Friday, May 29, 2009

Innovative Solution to Support School Infrastructure Needs When Budgets are Tight

Innovative educators know that 21st century teaching, learning, and leading can’t happen unless a strong technological infrastructure is in place. Unfortunately, today, for some schools the cost of a full-time technician is prohibitive.

The New York City Department of Education’s Division of Instructional and Information Technology (DIIT) has come up with a solution to help address this issue through an innovative and unique collaboration with the City University of New York (CUNY). DIIT and CUNY have collaborated to work together to provide schools with high-quality interns that are available to assist schools with their technology needs. This win/win situation provides schools with staff to support their 21st century infrastructure needs at a low cost and provides interns with valuable experience.

The interns provide much-needed support to schools in the following areas:

  • Setting up new computer equipment in classrooms and offices
  • Installing software
  • Ensuring that LCD projectors, smart boards, and other related audio/video equipment are functioning
  • Troubleshooting hardware and software problems in conjunction with DOE Help Center and borough technology staff
  • Configuring wireless devices to access the school network
  • Maintaining classroom servers
  • Maintaining technology equipment inventory
  • Monitoring equipment and working with Help Center to ensure timely repair
  • Providing assistance in use of technology equipment
  • Coordinating with student support teams if applicable

The program provides an intern for either 14 or 19 hours a week for a cost of $9600 or $12500 per year to a school. New York City schools can register at to attend an information session about the program on Wednesday, June 10 at 3 p.m. Those who would like to know more about the program can comment (with their email and affiliation) to this post. Comments will be shared with DIIT and CUNY representatives.

As I’ve written about previously, schools interested in supporting a 21st century environment should also consider tapping into their school’s best resource – students. You can read about ways to do that in these posts Starting a Student Support Team in Your School, 5 Innovative Ideas for Student Teams that Support 21st Century Teaching & Learning, Partnering with Student Tech Wizards to Provide Professional Development at Schools, and 8th Grader’s Advice for Questions Peers Might Ponder On Their Road to Achieving Success.

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