"As our school's media (& technology) coordinator, I have seen a huge shift in my role throughout the pandemic."
Our plan was to send home Chromebooks with all of our students on Monday the 16th (of March). And then the governor closed all schools in NC that weekend. I immediately shifted into trying to figure out how to get Chromebooks in the hands of students. I'm incredibly fortunate that the windows in the media center workroom open and are facing the parking lot, and I had the idea to distribute Chromebooks through them. In that first week of closure, I pulled multiple 10-hour shifts at the "Chromebooks Window." I was lucky to have several teacher volunteers work for portions of that time, and we got Chromebooks into the hands of roughly a third of our students.
For most of the spring, I reported to our school each day so that parents and students could utilize the Chromebooks Window for technology support and to pick up materials. It was so strange to hear the bells go off throughout the day without students and teachers in the building.
As our school's media (& technology) coordinator, I have seen a huge shift in my role throughout the pandemic. I have spent countless hours answering emails, processing and repairing Chromebooks, and distributing hotspots. I run a technology support Zoom (open for most of the school day) for the students and staff of our school. I have even made a few home visits to troubleshoot issues and swap out hardware. From the beginning of August to the end of February, I have issued 1,011 Chromebooks to students and processed 480 Chromebook repairs. I've also issued more than 150 hotspots. I've had the opportunity to interact with so many more parents than I normally would. One of the bright spots in all of this is that I feel much more essential to the school.
- Tracy Custer