[K12OSN] Good News!

dahopkins at comcast.net dahopkins at comcast.net
Tue Dec 7 02:46:55 UTC 2004

> >How do you guys handle the tech support aspect of getting K12LTSP into schools?  
> Is it all for free, or do you charge for tech support after a certain amount of time?  

I am just a parent volunteer (daughter attends the school) so I have handled (as well as possible) all IT for the last 4 years at no charge.  It has sometimes been close to overwhelming, but it has allowed me to move the school to K12LTSP and terminal services for all but 10 'critical' systems in the front office.  For me, this was a good trade-off.  

> >I'd like to introduce my local school district to K12LTSP and I'm trying to 
> figure out the best way to do it so that I do not become their perpetual 
> volunteer tech support guy.  I also don't want to leave them high and dry.  I 
> just want them to be able to support themselves at some point, and I really 
> don't know how long to expect that I'll need to hold their hands.

I have tried to enlist the support of the local LUG, as well as other parents, but this has only been marginally successful.  This year, the Librarian was hired with a good set of IT skills (and more importantly, a desire to learn about the IT at the school), so hopefully next year, I can move to a 5-10 hour week (month?) support position.

> You can also try a 'retainer' solution. Whereby you offer them 5-10hrs 
> of support per month for X number of dollars.
> Thus showing how much more efficient this solution is in means of how 
> little support is needed after initial setup =)
> Previously on a campus with 100 windows machines my support time was an 
> entire 1/2 time position...with the install of K12LTSP
> in classrooms/library/career center...I now only provide 50hrs per 
> month..for all....windows/novell/ltsp...unfortunately this doesn't
> affoard paid time to do any software/hardware demo-ing, for solutions 
> that could be used...so any new stuff is learned on the fly *shudder*

Not sure how I will handle the money issue.  For me, I have a good regular job, so as long as the volunteer work isn't detrimental to my family, I don't mind donating time, and the school really benefits.  Also lets the school showcase the technology for the rest of the state.  Other charter schools have shown an interest, as well as some of the public schools.  Just need to convince the school boards (which ain't easy when the first question from a upper management person was essentially 'how does this benefit ME').  I agree that this approach can reduce IT support costs substantially and mention this aspect when possible.  Of course, sometimes spending a few dollars more than compensates for time on 'home-grown' solutions, but who enjoys that?

Dave Hopkins
Newark Charter School

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