For what it's worth--Here at Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute,
we have a computer support staff which is hired to repair our computers,
install software, set up networks and troubleshoot problems.  However,
each of us who work with students--tutoring Math or English and Reading--
is expected to be familiar enough with computer operations to instruct
students on how to use the computers and software that are available.  We
are also expected to do some minor troubleshooting--extract disks from the
drive when they don't want to come out, fix erroneous paper feeds (when
the printer goes crazy and spits out garbage or reams of blank paper!),
and etc.

When we are considering new software, demos are usually available for a
week or two.  Faculty and staff can provide input about whether or not to
adopt a program or not.  Recommendations for support staff, new equipment
and software go to each department's Technology Advisory Board, a group
composed of administrators, faculty, and staff.

As for accessing the help of the technical staff, we call, they come!  We
have both office and pager numbers for our computer support staff, and
they do a terrific job!  The cost of repairs, I believe, is part of each
department's budget.  Computer support is its own department with its own
budget for staff.

Hope this helps,

Peggy Keller
English Instructional Technician
Assistance Centers for Education
Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute
525 Buena Vista SE
Albuquerque, NM  87106

<[log in to unmask]

On Wed, 14 Jan 1998, Georgine Materniak wrote:

> I have some basic questions for those of you who have successfully
> incorporated technology into your programs.  Who provides technical
> support for your computer lab?  Your own technical staff or people from
> your institutional computing services group?  If it is your own staff,
> what expertise and background does the staff have?  If support is provided
> by your institutional computing services people, what arrangement do you
> have for accessing their help and what level of technical support do you
> receive? Who pays for it?
> My personal belief is that successful use of technology in a
> learning center requires two types of expertise.  One is educational where
> the staff have the responsibility for identifying, evaluating, and
> adopting software and for developing the educational programs and support
> services that utilize the software. The other type of expertise is
> technical, a person who is reponsible for assuring that the hardware and
> software are functioning properly and reliably  so that the lab
> can readily deliver the programs and services it is intended to provide.
> I'd like feedback as to whether or not I am on target or missing something
> in this line of thinking.
> Looking forward to hearing from you,
> Georgine Materniak
> Director
> University of Pittsburgh
> Learning Skills Center
> 311 William Pitt Union
> Pittsburgh, PA  15260
> phone:  (412)648-7920
> fax:    (412)648-7924
> e-mail: [log in to unmask]
> "Life is what happens while you are making other plans" John Lennon