CASE STUDY

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Client: Edina Public Schools

Location: Edina, Minnesota

Enhancing IT Support Processes in Schools

Geek Squad Tech Hub gives Edina School District more time for mission-critical IT support

client

Edina Public Schools serves over 8,500 students across six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. Focused on the future of their students, Edina Public Schools (EPS) knows it has a changing student body, community, and workforce preparedness expectations. In order to successfully meet the needs of their students, they have committed to developing their school system to adapt its services accordingly.

As part of their commitment to meet the changing needs of their students, EPS implemented a dual-funded BYOD program called the Learning2 Initiative. This initiative has helped customize learning, innovate educational programming, and develop deep partnerships with local technology vendors. The program has been a wild success among students and faculty, but more technical support was needed to support the vast increase of devices used in the schools. That's where the Geek Squad ® Tech Hub from Best Buy ® Education came in.

Challenge

Edina Public Schools needed to bolster their already robust IT support team. With their existing team focusing on larger IT issues such as networking infrastructure, device lifecycle and active directory user management, they needed help with the kinds of level-1 technical issues students would have with their BYOD devices.

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"We've had teachers and students utilize the [Geek Squad Tech Hub] service for their school and personal devices, which has helped take some of the work off our plates. Always a good thing!"
-Jack Salaski, Instructional Technology Specialist for Edina Public Schools

Edina Public Schools went through a series of iterations for their student device program. Their initial 1:1 program was strictly district owned, in which Microsoft ® Windows laptops were given to a pilot group of students. Based on the feedback from those students, EPS moved to an optional BYOD initiative. From there they further expanded their program, and partnered with Best Buy Education to transition from their optional student device program to their current dual-funded, device-required BYOD program.

When the program became device-required, the existing IT support team was unable to keep up with the increase of hands-on troubleshooting needs for all the students.

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"Giving students the ability to get personally owned devices thoroughly serviced, which in turn allows us to maintain our device-agnostic platform which ultimately aligns with our district's goal of personalized learning."
-Jack Salaski, Instructional Technology Specialist for Edina Public Schools

How IT works

Typically, a student brings their fickle device to the media center for tech support. If the device is district owned, the technology professionals diagnose and escalate the issue to the EPS support team. If the device is personally owned, the media center staff offer hands-off advice (suggestions for troubleshooting without installing/uninstalling programs, changing settings, etc.), as well as provide the student or faculty member with the Geek Squad support hours. The Geek Squad Agent then offers their diagnosis and works to solve the issue as best as they can.

Jack Salaski, Instructional Technology Specialist for Edina Public Schools, has shared three pieces of advice when it comes to designing an IT support process in schools:

  1. There is no cookie-cutter solution to IT support processes. Make sure the solution being implemented is going to fit your current and, perhaps more important, future needs.
  2. Be consistent in building your IT support process. Ensure service level agreements are appropriate and students/stakeholders receive proper communication about support channels.
  3. Use your resources! Students are a great resource for each other. We have clubs of students who want to learn anything and everything about IT. Tap into that enthusiasm.

Long-Term Relationship

Edina Public Schools is on a journey to reimagine education for their students and faculty. That reimagination is largely dependent on increasing the use of technology during day to-day classroom activities. As EPS continues to develop their technology innovation programs, they're planning to utilize Geek Squad Services even more fully by taking advantage of our ability to authorize repairs and returns using manufacturer and third-party warranties. By working with Best Buy Education, EPS now has a technology partner for life.

The goal of having a continuing relationship with the schools we serve is to ensure that technology becomes a seamless, supported component of the school day for our customers. Best Buy Education doesn't sell boxes of products, we help schools develop long-term solutions to the technology challenges they face today, and will face in the years to come.

Looking to the Future of Education

Jack Salaski offers an important call to action for all educators looking to innovate on their schools' existing technology systems and processes:

"Technology and spaces in schools will need to be increasingly flexible as devices, needs, and pedagogy continually shift. The first iPads and Chromebook prototypes did not exist until 2010! It's very difficult to pin down what changes will come down the pipeline, just know that is it is coming and enjoy the learning that comes with it."