Resource 4: Maintenance and support

Maintenance and support have ongoing costs. You could allocate responsibility to a member of staff who has appropriate knowledge and skills; alternatively, you may need to buy these services in or secure volunteers to help.

Maintenance can be provided either by people who are part of the school system or bought-in. This includes monitoring patterns in the use of applications or equipment. Specific maintenance items might include:

  • periodic replacement of parts and renewal of consumable supplies
  • repair or replacement of faulty components
  • periodic inspection and cleaning of equipment
  • updating or upgrading hardware and software, including installing new operating system versions
  • adding or deleting users from a system, or modifying user rights and properties
  • periodic back-up of stored files on a school network
  • monitoring the condition and functionality equipment and networks
  • installing and removing equipment and applications.

ICT support is about working with users rather than on equipment and systems. Support keeps users working or helps them to improve the ways they work, including such items as:

  • a helpline, or other forms of resolving a problem or providing advice
  • automated information systems such as FAQs or newsletters
  • initial training and familiarisation with equipment and software.

(Adapted from National Center for Education Statistics, 2003.)

Resource 3: Exploring OERs