September 13, 2016 12:54 pm
Written by Ellie Wilding
Turn IT On support – explained by our staff
At Turn IT On our dedicated team of consultants support the technology and computing of hundreds of schools every week.
A Turn IT On school can expect their regular consultant to visit them at the same time and on the same day of the week. They can also expect far more than just technical assistance: consultants provide advice and share knowledge of best practice to ensure the whole school uses technology as effectively as possible.
We asked two Turn IT On consultants to tell us in their own words how the support works and what the role of a Turn IT On consultant is like.
Alan Sadler is a long-standing teaching consultant with Turn IT On who has supported many schools around Hampshire and Oxfordshire since he joined us in 2006.
Here is what they had to say:
What does a Turn IT On technical support contract involve?
JR: It provides onsite advisory support backed up by emergency remote support from our helpdesk.
AS: It’s technical support and consultancy delivered through regular and friendly visits by a Turn IT On consultant, who the schools see as part of their staff. The support can also encompass other services such as MIS support, Curriculum support, broadband, hardware.
What is the role of a Turn IT On consultant in the school?
AS: The consultant is someone the schools trust and who will offer them advice and support suited for their needs as well as finding them the best deal. They are the link between Turn IT On services and the school. They are the person schools will go to for support, advice, help and are a friendly, approachable member of the school staff too. They are happy to help and available by email and phone when not at the school.
JR: The consultant is the face of Turn IT On at the school and gives advice and guidance with anything IT-related. They will resolve all technical issues and ensure that all IT in the school is running as it should, improving it where possible.
What does your role involve on a daily basis?
JR: On each visit I find out from the school’s contact what issues they are having with their IT and go about resolving technical issues and making sure the IT in the school is running how it should. I also provide advice on how systems can be improved.
AS: It varies daily, which is great as no day is the same. Usual tasks involve sorting user machines, logons, sorting interactive white boards and organising quotes for equipment and software. I also provide admin support when necessary. In addition to this I teach computing across the age ranges of year 1 (KS1) through to year 6 (KS2), which I thoroughly enjoy.
How do schools benefit from our support?
AS: Schools benefit by having the same consultant on regular scheduled support visits. This means that there is always consistency with the person who provides support and the technician builds up a rapport with their school and the staff within the school. It also means that the consultant understands how their school works and what issues schools see as a priority. Also, it means any tasks that need a follow up are undertaken by the same consultant.
JR: They benefit by receiving visits from the same consultant who has good knowledge of their systems and who can provide technical advice and specialist support in an area which can be daunting.
Apart from your regular visits to the school, how else does Turn IT On support the school?
JR: The remote technical support from the helpdesk supports the schools in an emergency and provides peace-of-mind.
AS: Schools can also phone our helpdesk for remote support in an emergency or they can log a support issue on the schools’ portal. This helps the consultant stay on top of the issues at the school that arise when they are not onsite.
Turn IT On support also provides school development visits where, together with the school, we devise a unique three-year IT development plan. How does this three-year IT plan help the school?
AS: This is a strategic plan drawn up with the technician, IT coordinator, Headteacher and the Turn IT On School Development Manager. When the plan is devised a survey and series of questions are used to get an idea of a starting point so the plan is usually a snapshot of where school is at present along with an overview of where a school could or aims to be in three years. The plan provides schools with a three-year overview of what hardware/infrastructure/services may need replacing or updating over time. It may involve elements of teaching and PPA support too. It means that the bursar can plan for IT budgeting every year.
JR: The plan helps the school understand truly what equipment they have and gives them an idea of what areas their IT could be improved on. It also gives the school time to budget for any upgrades that are needed.
If you would like any information about Turn IT On’s technical support contracts please get in touch.