New school year—new headaches? With the ever-changing landscape of K–12 technology (New products! New rules! New needs!), the job of an IT director can be heartburn inducing.
A little bit of planning will go a long way. To help you get organized, we’ve compiled this handy EdTech checklist, so nothing slips through the cracks as you dive into the year ahead.
- Make sure your budget is up to date and that you’ve accounted for all your school’s needs.
- Review your school’s users’ policies and revise if necessary. Have there been changes in BYOD, take-home programs, or Internet-access policies?
- Update software across all school devices, and ensure tablets, laptops, and desktops have been cleaned.
- Take inventory of power outlets. Are there enough? Will you need extension cords?
- Check that all your wireless access points, printers, and other appliances are alive and well.
- Assess your wireless-networking capacity. Has it grown? Can your current setup handle the load? If not, what upgrades are needed?
- Evaluate your CIPA-compliance status. Are your filtering practices up to code? With the increasing popularity of HTTPS sites, it’s important to content-filter encrypted traffic. Check out tools like SecureSchool’s SSL Intercept for a “trusted man in the middle” solution.
- Know the names, locations, and contact info of your tech team. Implement a cloud-based ticketing system, such as TroubleTrakkerPRO, to automate your help-desk processes.
- Get E-Rate ready. Filing season will be here before you know it. Make sure all your ducks are in a row and that you don’t miss out on funding.
- Educate students and staff on safe Internet practices, including topics like:
- Correct password usage
- Phishing scams
- The consequences of unacceptable online behavior, such as bypassing the school Internet filter.
- Communicate with parents about school-tech policies and offer recommendations for keeping their kids Internet safe at home.
- Read popular EdTech blogs to stay current on the latest tips and trends. For starters, check out:
- EdTech RoundUp
- EdWeek Market Brief (marketbrief.edweek.org)
- K–12 Tech Decisions
What’s on your back-to-school checklist? Let us know in the comments section.
About the Author:Lisa McComsey is a freelance writer, marketing consultant, and contributor to K12USA’s website and blog. In addition to her passion for technology, Lisa is a running and bicycling enthusiast, author of two books ("The Vegan Cheat Sheet" and "Seagan Eating"), and a hopeless chocolate addict.