Students have returned to virtual or face-to-face classrooms, but from a technology perspective, the average middle schooler now looks more like a corporate executive. Now, the biggest challenge facing school district IT teams is that their departments were not set up (or budgeted) for the unique challenges that come with the remote synchronous learning programs resulting from the global pandemic.

Many daily challenges that were all too familiar for government agencies and large businesses, such as end user device support to connectivity and security, suddenly were introduced to education communities.

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For corporate America, shifting an entire workforce to be remote, with thousands of workers simultaneously logging into the network each morning from unsecured and often unstable Wi-Fi connections, was an easy transition. This is because most large organizations already had the necessary equipment, security controls, and infrastructure to support remote workers. Traditionally, the IT infrastructure and equipment that schools purchase have been designed to support in-classroom instruction. As the curriculum and modality shifts to using tools such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, districts must pivot to support remote synchronous learning.

About the Author:

Noel Hara is Senior Director of Public Sector Strategy at NTT DATA Services, and is responsible for helping educators respond to the global pandemic. He is the father of 8th grade twins in a hybrid learning program and the son of a retired third grade teacher and a school administrator.