As a general rule, we require staff members who need technology support to submit technology issues via the online ADMSupport request system. We do this primarily out of necessity; with nearly two thousand tech support requests per year, managing and prioritizing requests through any other system would be time-consuming and unreliable.
That said, there are some issues that are unlikely to be reported via the traditional support system. Small problems that are annoyances rather than issues impacting productivity, problems that are difficult to describe, requests for instruction or training, and problems with accessories and personal devices (i.e., school email issues on a cell phone) are less likely to be reported through the ticket system. As such, David and I spent much of the last week offering in-building technology support, spending a full day in each of the district’s buildings where we accepted any walk-in technology support issues.
Over the course of the four days, we were visited by 55 people, with the highest number being 20 visitors at DeSoto Intermediate, seeking help with problems ranging from music notes displaying improperly in notation software to interactive whiteboard calibration issues. We were happy to get out of the technology office for a few days, and hopefully, we were able to help some staff members along the way.
Here were a couple problems that we fixed that seemed worth further mention:
Google Drive Documents Sorting by Date:
We came across a strange issue in the current version of Google Drive’s web interface where you cannot s0rt by modification date of files that are shared with you. If you select a folder that has been shared with you or click the “Shared with me” folder, the only options that appear are file name and the name of the person who shared it with you. To get around this problem, click the “Recent” folder, which will give you a list of files with modification date included, so you can sort by date.
Epson BrightLink Calibration Issues:
Our most common problem at Adel Elementary was with Epson BrightLink projectors (which include interactive whiteboard functionality) with pen calibration problems. The process that we used to solve the problem is documented on pg 118 (Adjusting the Pen Area) of this PDF: http://www.baker.edu/bakeredu/assets/File/Epsonmanual.pdf
Shortcut Stuck in Window Navigation Bar:
This was another strange problem. A user (on a Mac) had accidentally dragged a file into the navigation bar of an open operating system window, which creates a shortcut icon to that document in the navigation bar. Try as she might, however, she was unable to remove this shortcut. It turns out that in order to remove this type of shortcut, you must hold the command key while dragging the shortcut off of the navigation bar. Sometimes, it’s the little things.
Random iPad Issues:
We had a number of random iPad issues (screen not rotating, not booting properly, etc). The solution in virtually all of these cases was to do a hard reset (this works on iPhones as well). To do a hard reset, shut down the device by holding the power button on the top right side of the device and sliding the on-screen slider to power off. After it turns off, hold the power button and the home button (round button below the screen) simultaneously; the iPad will start, then shut off again. Do the same thing 2 or 3 times. After doing so, hold the power button to start the iPad normally.
Every now and then, we run into an issue that defies explanation but that we can fix anyhow. We had a user whose voicemail light was on all the time, even though the system said she had no voicemails. A quick check of the voicemail server found a 4-year old voicemail left on the system, which we were able to delete to solve the problem.