SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – It was quite the battle transitioning around 25,000 students from in-class to online learning.
“We had a war room set up here. We had different parties from programmers, clerical, IT, and techs,” Tech Support Specialist for the Sioux Falls School District Mike Koepke said.
Koepke works for the Information and Tech Support for the Sioux Falls School District. Their job is keeping software and tech running smoothly for students and teachers. For a leap this big, they had to develop a strategy.
“What things work best for students? What things work best for admins,” Kopke said.
Every student, down the the second grade level, has a chrome book incase something ever kept them from attending school.
“Every student that needed a device was able to take one home and each student can now use that device to complete their schoolwork,” Senior Director of Information & Technology Services Ryan Knutson said.
Knutosn says having the devices ready wasn’t so much the challenge as making sure both students and teachers could access important software like video conferencing.
“Making sure the could leverage that to either record themselves and display videos for their students or engage with their students directly,” Knutson said.
If you face any issues with your chrome book, you can report it to your school and they will repair it for you, and students will be loaned a new one in the meantime.
“That was one of our concerns, when we started this process, to see if our breakage would be higher, and, quite honestly, our students have been wonderful. They’ve handled the devices great; our percentage of breakage has been almost the same,” Knutson said.
If you experience low internet speeds or connection troubles Koepe recommends rebooting your router.
“Keeping those devices up-to date is also very important, Koepke said.
“The technology should hold up for the remainder of the school year without any issue,” Knutson said.
Keeping connections positive both in front of and behind the screens.
“The staff that I have worked very hard to get that done, and, overall, it’s been a very positive experience,” Knutson said.
You can learn more about the Information & Technology Services on the Sioux Falls School District website.