Nutley Technology Department's Critical District Role
Technology has become a major part of the 21st Century and it plays a huge role in education systems today. Computers, especially Chromebooks, have become a huge part of the Nutley Public Schools. In Nutley, every student in grades 6-12, has access to a Chromebook and uses them in almost all their classes. This allows students to be able to research information, type papers, contact teachers for help, have easy organization, and to have a more interactive learning environment. This is even more important now that Nutley, as well as most other districts, have gone to Virtual Learning during COVID-19. Helping to make all this possible for the Nutley School District is the Technology Department and Systems Manager, Mr. Ian Viemeister.
Viemeister has been head of the Nutley Technology Department since 1998 though, Viemeister has been involved with the Nutley technology department for much longer. Viemeister found his interest in this field when he was at NHS himself. “In high school, I was already doing it here. I was actually running the one network we had in the library. We didn’t have all these though,” Ian said pointing at the Chromebooks. Technology has grown from only having some heavy desktop computers in the library to each student having their own portable device.
Viemeister’s team consists of three other members including, Mrs. Gina Russell, device/help desk support along with Mr. Anthony Moscaritola and Mr. David Steiner who are both the technicians for the team. With such a small team, taking care of all the technology in the school district, each of them play a major role in all the projects they are working on to improve and perfect the resources students, teachers, and staff use everyday.
Although Chromebooks are a major project that is taken care of, the technology department handles much more than that. Mrs Gina Russell explains, “We handle the hardware and software for devices used in all classrooms and offices throughout the district. This includes the obvious things like Chromebooks, iMacs and desktops, but also covers Smartboards, projectors, doc cams, printers and copiers. Even the district phones, security cameras and TV stations are the responsibility of the Technology Department.”
Some might not even realize the importance of the modern technology the department takes care of for a more beneficial learning environment. “All the backend things that you don’t necessarily directly see are so important,” says Viemeister.
With having to take care of all the technology used throughout the seven schools, every day is different which could lead to many challenges for Viemeister and his team. Technology is an expensive resource and making sure all students have access could be difficult at times. “Funding and resources could be a problem, purchasing things, giving out all these devices each year is expensive. We have to hand out new devices every year to all 6th graders and all 10th graders”, says Viemeister.
Technology isn’t only expensive, but also breakable. Mr Viemeister and Mrs. Russell both agree that one of their major everyday projects is being available to repair broken Chromebooks.
Ian Viemeister and his team make it possible for students and teachers to grow and have access to technology inside and out of classrooms. These resources are a major part of today's world in education preparing students for the future adulthood by expanding communication, collaboration, organization, and productive skills.