In our current climate, many schools are planning a mixture of in-person classes, hybrid and distance learning. The reality is that distance learning and other remote teaching strategies will be used by most, if not all, American educational institutions in the coming year.
Despite the challenges of moving to a new model of teaching, the fundamental goals of education remain the same. Our schools exist to prepare students for the future and to teach them as much as possible along the way. To accomplish this goal in our current climate, you’ll need a trusted IT provider who can help you navigate new and unfamiliar technologies.
Today, we’ll be answering your frequently asked questions with advice from our experts about information technology in the field of education, and how Deerwood Technologies can step in and provide much-needed guidance, so you can focus on the needs of your students.
Q & A about Information Technology in the Field of Education
While technology and distance learning can solve some fundamental problems, implementing it can be complex. New rules and new funding opportunities have opened many doors, but, frequently, school boards and individual institutions lack the knowledge of how to utilize these tools effectively.
It’s not enough to secure new funds via the CARES Act or E-rate program: institutions must be strategic and put their new investments to work in service of their long-term goals.
The challenges surrounding educational IT in today’s dynamic environment are understandably daunting. Here are some frequently asked questions we’ve received about handling information technology in the field of education.
1. How do we know which technology we will need?
Distance learning, on-site learning and/or hybrid learning models?
Your school and district IT network have always been important. As the pandemic continues and distance learning becomes more prevalent, families and staff alike are discovering a new level of reliance on technology. Administrators must work diligently to enhance the capacity and security of their core networks to ensure distance learning is safe and available whenever it is needed. Schools and their administrators are not in enviable positions right now, but we can help.
To ensure this technology is accessible to as many families as possible, administrators should be pursuing funding from the CARES Act and E-rate program which are designed to put funds in the hands of schools for just this purpose. Deerwood Technologies can help you find the best technology to effectively use E-rate and CARES Act funding. Whether you require broadband access hotspots or just need to secure your existing connections, we can handle it.
2. What’s the process?
If you need help navigating the weeks and months ahead, don’t wait, call us now. The first step in our process is an in-depth conversation about your needs, timeframe and budget.
After that, we’ll work closely with you to develop a strategic technology plan and match that with both external and internal funding and budget requirements. Our goal is to deliver quality services that engage students, support educators and increase the value of your educational programming.
3. How have rules and regulations changed with the pandemic?
The pandemic has forced a major change in regulations for the upcoming school year. Barriers that have traditionally gated funding have been stripped away, making access easier.
Any legitimate request for E-rate funding is likely to be approved but negotiating through the updated regulations can be complicated. The funding floor has increased, and paperwork is now processed by district, rather than by school. As of 2021, the FCC will base student counts on full-time enrollment only. As an E-rate certified IT provider, Deerwood Technologies understands these new rules and regulations and can help you navigate them.
The CARES Act has made almost $13.5 billion available for K-12 institutions, with a further $6.2 billion for higher education. State governors also have a fund of $3 billion they can disburse in emergencies. Additionally, the FCC has waived “gift” rules, so in-kind donations to improve capacity can be accepted from foundations as well as private corporations. Don’t leave that money on the table!
You Don’t Have to Handle Educational IT Challenges Alone
Educational institutions have enough on their plates without having to navigate new funding rules and IT challenges alone. Deerwood Technologies has been providing IT services to educational institutions and public sector entities for 13 years now. We’re adept at working with schools and can creatively deliver quality services that enhance your connectivity and security. We support your IT and allow your educators to focus on what they do best – teaching our students.
Reach out to us today, and we’ll put together a plan that meets all your security and connectivity needs.