I am a great fan of giving back to the community that we belong to. Working together is better than working on your own. Giving back is better than always taking. This has been my philosophy when it comes to working in and with more privileged communities. However even within prevailed communities there are ways to contribute back positively. One aspect of that is to help bridge the digital divide. Digital Divide is not only about the ones who have and the others who do not but also about the ones who know and others who do not know.
With this in mind I have been working on a Student Service Desk (SSD) at my school where the Gifted and Talented in my school give back to their community their knowledge of ICT and the time spent counts as their CAS programme. The SSD is led by students for students, however to get them started I choose the following technology and solutions to help them provide a professional and reliable experience for their users.
A sub-domain (ssd.myhayah.com) was registered to provide users with details and to document their experiences. A live-chat programme was installed so that students are able to ask for help via an on-line live-chat sessions. A ticketing application was installed to ensure all technical problems raised with the SSD are systemically documented and addressed. Finally a forum application was installed to allow further detailed discussion on subject specific problems.
As the school already has a registered website, adding a sub-domain costs nothing. All other applications that were chosen are licensed under the GPL licence, which means they are free to use and distribute.
Below are links to the application chosen to provide a professional yet free experience to our school student community. The following solution(s) can also be used by school technical teams to provide service desk to their teachers and staff.
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