Billings Public Schools is the largest school district in Montana, supporting more than 16,800 students across 33 schools. With the support of technology levies, we have invested $1 million into new technology for both the high school and elementary levels.

Over time, Billings Public Schools accumulated a complex assortment of devices, including 16,000 Chromebooks, 7,000 Apple iPads, 3,000 Macs, and 2,000 Windows devices. These devices are used to support a STEM program that is leveraged by every student at every school. However, as the number and complexity of devices increased, the number of IT personnel to support those devices remained the same, decreasing our ability to effectively leverage this new technology.

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Improving our edtech management

As we began investing year-over-year in our technology, it became increasingly difficult to measure the effectiveness of technology on any level. Although we believed we had a comprehensive enterprise management platform for managing our Apple and Windows devices, we often were forced to use workarounds that required us to manually touch each device, resulting in unmanaged devices. Struggling with increasing costs and decreasing service levels, we decided to reassess our approach to technology integration.

4 reasons better edtech management empowered our district

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About the Author:

Deana Elder supervises tech support and manages large projects as the technology support coordinator for Billings (MT) Public Schools. Elder’s years of experience in the classroom working with students and teachers gives insight to their technology needs. She leads a team of 20 computer techs and coordinates ordering and distribution of thousands of computers, iPads and other technology devices to teachers and students.

Christian Massie is a computer technician within Billings (MT) Public Schools. Massie’s 12 years in IT, with the past four years working within the district in both elementary and high school environments, help him understand the needs within the classroom environment. He manages the FileWave server and assists in troubleshooting and project management.

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