rates to estimate the number of devices that will need to be replaced.
- Share return to school technology plan including device processing with school leaders and key stakeholders. Collect feedback and revise the plan to reflect the feedback.
- Prepare the Infrastructure Evaluation process. Every WiFi access point and wired network device should be tested.
Do When Schools are Open and Operating
- Organize and centralize online resources that were created, published or distributed by teachers and others during the closure period.
- Begin staff feedback processes described in your return to school technology plan.
- Compile technology-facing lessons learned for inclusion in your district’s updated learning continuity plan.
- Review issue tracking and inventory results frequently as a way of understanding the quality and progress of technology processes in your district.
- Continue to run the family device return process until all district devices are accounted for and repaired, replaced, or otherwise dispatched.
- Continue infrastructure evaluations until all issues are resolved.
- Identify chronic technology issues that arose during the school closure period and use them to begin the development of a long term technology maintenance plan.