Customer Service Reps and Rooms Being Readied to Support Laptop Initiative

While the latest and greatest technology can often make our lives easier and save us time, nothing is quite so frustrating as when a digital device doesn’t do what we want it to. That’s why HISD is making sure that its new one-to-one laptop initiative called “PowerUp” has a robust system in place to support participating staff and students.

HISD’s Information Technology Department has spent the summer months locating and preparing special customer-service rooms at each of the 11 pilot schools involved in the launch of PowerUp this coming school year. All the rooms are in the process of being renovated and upgraded with new cabling and equipment.

“These rooms are designed to be one-stop shops to troubleshoot problems and assist teachers and students with their laptops should they have any issues,” said Information Technology Project Manager Adel Ishaq. “Providing campus-based customer service and support will allow our teachers to focus on what they need to focus on—learning how to use the devices for effective, engaging instruction.”

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Information Technology Project Manager Turrance Jackson gives a tour of the customer-service room at Energy Institute High School

When completed, the rooms will be staffed with customer-service and instructional technology representatives who will guide teachers on how to maintain and use the devices, as well as train them on various web-based tools, software, and programs they can use in their daily instruction.

“Many of my teachers use desktops and smart boards in the classroom, but they aren’t very familiar with using a laptop or a thin notebook without a CD drive,” said Chavez High School customer-service representative Michael Hill. “The first few of days of teacher training will focus on cloud storage and collaboration tools.

Starting August 12, Hill and the other customer-service reps will begin distributing the laptops to teachers at the 11 high schools. Each will receive their own Hewlett Packard Folio 9470m Ultrabook with a solid-state hard drive.

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Chavez High School customer-service rep Michael Hill shows off one the new PowerUp laptops.