MCSD Whiteboard: Technology team keeps students connected to learning

For those of us who spent our school days carrying multiple bound, glossy pages of 10 pounds
Textbooks back and forth from our classes for a decade it might be hard to imagine the world of
the present day student of Moffat County.

But the reality now is that physical math books and history books are largely a thing of the past
school children. Education today takes place digitally. From the lyrics themselves to the schoolwork,
Homework and tests, so much of what the Moffat County School District kids do now depends on them
reliable technology.

And that means they — and the roughly 300 faculty and staff in the district — rely heavily on three
important women.

Vicki Haddan, director of technology at MCSD, said she and her two associates, Heather
Higgins and Heather Hamman, are responsible for approximately 5,000 devices. That includes the internet
and WiFi accessibility in six school buildings, phones, thousands of individual computers
and tablet functionality, server availability, and software and security to support all of this.

If a student can access her geography class, it’s thanks to these three. If a teacher can broadcast
a note to his students, it is thanks to them. When a first grader’s parents are confident in letting him
Spending time on a school approved website is thanks to them.

And if anyone doesn’t know how to use a device, software, or program of any kind, it does
falls on Haddan, Higgins and Hamman to help them figure it out.

“I love being the person that helps people,” Haddan said. “That’s what we do. We help people
feel comfortable with technology. Our goal is never to make people feel inadequate –
Never blame them for their ability to use technology, and that goes for both students and staff. we
Got it. It’s not her world. You don’t need to know what we’re doing.”

Between servicing help tickets, which range from 20 to 100 a day — Haddan told her team
is extremely adept at beating its 24 hour response time target – for its 2,500 technology
users, maintaining the systems that make all this possible, or monitoring the safety of children
In her care, the trio remains extraordinarily busy. But they say it’s worth it.

“There are so many rewards,” Haddan said. “We are happy when students are successful. We love it
See how our employees are embracing technologies that aren’t always their cup of tea. We love it when you see it
something that will help them.”

Haddan said she spends a tremendous amount of her time working proactively to stay one step ahead
Dangers students with Internet access may be exposed to and how to monitor them
Student activities when online. This boils down to not just being inappropriate or dangerous
content or contacts; It is also about mental health surveillance.

“Our biggest challenge is protecting children,” Haddan said.

Higgins is the team’s hardware expert. As an Apple-certified technician, she is able to fix it
physical devices that the District relies on to access its programs.

“People don’t always expect that we’re going to have that in our staff,” Haddan said. “She’s a rock star
Repair of all desktops and laptops. The only true.”

Both Higgins and Hamman make a point of having a presence in the district’s school buildings.
“It’s important to us that we’re visible in the schools,” Haddan said. “This is how the two Heathers spend
Every day time in buildings, schedule a time at sunset or in middle school to keep the buildings
know when we are there. Any school.”

As computer technology has become the ubiquitous educational tool it is today, Haddan said
has seen the move away from viewing technology as a niche discipline and as more topical
Understanding its essential nature in the classroom and elsewhere.

“We no longer teach technology as a separate class,” she said. “It’s built into everyone
classroom every day, and people should understand that. We don’t teach computer classes now,
It’s just not what we do. It’s built into every class, every day. My goal was to have everyone
Computer labs went away last year and we made it. There is now only one lab in the high school with a
very specific purpose. Really, the labs were for the teachers—kids didn’t need them. she
know what to do.”

For the team of three, there’s no question that holding it is a burden of responsibility
connected the people of the district to what they need. But, Haddan said, it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

“I’m really enjoying it, but it’s a huge responsibility to make sure when people walk in the door, their WiFi is on, their phones are working, and their devices are doing what they need to do,” Haddan said. “If
The internet is down, we don’t do much in the classroom. But we have a great team
and we love being a part of this work.”


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