Librarians Provide Tech Assistance & Guidance to SCSD Families

     Published on 11/4/20   Tagged under:    District News    Bellevue Elementary School    Corcoran High School   

Remote and hybrid learning has brought about challenges for students, staff and families alike… but SCSD librarians are finding ways to help address and overcome those challenges.
 
“Kids and families were providing feedback that the hardest part of learning from home is the lack of support for both technical and instructional problems they run into,” SCSD Supervisor of Libraries Manami Tezuka explained. “The librarians are uniquely positioned to support this. We provided a lot of support to teachers last year but wanted to bring that support to students and families. The Librarians were excited to be the people who could do this.”
 
SCSD librarians organized a district wide schedule so there is an elementary and secondary librarian available virtually from 8:00 am - 3:40 pm Monday through Friday. Each librarian volunteers for a shift, and they work as a team to solve technical issues for families. Students and parents/guardians can book an appointment to get support during those times. In September alone, over the course of just 13 days, elementary librarians addressed 169 calls from 128 families, and middle and high school librarians addressed 183 calls from 159 families!
 
Bellevue Elementary librarian Doug Petroff said his previous customer service experience working at Best Buy while in college made him especially excited about this service in the SCSD.
 
“The Virtual Tech Support has been an awesome resource for our students and families so far,” Mr. Petroff said. “I've liked how collaborative it has been. It's been fun being able to interact with families and students throughout our district.”
 
Mr. Petroff noted that he has helped students connect their hot spots to their laptops, helped parents that needed access to the Parent Portal on School Tool, helped students download Teams onto their Kindle Fires and more.
 
“I've always enjoyed being able to help someone solve a problem, especially when it comes to technology,” Mr. Petroff added. “I definitely get a sense of satisfaction from helping our students and families solve their problems. I think it's a great service that we are offering to our families as we all try to navigate this ‘new normal.’ It would be great to see even more of our families utilize the service in the future!”
 
In addition to the technology support, the secondary and elementary librarians are also offering two family CoVideo Chats a month. The focus topics change depending on what families are asking questions about… the first discussion centered around how to navigate virtual learning. In it, library staff gave parents an overview of Canvas, Teams, and Office 365, showing parents how their children would access each of these tools and answering any questions they had. Subsequent sessions gave more in-depth looks at the Canvas, Teams and Office 365.
 
“We are excited about these opportunities to help our students and their families,” Corcoran librarian Jennifer Montague said. “We know that remote learning is challenging and we are happy that we get to help students and families feel more comfortable with the platforms. It’s important to us that the students know we are available to support them even when they aren’t able to stop by the library in person. We’re still offering our support and library services to students, just in a different way!”
 
The elementary librarians have also developed similar workshops for elementary students and families. Those interested in signing up for virtual help directly on the SCSD website by visiting http://www.syracusecityschools.com/districtpage.cfm?pageid=11191 and following the ‘Book Virtual Assistance’ links.
 
#SCSDGivesThanks to our Library Media Specialists for making these supports available!