We have been receiving some requests from school staff to help support student devices that have traveled home for distance learning. Here are some things we are doing at ITS to make this an efficient and comfortable experience for your staff and students:
- School staff must still initiate the ticket to ITS. Let us know what the problem is, and what type of school device is being used at home. Some issues can be fixed without even accessing the individual machine!
- We may ask some follow-up questions to school staff. If ITS needs to email the student, we will cc: the school staff that initiated the ticket.
- If ITS needs to call the student or family at home, school staff needs to seek permission from the student or family and provide the preferred phone number to ITS.
- ITS does not support home machines for students and families and can only provide minimal troubleshooting for home internet connections.
- We understand that some school staff and some families may not want ITS to contact their students directly when there are requests for support. We can be creative in our methods – don’t hesitate to share any concerns about IT support for students at home so we can fine-tune our policy for your needs.
Remote Control of Machines
- Some machines may already have software installed that allows ITS to gain remote access. We will not take remote control of a machine without permission from the end-user, even if the software is already installed.
- ITS may need to direct the end-user to our website for remote access. This is www.iowadatacenters.com The red “Remote Support” button takes the end-user to our support portal and an access code is shared.
- Staff and students should always make sure that they know who they are granting remote access to: Microsoft will never call and ask for remote access to your machine. Your internet provider will never call and ask for remote access to your machine. They are several ongoing cyberthreats that originate from granting remote access to your machine.
- When ITS accesses a machine, whether onsite during the school year or remotely during this distance learning period, we may see information that staff and students did not intend to share. ITS:
- Does not make comments about anything seen to staff/students
- Does not share information that would violate our FERPA and HIPAA guidelines and agreements
- Does report anything alarming to school administrators. This would include pornography, self-harm, bullying or child abuse.
- Does not search staff or student machines without direction from school administration and/or law enforcement.
While ITS is still here in full-force, our end-user count has expanded to include students where we may have previously been able to ask school staff to enter a password, etc. Please plan in advance whenever possible regarding technology usage.
- If you know students will need to use specific software or websites, have them test in advance or have ITS test in advance.
- Consider asking one or two students to be your teaching assistant, to try software and tools prior to the class lesson in case you have technical difficulties
- Use the helpdesk system instead of reaching out to ITS technicians directly (319-465-4463, firstname.lastname@example.org or portal.iowadatacenters.com)
Many of our ITS teammates have students at home engaged in distance learning activities and admire the creativity and dedication in the planning and implementation. We want our own children to be successful and engaged in their online learning efforts, and we want to maximize success for your students as well. Let us know how we can help!