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Technology at Your Fingertips
Chapter 1: Knowing What to Do

Chapter 2: Knowing What You Need

Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have

Chapter 4: Knowing What to Get

Chapter 5: Knowing How to Implement Your Solution

Chapter 6: Knowing How to Train Users

Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution

What Provisions Should Be Made for Ongoing Oversight?

How Do You Plan for Providing Ongoing User Support?

How Should You Monitor Regular Usage of Your System?

What Kind of Ongoing Technology Maintenance Will Be Needed?

How Do You Monitor Your System's Users' Needs?

What Do You Need to Do About Upgrades to Software?

What Do You Do About Replacement and Redeployment of Equipment?

Should You Accept Donations?

When Should You Use Volunteers?

How Do You Find Qualified Help When You Need It?

Is That All There Is To It?
Chapter 7: Knowing How to Support and Maintain Your Technology Solution

How should you monitor regular usage of your system?

Regular tracking of how, how much and by whom the technology is used can provide input into training, systems maintenance and long-term planning.

Another key aspect of the monitoring of computer technology is simply keeping track of how, how much and by whom the technology is being used. For instance, if you have a goal to increase technology use in the classroom, it will be important to review the amount of time students are using the technology and what applications they are using, as well as your teachers' usage patterns. You will also want to assess the effects of technology use on reducing paperwork and making administrative tasks more efficient.

Most commercial software packages and well-designed custom computer systems have built-in utility programs to collect usage information and turn out 'canned' reports on use patterns and volume. Every computer system should have a staff member assigned to review these reports on a regular basis. Some commonly accepted indicators of usage to watch for include:

  • Volume of transactions processed.
  • Number and average duration of user sessions.
  • Data base size (if relevant).
  • Volume of reports generated.
  • Downtime.
In addition to these routine indicators, exception reports should provide information on unusual usage patterns and/or any problems that occur (e.g., disk space constraints, database corruption, interface problems with other systems). The more serious of these should not wait until the regular cycle to be reported; they should be reported and addressed immediately so that no information is lost or damaged.

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