JACKSONVILLE, Fla — This weekend, thousands of students, teachers and parents across the First Coast are preparing for a new way of learning: virtual education. With bumps in the road expected, a Jacksonville company is offering its services for free.
Isaiah Miller, owner of Jacksonville IT Solutions, said as the scale of the pandemic increased and so many areas of life shifted online, the need became evident.
"We started to ask 'How can we do our part? How can we use our infrastructure as a company to contribute, and try to solve or address some of the problems that are happening with the different transitions?,'" Miller said.
As Duval County parents and students pick up laptops to prepare for the start of the "Duval HomeRoom" education system Monday, Miller said he and his team realized that staff at school districts across the area already have a lot on their plates.
"I'm sure they're going to be swamped as well, so we like to do what we can with the skills and resources that we have to help them in this journey," he said.
The work Jacksonville IT Solutions does will be done remotely, and the business plans to offer help on a range of issues that could be encountered.
If you need to use its services, Miller asks that you go here to fill out a ticket online, rather than calling.
"The last thing you want is to face issues when it's real-time, you're depending on the stuff for work and it's not working," he said.
As communities embark on these new styles of teaching and learning, Miller hopes that other information technology companies along the First Coast offer to help as well.
"What affects the local community affects each and every one of our businesses one way or another," he said.
Along with offering services, Miller also gave the following tips for parents and teachers setting up their software ahead of the start of virtual school:
- Make sure you have a strong internet connection and try to keep the computer close to the router.
- If you can, try hard-wiring your connection through an Ethernet cable.
- Get on the computer and play with the software as soon as possible to work out any bugs.