Change display time — Currently: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (Event time)

IT Customer Service in the Age of Amazon and Google

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 113C

Participate and share: Interactive session
Streaming Session
Recorded Session
Save to My Favorites


Director of Educational Technology Services
Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12
ISTE Certified Educator
Jared Mader is the Director of Educational Technology for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit. He has led the technology divisions for two enterprise organizations of over 1200 employees and thousands of students. He has been identified as a PDE State Keystone Technology Integrator and is the 2017 PAECT Outstanding Leader of the Year. He is an ISTE Certification Trainer and Faculty Member for ISTE. These roles have allowed him to be a regular contributing author for the Learning and Leading with Technology Publication, a regular ISTE webinar presenter, and a presenter for ISTE at GETEX 2010, in Dubai, UAE.
Assistant Director of Educational Technology Services
Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12
ISTE Certified Educator
Ben is the Assistant Director of Technology at the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, a service agency in Pennsylvania. Ben has engaged in professional development across the globe in his consultancy, EdTechInnovators. He is a former ISTE Board of Directors member and was the Regional Program Chair for the 2019 ISTE Conference in Philadelphia. Ben is the President of PAECT, the PA ISTE Affiliate. He is an ISTE Certified Educator and delivers the ISTE Certification as his organization is a provider (CAP).

Session description

The expectations of our "customer" have evolved and changed significantly over the last 5-10 years, influenced by the "Amazon-experience." This session will focus on pillars of service, developed by the presenters, to aid in training and evaluating the customer service success of an enterprise K-12 IT team.

Purpose & objective

Consumers of today are experiencing more personalization, access to nearly real-time order processing and shipment information, and faster service than ever before. Access to 24/7 chat features allow consumers to get answers to their questions at their convenience and in their schedules. These shifts in the consumer market do not entirely abstract or mirror what experiences these same individuals have with the IT supports in their educational system. Staff, students, and parents are often left to solve their own IT issues or be left to develop workarounds or not use or be able to count on the operability of technology in their educational experience.

- Technology intervention (include specific names/titles and descriptions if tools are not widely known and available).
This session will explore how schools and school leadership can apply the principles seen employed by companies like Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart to reform IT support practices to more closely mirror the customer experience of these widely popular consumer segments.

- Models employed (include a brief description).
The business and analytics models of the most widely used consumer markets will be analyzed and their practices abstracted to the K12 IT support arena to share how educational institutions can best meet the needs of today's staff, parents, and students, who expect similar experiences in their interactions with their schools IT support teams, when compared to the companies from where they render services and goods.

- Lesson plans or instructional activities/strategies employed (include a brief description of your instructional electronic resources or tools used).
We will be sharing an IT support framework, founded upon six "Pillars of Service" when training and evaluating IT support teams.

- Evidence of success.
We have been able to implement the framework that will be shared in this session, along with the tabletop exercises, within our own educational service agency to help improve our IT support practices.

More [+]


For this session, we will begin by sharing some background on how consumer markets (i.e. Amazon, Walmart, etc.) have adjusted to the changing needs and expectations of consumers. Pivoting from that discussion, we will focus on how this has changed how IT support teams need to use a human-centered, empathy-based approach to customer service. We will then shift to six tabletop exercises that will teach participants about IT support philosophies and then ask them to role play the appropriate response to each of the scenarios in the exercise. (10-minutes)
The six pillars will be:
1. Identifying who is the customer (5-10 minutes)
2. Shifting from reactive IT support to proactive (5-10 minutes)
3. Communication as the key to success (5-10 minutes)
4. Being intentional and focused on quality (5-10 minutes)
5. Being visible (5-10 minutes)
6. Establishing a culture of continuous improvement (5-10 minutes)
Wrap-Up (5-minutes)

More [+]

Supporting research

The presenters have nearly 15-years of direct IT support team leadership experience and have developed this IT support framework by integrating the principles of customer service that they have recognized as most impactful in their leadership. This, combined with the human-centered design approach of Design Thinking ( that they also use and train employees to use in their educational service agency, they have developed this tabletop exercise to focus on the "user" in the IT support industry.

More [+]

Session specifications

Grade level:
Skill level:
Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Curriculum/district specialists, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
ISTE Standards:
For Education Leaders:
Systems Designer
  • Lead teams to collaboratively establish robust infrastructure and systems needed to implement the strategic plan.
  • Ensure that resources for supporting the effective use of technology for learning are sufficient and scalable to meet future demand.
  • Establish partnerships that support the strategic vision, achieve learning priorities and improve operations.