elsiegee and/or witch use a job book I think...
Does anybody use a paper based helpdesk?! lol
I dont think the school is quite ready for me to put one on the network, that will come.
It's just ive been flicking through this primary FITS thing and they've got a couple of templates on there.
So in the meantime...how do you do it? Forms, folders and stuff?
elsiegee and/or witch use a job book I think...
We run an email system.
Every member of staff has an email address and we set up an IT Support@ email that people send their problems to. We also handle ICT roombookings through that too.
The problem arrises when people tell you about the issue in person, but you could always email yourself the issue.
But I would move for an electronic system ASAP it will be more efficent even if you are the one logging things at first.
People phone, people email, people attack me in person. A lot of the time I add it as a task/appointment on my phone which is synced to Outlook and I get reminders that way.
We have only just started getting staff to use an electronic helpdesk, and even now its only really half!
before that it used to be, sticky notes
Somebody somewhere has to maintain it, id say its better to install a helpdesk system on an old computer and then who ever would make a paper copy just puts the details in.
We had a horrible freebie php helpdesk on the intranet for over a year and no-one used it apart from a couple of people in IT dept (teaching).
I modified it so that it had a list of our users and we could log calls on their behalf. It would trigger an email to be sent to both the IT team and also the user.
The email to the user had a link to the intranet so they could modify and update their jobs. Slowly it is becoming more popular as they learn that it's quicker to log calls online and also update too. Phoning only works if we pick up the phone!!
If they stop us in the corridor then we can say, log it online to remind me, otherwise i'll forget. Then they can log it or call or email, whatever, you have to strictly adhere to logging as many as you can, regardless of the form they came to you.
Now we have a bank of over 1000 jobs logged since September and that doesn't count the little petty password changes or any SIMS issues!
No, you can't log everything, but the more you log the better analysis you can get back from it, and then help yourself identify weaknesses, training areas, problem people / hardware.
If you can get staff to email you can use one of the systems that allow calls to be logged automatically.
Even if email is not an option, don't use paper, log the calls yourself using an online system. So that you are already working towards getting things online.
We are currently trialling MyLittleHelpDesk which so far is awesome, and very efficient. Also, cheap as chips. Guy called Oz (not sure of member name) will help you. I think there's a banner on the site. The website is www.mylittlehelpdesk.co.uk and you wont pay the price listed as it's cheaper for education.
It's really powerful, yet simple to use, has a little app that sits in your tray reminding you of jobs etc.
Best of all it's 99% FITS compliant with the final 1% on its way soon on a free update.
I would recommend you try that. It will take a bit of tweaking to set up, but then you can log all the calls on it, and its very expandable, so if you get more staff, or a volunteer / assistant, whatever they don't have to take over the paper system. You can share jobs etc.
Also, if you ever (hopefully not) have to justify your job, an online log with stats will really benefit you. It's also good to show them when asking for a pay rise.
Last edited by vikpaw; 2nd February 2009 at 04:12 PM. Reason: addition
Little-Miss (2nd February 2009)
I support 11 primary schools through the week and only one of them has an electronic helpdesk, the rest have books or folders that the staff write issues in, or don't usually, and then grab me on the way through the school and get me to fix stuff spontaniously. I find it works because that is what they are used to, an electronic helpdesk would be good but teachers would still have to remember to put stuff on it. I would still have "Oh, just the man, I haven't written it in the book but could you just...."
I moved from little books to a little online help desk in September.
I wrote it myself (php/mysql) and host it on an external webserver so its available both within and outside of schools.
As others have said - you will still get door-stopped but you end up with a fairly reliable list of all the jobs you've been asked to do.
I just have a simple flag that I set if a job was given to me verbally so I can pass the info onto headteachers to prove the teachers don't tell me in advance
I give priority to anyone who uses the system and proclaim this in a loud voice in the staff room
Only 1 ICT co-ordinator has not seen the benefits of the system but then again they don't even come and get me to fix things even when I'm in the school - they wait till 3:30 to tell me they had a problem at 2pm
It is as simple as simple can be (name, where/what - press button ) and it emails me and if I'm passing the school in question -I'll pop in and fix simple things so they don't have to wait a week.
PM me if you'd like to see it in action and if you want a copy and you've got php/mysql facilities - I'd give you a copy of it/set it up for you
We didn't used to have any system so it was very haphazard. Some staff would write paper memos, the more technologically advanced would send email - but they would typically only send it to one person, instead of to the whole department. Most would report them in person or by phone.
Now we have an address for staff to send to which copies mail to the entire department, so for most jobs whoever reads it first does it. For the more complex or specialised it obviously still gets done by a particular person. Takeup is increasing however you still get stopped in the corridors, and even if then asked to mail a request too, nobody bothers!
we have one email that forwards to many.
one thing i like about the system we are trialling is that there is a common pool of calls, that you can take ownership of for a while, contribute to and then release if need be.
we were finding that sometimes jobs were left untouched, or everybody changed the password and it was done 3 times!
It is hard to introduce such a system especially with primary schools. When working for a secondary school, but offering support to a local primary, yes, a log book was in place.
However, the log book was filled in by any staff, but to get me to go there and visit the school / read the book, the secretary was told to either phone or email!
For urgent jobs they would get the secretary to email me the exact issue so i'd have a heads up. No point turning up to find a drive failure is logged in a book, then have to go away and return later or another day with replacement.
It's a slow process, but as IT support we have to be the ones guiding the schools to use online systems, no matter how slowly at first. Even if just one teacher or the IT co-ordinator emails you at first: Success. Even if it's from home initially. Eventually the other teachers will know that they can get a quicker response by telling that person to email you.
At some point they will want to do it themselves. Get hold of their home emails (i'm sure many will have them), and send them viral emails so they get into the habbit of communicating with you by email.
I've had staff that outright refuse to use email as an official channel of communication yet spend all day sending jokes / chainmail to eachother. (which reminds me of a chainmail joke- must post it.)
Surely the long term goal is to get these staff offay with computers. Come on, they are supposed to be teaching the students. It's a battle of attrition, but one we have to keep fighting.
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