Providing IT support for schools and educational institutes can be a very challenging task. The company needs to be able to assess the needs of the institution and then find equipment and software that fulfils their needs. This article is going to explain the aspects you need to check to ensure your chosen IT support firm can deliver for your institution.
Network Connections and Internal Messaging
First of all, schools and educational institutes need to have all computers connected to the same network, to be able to share information and exchange messages between students and teachers. Teachers need to be able to send mass messages so that they can address to an entire group of students at once.
All computers in a school need to be connected to a central printer. It is possible that more printers are necessary, especially if children need to learn how to print out various documents. Nonetheless, they should also learn to save some trees by saving the information on a USB drive or a disk. Also, you have to offer them the opportunity to understand what the cloud is and how to use it for their collaborative work. As this is the future of IT, they need to get acquainted with it as early as possible.
IT support for schools may also include filtering out certain sites that children shouldn’t access without permission from their parents. Your IT manager will need to know which sites to restrict their access to. Most probably, your IT manager will have a list of inappropriate websites to block from your network. However, you should also try to bring your contribution by weeding out adult only websites.
It is critical that the online environment is safe and secure. A good IT company will know about all potential vulnerabilities and secure your network appropriately. You do not need to know all the details about network security, but having a general understanding will stand you in good stead should any issues arise. Here is an article about network security that you may find useful to read.
Make your chosen IT support company aware that children aren’t always responsible and therefore, may try to install various programs that might contain harmful viruses. With this anticipation, your IT department will be able to take some pre-emptive measures and also be ready to respond quickly should this issue arise.
As students need the computers to be working at all times, your IT team should be prepared and able to fix all bugs and errors very fast. Many educational institutions cannot afford to hire their own Linux and database managers, however, you should be able to find a firm that is able and equipped to provide you with the level of response that you need.
Data backups are also vital. Your chosen IT company should also be knowledgeable about this area of expertise. Once they have implemented appropriate measures to backup your data, they should explain the necessary protocols for you, your staff and your students to be able to access relevant data when needed. Ensuring that your staff have a good understanding of this is important, so they will be able to relay the information to the students. Your IT department should also be available to offer assistance as and when necessary. Here is some more background information on backing up your data.
A good IT support company should be able to service all types of devices, from desktop computer and laptops to smartphones and tablets. Students may want to connect their personal devices to the central network, so your IT support team will need to make sure they can do this easily.
Finding a Good IT Support Company
If you do not have a recommendation from a friend or colleague, then a good place to start is to search for companies in your local area and read their customer reviews. This can give a good indication as to whether the firm is reputable and provides a good service.
Look into how long the company has been established and what areas of support they specialise in. Ensuring the company has a decent size team to cope with your needs is also paramount.
You will also need to consider the companies location and whether they have the ability to visit you at your premises should you have the need. The support company does not necessarily need to be on your doorstep. However, you will want to make sure that you sure located within their service area.
Fluent Group is an IT support company in the south east of the UK that has a relatively large service area. They are located in Kent and can offer support to companies across neighbouring counties as well as London.