In today’s heavily virtual learning environments, the school help desk is a central factor in edtech success

Reimagining the school help desk

In today’s heavily virtual learning environments, the school help desk is a central factor in edtech success

The impact of the pandemic on educational programming has created what will more than likely be fundamental and foundational changes to the traditional classroom environment. In general, the traditional classroom simply is not visible in today’s milieu.

The physical hallways connecting traditional classrooms that have been present since education left the open air of Socrates’s Agora, when Plato established an academy, have been replaced with the fiber, copper, and Wi-Fi of high-speed networks. That has significantly reduced the stress on academic buildings but has put significant stress on the electronic connections within educational institutions.

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Many cabinet-level leaders are asking how institutions can ensure that they are managing an effective school help desk operation. Although cabinet responsibilities have not changed, the reliance on help services have increased exponentially in the last several months. At first, educational institutions were in an emergency “band-aid” mode in many cases, but just as patients transferred from the ambulance to the hospital will be reevaluated, it is time for help services to be reconsidered given that the current virtual environment will need to be sustained for at least the next year in many cases.

One of the primary considerations should be if the school has a consolidated help desk. The most frustrating issue for many users is being bounced around between more than one help service. The first-line school help desk staff should be either able to address any issue or at least directly connect the user to the proper person for assistance. Being told by a help desk staff member, “No, we don’t support that, please contact the LMS support system for that issue,” or something similar is always frustrating.

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Steven M. Baule, Ed.D., Ph.D.

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