Edtech for Edleaders: Whom to Hire: Technicians

Technicians are the individuals who have one of the most important roles in IT system operations in schools as they are the face of the IT department to most members of the organization. A technician is likely to spend his or her day troubleshooting and repairing end users’ devices such as PC’s, laptops, printers, and other peripherals. Because these professionals spend they time interacting with teachers and students, it is essential they have excellent customer service skills and are comfortable interacting with teachers when they are in stressful situations (due to malfunctioning computers) and with frustrated students. On those staffs with multiple technicians, the group can be very interdependent; they collaborate on solving problems and give each other tips. By documenting the repairs they make (ideally in the ticketing system), technicians contribute to the emerging knowledge of the IT systems and which are becoming so dysfunctional as to need replacement. A further role of technicians is to identify network problems that need to be resolved by the network administrator.

The CIO plays an active role in ensuring the technicians who are working in the school receives the professional courtesies and the on-going support they deserve. Many technicians arrive in these positions with associate degree and similar levels of training that prepare them to understand the systems that will repair, but in many cases, they do not have experience with the specific devices or the specific practices in use in a school, they must receive training as part of their jobs to stay current and to provide on-going support.