Technology Planning and IT Support

The IT department would like to be involved in your purchasing decisions to help direct you toward a cost effective and workable solution that we can support in the future. We prefer to be involved early on, well before purchase requisitions are started. This also gives us time to prepare for installing the new equipment when it arrives.
We can save time and provide better support by purchasing a larger number of the same model of computer. Vendors give quantity discounts, and we only need to configure one computer, then copy the image to the rest. When computers fail, we can use parts from one to repair another. One-of-a-kind computers waste time as we have to build each system individually.
We embrace the bring-your-own-device model (BYOD), and welcome personally-owned equipment. But as is typical with BYOD, support is limited to network and printer connections, and self-service documentation.
Open architecture systems, such as Windows-based PCs, are far easier to support and repair, with a greater variety of support tools available, than proprietary systems such as Mac.
Because older computers are slower, they take far more time to support and repair. There is a point when an old computer is no longer worth the time to diagnose and repair. While the computer is functional we can still use it, but once it fails it just needs to be replaced.
We have a small IT department with limited resources. To make the best use of these resources, we are implementing the following guidelines to better focus our resources on core technology areas.

Areas of Support:
-  Our core role is to support computer and network use by students and staff.

-  The IT Director should be consulted before making technology purchasing decisions,
   including computers, tablets (iPads), peripherals, software, etc.
-  Any purchase made without agreement of the IT Director may not be supported.
-  Donations and "outside" purchases (PTA, etc.) accepted without the agreement of
   the IT Director may not be supported.
-  Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers are supported for student use in labs, classrooms, etc.
-  Only Windows-based computers are supported for teacher and staff use.
   Macs are not supported for this.
-  One-of-a-kind computers purchased without agreement of the IT Director will not be supported.
-  Support for personally-owned computers, tablets, phones, etc. (BYOD) is limited to:
    -  Self-service documentation
    -  Network connections
    -  Printer connections
-  Computers older than 6 years may be deemed too old for repair, and the site should seek funding
   to replace these.
-  Installation of specialty equipment such as interactive whiteboards ("Smart Boards") is not
   provided by IT. If you are seeking funding for such equipment you should include funds for
   installation costs.

Prioritizing Support:
We use a simple method of estimating the number of students affected directly or indirectly. A computer lab is shared by all students at a site. A teacher's laptop indirectly affects all their students. A minor software issue may not affect any students.

Purchasing Budgets
-  The IT Department provides network infrastructure, such as wiring,
   wireless, network equipment, servers, etc.
-  The IT Department will generally provide small parts needed for repairs.
-  The IT Department will coordinate large purchases made with district funds
   or grants/donations received at the district level.
-  Otherwise, site funds should be used for the purchase of computers,
   peripherals, software, upgrades, etc.
-  Sites are responsible for replacement batteries, bulbs, printer supplies, etc.