Technology Support Plans
One of the greatest lessons learned during the closure of our school buildings last year, was the importance of having take-home digital devices for all students. To facilitate digital learning, the district distributed over 26,000 laptops and tablets to students who did not have their own computer, and also distributed Wi-Fi hotspots to students without access to the internet.
In order to bridge that divide, the district and the Pinellas County School Board took swift action to develop PCS Connects, a one-to-one device initiative, that will be funded in part by CARES Act federal funding. The initiative will launch this fall.
For the 2020-2021 school year, PCS Connects will provide laptop computers to all students in grades four through nine. Additional grades will be added in subsequent years, until all grade levels have been issued their one-to-one device. These devices will have an 11-inch touch screen that may be used as both a laptop and a tablet. Each computer will have a camera, microphone and speakers to facilitate online learning, if needed. These devices may be taken home or left at school each day. If taken home, devices should be charged overnight and returned to school the next day with the charger.
The use of digital devices will be integrated into the instructional day for content delivery, research, creativity, innovation and collaboration. This initiative will also allow for a deeper partnership between families, students and teachers, as parents will have daily access to instruction and enrichment materials for their student.
2020-2021 school year students in first through third and tenth through twelfth grades who select MyPCS Online or Pinellas Virtual School and who do not have access to a device at home should notify their school to check out a device for use at home.
Also, families who do not have internet access at home, may contact the school to check out a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Parents and students with technology questions or concerns should reach out to the classroom teacher, the Library Media Technology Specialist or call the Technology and Information Systems (TIS) helpdesk at 727-588-6060 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Managing the technology for students and staff in the district is a cross-functional effort involving several departments.
Technology and Information Systems provides the following services.
- Reimages all devices as needed. To reimage a computer means to delete all the old data on the computer and restore it to default district settings.
- Repairs or replaces devices as needed.
- Provides technical support for computer, software or login issues via the employee Tech Help Ticket system or telephone the helpdesk (727-588-6060) in a timely manner.
- Provides school-based Library Media Technology Specialists and Technology Coordinators information on important updates.
Library Media Technology Specialists (LMTS) or school-based Technology Coordinators:
- Coordinate the distribution and inventory of staff and student devices.
- Provide site-based training for staff, students and parents.
- Provide application-specific troubleshooting and password support.
- Review tech tickets and resolve the issue if possible or escalate it if necessary.
The Digital Learning Department:
- Provides technology-related professional development (PD) for school-based instructional and administrative personnel. PD can be customized upon request to meet the needs of the school.
- Creates and maintains a blog for staff and a page on the district website with current instructions and resources.