With the school year fast approaching, a Texas school district was scrambling to find the technology required for students to engage in distance learning during the pandemic.
The district needed Chromebooks. Lots of them.
Administrators placed an order with their usual tech provider, only to learn that company wouldn’t be able to fulfill it in time for the start of school. So, they turned to Best Buy for help.
Four business days later, they had secured almost 1,700 Chromebooks for their school.
It’s just one example of how our Best Buy Education team has helped thousands of schools — not just parents and students — prepare for the new reality of virtual classrooms during the pandemic.
“We’ve been able to come in and kind of save the day in a few different situations,” said Leah Fuller, who oversees sales for Best Buy Education. “There are a lot of complexities that we have to work through.”
Big Lake Schools in Minnesota saw that in action with its recent purchase of 900 Chromebooks. The district has not had one-to-one devices for students in the past, but COVID-19 pushed administrators to go that direction this year.
“Everyone else was telling us mid-September, but Best Buy got them to us last week,” said Jon Beach, the district’s director of technology. “It was roughly a three-week turnaround from purchase order to getting them in the door, which was awesome.”
A helping hand
Best Buy Education has long worked with schools to provide the technology they need for the modern, connected classroom. That includes everything from laptops and Chromebooks to innovative seating, digital projectors and interactive smart displays.
Those needs have shifted during the pandemic. And the timeline has shifted, too, as back-to-school planning has pushed deep into the summer and varies greatly from one state or country to the next.
“We’re seeing more personal devices and webcams, much like a work-from-home scenario but catered to the schools,” Leah said. “There’s still a level of uncertainty, and schools are having to be very fluid with it.”
Increased demand has led to industrywide inventory constraints, so Best Buy Education has worked closely with districts to find the best options to meet their students’ needs. That’s been a big help at a time when administrators are primarily focused on student safety and planning.
In addition to products, we’re helping some schools with their technical support, using our Geek Squad teams in this virtual environment. Plus, Best Buy Education is helping school administrators navigate issues such as credit lines, warranties and product licensing.
“We have to think about these kinds of things in a normal environment,” Leah said. “It’s even more amplified in this COVID world.”
Click here to learn more about Best Buy Education.