Networld Solutions: Customizing the Business of K-12 Education with Innovative IT Solutions

Networld Solutions is a leading provider of value-added Information Technology solutions based in San Diego. Networld Solutions’ experts realize there are many choices available when selecting an IT consulting company, but with their niche services and unmatched expertise, they are second to none. Networld Solutions’ staff can help any business become more efficient through automation, business transformation, e-commerce, website development and network infrastructure services.

The Networld Solutions’ K-12 focus is on technology strategic planning, IT assessment, and IT project management. This focus helps K-12 districts develop long-range technology plans that directly address LCAP and Board Goals and Objectives. From these strategic technology plans, Networld Solutions defines technology initiatives and they can plan and manage them through implementation.

Driving Force of Networld Solutions

Darryl Vidal is the Vice President and Senior Education Technology Consultant of Networld Solutions. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and a Master’s in Education Technology and has been managing Networld Solutions successfully for over 20 years. Throughout this tenure, he has consulted with the largest school districts in Southern California and helped plan and manage over $500 million in technology programs. He has also published Networld Solutions’ IT strategic planning and project management methodology called MAPIT®.

Extraordinary Services from Networld Solutions

“We like to deal with districts at the highest possible level, but that is not always possible, especially at the larger school districts. In terms of specialization, it’s really in developing technology infrastructure. We started 20 years ago writing design guides and specifications for Local-Area Networks and classroom audio/video systems. With the larger initiatives, the more facilities infrastructure are required, like data centers, MDF/IDF facilities, fiber-optic backbones, wide-area networks, wireless saturation, and security,” asserts Darryl about their core consulting services.

Today Networld Solutions’ Education Technology Strategic Assessment (ETSA) provides a high-level review and analysis of any school district by looking at four strategic technology areas:

  • Education Technology Initiatives
  • Education Technology Standards
  • Project Management Office
  • Information Technology Operations

The deliverables from the ETSA assessment include:

  • Education Technology Readiness score
  • Assessment of Ed Tech initiatives and standards with Recommendations.
    • Including Rough Order Magnitude (ROM) cost model
  • Project and program management Recommendations
  • IT Operations Assessment and Recommendations

Technologies for Success

“In line with MAPIT® methodologies, we feel districts must strategically plan technology initiatives based on LCAP and Board Goals and Objectives. This means that all dollars spent on infrastructure and technology are identified, standardized and implemented specifically to address these goals. Many districts are driven by technology-based initiatives like 1-to-1 devices and interactive displays. These programs are not always aligned with the needs of each school, class, and student,” asserts Darryl.

By using MAPIT® methodologies to first develop a strategic technology plan that encompasses all technology and infrastructure at the district level, each technology initiative is prioritized, sequenced and funded, based on the overall plan. Of course, professional development becomes a key factor in the success of any academic initiative, and these types of the success factors are included in the MAPIT® methods in the form of Data Integrity and Quality Assurance plans.

Improved Communications and Workflow with the Incorporation of MAPIT®

Networld Solutions utilizes the MAPIT® methodology to define a district’s technology strategies. In order to do this, the district must have a vision for technology, but this vision must be based on academic goals and not technology-centric goals. By ensuring that technology programs are based on academic need, the rate of adoption and success increases. Districts must look at the form and function of the instructional model and develop infrastructure standards based on that model.

The MAPIT® strategic planning methodology calls for the definition of academic and instructionally-based needs. These needs are then addressed through systems and technologies. So if an academic initiative calls for new technologies, such as 3-D printers, robotics, makerspaces, and coding classes, then the implementation plan will help define the scope and scale of each initiative.

Objectives and Achievements

Networld Solutions seeks to grow their consulting services along with their core networking services business. In the K-12 space, they’re continuing to focus on the ETSA deliverable because it’s easy for a school district to understand and fund – the deliverables are fully implementable.

Interestingly, Networld Solutions has observed a need in the SMB space for onsite technology support, as opposed to a remote, MSP-based service. Some customers in this space have been burned and become disillusioned with the promise of the MSP and Service Level Agreements. These businesses seek to have a real person who they can speak with, show things, and get some hands-on support for local office technology.

Future Strategies

Networld Solutions is pioneering the concept of technology independence in K-12 Education – a concept beyond 1-to-1 Computing and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives. Technology Independent Model for Education™ is a trademarked model that promotes the development of enterprise systems to proactively manage all technical aspects of a K-12 school district.

The model uses MAPIT® methodologies to understand and define requirements for four areas, and then develop processes and platforms for maintaining and supporting them:

  • Curriculum
  • Technology
  • Technology Resource Management
  • Sustainment

The model’s core objective is to ensure device need is addressed on an “as needed – just in time” basis. Meaning that devices are managed and deployed as opposed to distributed and fixed. The core tenet being that no single device is always appropriate for the curriculum and pedagogy. By planning and mapping curriculum, the school should be able to deploy technology according to need.

Thus the IT Operations organization moves from being a reactive, “break-fix” operation, to being a proactive deployment team. Instead of fixing broken equipment, the IT department is deploying fully-charged and configured equipment as required by the curriculum plan.

Think of a race car pit crew, versus an auto repair garage. The pit crew tunes and readies the car for maximum performance specific to its purpose. The repair garage fixes broken cars.

Source :- The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education Technology 2017

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