Remote learning, or e-learning, is rapidly becoming a viable option for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities as classroom instruction is challenged because of coronavirus. In the early stages of the pandemic, Bell Techlogix set up a service desk for students, parents, and staff at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) in less than a week. Jack Mansfield, Vice President, Digital Workplace Services, talks about how Bell Techlogix provided an e-learning solution for one of Indiana’s largest school systems. Read the script or listen to the video below.
Announcer: We’re talking about e-learning today. Very hot topic as schools prepare to reopen this fall. Here with us is Jack Mansfield
with Bell Techlogix to share with us about a recent collaboration with Indianapolis Public Schools. Jack…
Jack: Well, Bell Techlogix has been really proud to be providing support for Indianapolis Public Schools for a number of years and helping them with their teachers and their staff from a service desk perspective as well as helping them with some back-end platforming, asset management, service management functionality within ServiceNow. We really enjoyed being able to take the conversation to the next level over the past several months.
As we all know, with the impact of the Coronavirus, our school districts had to react pretty dynamically. IPS rolled out over 5,000 laptops and over 1,500 MiFi’s mobile Internet access points to students that didn’t have the ability to access e-learning.
On one hand, it was really awesome that IPS was able to mobilize this and get these devices in the hands of the students that needed them, but they had this question of how were they going to take care of their students when they go forward, right. These are students’ families that may not have had laptops in the past, may not have had Internet access in the past….and we wanted to make sure that, collectively, we could empower those families and those students to get online, to access the e-learning platforms to work with their classrooms and to continue their education through the end of the semester. I’m really proud to be able to say that, collectively, we answered the bell.
Bell Techlogix was able to stand up a student and family facing service desk to support these students and families that are getting..that got access to these laptops and to these my MiFi’s and provide support to them over the course of one weekend. We had that desk stood up and able to support those students. Naturally, at the beginning, there was a little bit of some learning curve for some families that had not had these devices before, but we were really….we were able to work with them and get those families online, get them connected to the portal, and, as I said, empower them to really take ownership of their learning experience. You know, this student-facing support desk has been such a success that we’re starting conversations about what can we learn from this and what type of support do we want to offer to students in the future with Indianapolis Public Schools, and you know, it’s an exciting conversation to see how, you know, this moment and time where IPS and Bell Techlogix were able to work together to answer a problem might be able to positively impact the future as well.
Announcer: How did the district’s diverse population play a role in your planning?
Jack: That’s a really good question, you know, IPS being an inner-city school, has a very diverse set of students both from a socio-economic level as well as just from a native language perspective between Spanish-speaking and other languages. When we were standing up this service desk for IPS, we absolutely took into account the ability to handle support for that diverse set of population and that meant Bell Techlogix’s ability to have Spanish-speaking and other languages on the phone through chat and leveraging those capabilities to provide that experience for students and families to be consistent regardless of their native language.
One of the things that’s been really powerful to stand this up quickly as the technology has advanced, is our ability to take advantage of real-time multilingual chat translation. We have the ability through our chat portal to do real-time translation of almost a hundred different languages between our service desk as well as the students and the families that are consuming services from us and that allows a sense of a sense of comfortability for people who may be experiencing this..these technologies for the first time, or it’s a new device, maybe it’s a different make and model than they’ve had in the past, a new Internet connection..getting those set up. You know, if we’ve already introduced one level of unknown, how can we increase that level of comfortability and help those students and families go through that process so that they can get into that learning experience and get into that platform to continue their education. Everything that we work together with IPS has been really focused on helping those students, helping those families take ownership of their education during this time, and removing language as an obstacle is something that we were happy to be a part of.
Bell Techlogix provides over 700 K-12 and higher education clients with a full suite of innovative technology solutions that help the faculty work more efficiently; administrators stay more closely connected to staff, curriculum, students and their families, and other educators, and students enjoy better access to resources, which leads to an improved academic experience. Chat with one of our experts about a unique technology solution for your academic institution.