Hi there!   I am wondering what other districts have for Techs and Technology related personnel.  To put it into perspective, it would be nice to know how many Computers (Break down of Windows/Mac's would help),number of Servers would help too.  How many Interactive White Boards you have (Smart Board, Promethean, etc, number of iPods, iPads, overhead projectors (in addition to the ones used for IWB) and any other technology related devices that your techs need to support.  Lastly the numbers of staff and students would help.

 

The district that I work for has about 1200 computers, 1000 PC's (~200 laptops, 800 desktops) and about 200 Macs (150 desktops, 50 laptops). We have about a 100 iPads, 50+ipods, approximately 125 SmartBoards and an additional 25 or so Video projectors.  We have 7 Novell/OES Servers (physical), and right around 18 Windows servers (4 physical rest VM)(no AD). 4 ESX/ESXi servers, 1-SAN.  Our district consists of 7 schools and a total of 11 buildings.  Approximately 280 staff and 1800 students.  We have 3 Technicians and 3 "Technology Integration Specialists" (technology coaches or equivalent).

 

Also any discussion on how you feel the number of IT staff should be determined.  Should number of students/staff be the determining factor? Or should the amount of technology that needs to be supported be the most important factor? 

 

My personal view on it, is that the technology that needs to be supported is the main factor in the equation. Staffing and student levels needs to be taken into account, but should not be the determining factor.  A large district with very little technology would require a  smaller IT staff, than a much small district that had a lot of technology.  I also am a firm believer that you can reduce the number of IT staff, be devoting more resources into staff development.  The more the end user knows how to do, the less people you will need to do things for the user.

 

Any thoughts on any of this?

 

Thanks!

 

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Thanks for responding!  This exactly the type of information that I am looking for.  I think it really helps to know as much possible about what a district has for equipment and personnel.  I am wondering, do you have a centralized Help Desk?   Are your techs assigned to buildings?  Do your techs tend to specialize in different areas? 

    Our district used to have the techs assigned to buildings, but went away from it, and more to a centralized approach.  Personally I found this approach to be more efficient, because I found that we could use each tech's strong areas better, thus making better use of tech's time, getting tasks completed sooner and with higher quality.  We use a web based helpdesk system (since 1998-99).

 

Paul

Here is a quick overview of our district - off the top of my head so numbers are approximate.

We have close to 7,000 students and over 500 certified staff in 19 buildings. We have close to 4,000 network connected devices with at least 95% of them Macintosh computers. We have close to 100 iPad devices and 50 iPod devices.Every classroom has a mounted projector, mounted SMART Board, document camera, teacher laptop or desktop, and SMART Audio system. Most elementary classrooms have multiple computers in them, middle school and high school teachers chose not to have extra computers in their classroom (there are exceptions). All schools have laptop carts. We have 100% N wireless coverage in all buildings, ready to support a 1-1 rollout in the near future.

 

Our buildings are connected to the district office by Gig ethernet, and our district is connected to the Internet backbone by Gig ethernet. All servers (60+) are located in the district office.

 

Our tech department consists of 15 full time staff. Six of the staff members are "boxes and wires" positions who have computer science or MIS degrees. One is a secretary. The other positions (8 including mine) work with teachers as technology integrators but three also do some troubleshooting at the three middle schools. And of course I get to do a lot of meetings, paperwork, meetings, budgeting, meetings, etc.

 

Our district has two bench techs who do computer repairs as well as TVs, copy machines, bell systems, etc. And a data specialist. None of these positions are part of the technology department.

 

 All but myself, my network specialist, and my secretary are housed in schools. Each of the three elementary tech support specialist is responsible for four elementary schools. There are also four technology integrationists for the elementary schools. Each of the three Technology Facilitators is responsible for one middle school, both for tech support and technology integration. Each of the two high schools has a full time tech support specialist.

 

The non-degree staff are on 12 month contracts, the certified staff (other than myself) are on teacher contracts with an extra five weeks added on.

 

We have found it best to have the tech staff located in buildings. The tech support specialists are "hard scheduled" to be at a specific building on specific days, but the afternoons are flexible and they can go where they are needed. We have a team philosophy where they can help out wherever needed as long as they get to their assigned schools in the mornings.

 

Each of our staff members have "specialties" that they take care of - one manages our servers, another all the automated libraries, another supports the Scholastic Read 180 programs, etc.

 

Non-certified teachers. They do have 4 year computer science or MIS degrees.
Thanks Craig!  Good information!  One question that I have, is who replaces Hard Drives, CD Drives, motherboards  etc on your computers? Is it the "boxes and wires" techs or the bench techs?
We take care of anything that can be done on site, but when it comes to replacements like this it goes to the bench techs. They are real good about taking parts from computers that can't be fixed to keep others running. They are certified for Apple repair so they can order replacement parts when needed.
We have numerous Xserves. It is a major concern for us. The Xserve is rack mountable and takes up much less space in our racks. We can't go with Mac Minis for our use, as we have 8 Terabytes of storage on most of our Xserves. But rumors are that there will be a usable replacement coming for the Xserve. If not, we will hve to run Mac OS X servers on high end Macs.

Craig,

 

You mention a 1:1 roll out in the near future.  Is that something that you are currently working on or is it a little further out?  If you are planning on doing it soon, how many more computers will that add to your total today?  Do you know how many more staff you figure it will take?  We are currently looking at a 1:1 program, which is part of the reason I asked the questions that I did.  I wonder if there is anyone else out there that has a 1:1 program that could give a little more insight on what it takes to support it. 

It is several years down the road. If we do a 1-1, it will be with iPad (or similar) devices or Google Chrome OS netbooks. We would continue with the laptop carts, computer labs, etc. that we already have for content creation, at least in the near future.

 

We would like it to be with our current staff, with iPad devices, managed in a much better way than currently possible (one major reason we are holding off).

 

I can point you to a lot of schools that are doing 1-1, but most of them are much smaller than our district. I also have a lot of resources I have bookmarked that I can share with you.

possible, especially if district infrastructure goes to the cloud to save costs a la dropbox or ebackpack.com

We have about 280 PCs and 5 Macs.  The Macs don't authenticate to the network.  We have one full time IT person that does everything.  We have probably about 25 or 30 SMART boards and probably 35 - 40 projectors (including the ones for the SMART boards).  Its a lot of work and every year more "stuff" shows up.  Be it hardware or software, and the last two years I have needed some form of help.  I suspect the same thing will occur this year.  We really could use a part time person to help out around here, or at least an extra person for the entire summer when the big projects happen.

 

I agree with Paul that the number of IT people really needs to be based on the amount of technology and how much work it is to maintain.  I would also add that future purchases, changes (software/system/procedures), and plans (where your going with your tech.), are important to consider as well.  It could very well be that a seemingly simple change could require more or less people to manage it.  For example.  Say you decided your students don't need district provided computers anymore because they all have their own.  You could setup a guest network and they can be responsible for their own systems.  That would let you reduce your computer account by quite a bit and maybe you don't need as many people or don't need them all to be full time.  Going the other way, say you decide you will implement 1:1 with laptops/Netbooks/iPads then you may find that you need one or more additional IT staff.

 

Simply basing the number of IT staff on the number of students will not work.  It can be part of the decision but it can't be the deciding factor.

You could have 2000 students and 40 computers like some of the Japanese schools I know of.  Then you could probably get away with a part time IT person.  By the way, that school (Junior High) has 44 computers total.  The teachers/admin all share 4 in the staff room and there is a single lab of 40 computers for the students.  They use that lab for 1 hour, twice a week.  Isn't it amazing that they can do so well with so little technology when in the US we need to keep adding technology because its supposed to improve the students learning?  Just some food for thought.  ;)

Thanks Justin! 

I was wondering how many students and staff do you have?  Also it might be helpful to know how many servers you have?

Once again, thanks! 

We have about 500 students and about 100 staff.

 

We have 8 physical servers but three of those are ESXi and hosting a total of about 14 VMs.

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