The answer to the question in this post title may seem obvious: the tech team helps teachers by fixing their technology, right? Yes, that’s true, but I would like to look at ways we can go beyond basic fixes. How can we make the process of repairing technology more efficient? Less painful? The key to making this happen is effective communication.
Patience, empathy, and word choice are very important when techs are sharing information with teachers. Computer techs must be skilled at communicating simply and clearly, both on the phone and in person. Here are some ways to create awesome correspondence from techs to teachers.
What can techs do to help teachers?
- Provide a basic troubleshooting guide. A document or chart can be used to provide basic troubleshooting steps teachers or students can try before requesting help from tech staff. This could be in a checklist form, perhaps within the ticket system, so that techs will know which steps have been tried so far in an attempt to resolve the issue.
- Avoid technical language when possible. It is important to remember that there may be a language barrier between techs and those who do not work within equipment/software management and repair. In order to best facilitate effective communication, techs must use language that has a low use of technical terms.
- Be willing to listen. Teachers have a lot of stuff on their plates, and when their technology stops working properly, sometimes it can be “one more thing” on top of a rough day. If you happen to catch an earful, remember that they usually are not upset at you personally. Many of the things they complain about are probably out of your control, but you may hear some feedback that can make your tech team more effective at meeting teachers’ needs!
- Provide detailed, written documentation regarding any steps taken to resolve problems, including ways to prevent or decrease the frequency of the same issues recurring. This could probably be done as a tech team so that you have a standard set of tips for a variety of commonly-occurring scenarios.
- Give progress updates, especially if a repair/resolution will be a lengthy one. Keep the teacher updated on ANY progress so that everyone is on the same page. If you have worked on a teacher desktop, laptop, or student device after hours, leaving a note is good practice. The teacher doesn’t necessarily turn their computer on as soon as they walk in, so it lets them know someone has checked into their issue.
Written by Vanessa Eldridge