Today I wanted to share how my team is handling troubleshooting problems remotely during our school closure. A reality of the IT world is that we don’t always know the answer to a person’s question. Sometimes we need to click and play with a device to try and troubleshoot issues. In our current reality, this is difficult because we can not physically touch the computer. To alleviate this problem my team has been using Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop tool.
Google’s Remote Desktop is a free tool that allows you to remotely access another device. You can have pre-existing devices set up (servers, your own home machines, etc) or you can give remote support when needed. I really like this tool because after completing the initial set up the process for getting support is very simple to use. The staff member generates and shares code with the tech and within a few seconds, the tech is able to remotely access the device. I also really like how transparent this tool is since you can not establish a connection with a non-pre-existing device without the end-user generating the code. This to me is important to let people know that they are in charge and that we can not just “spy” on them when we want to.
Setting this up for my staff was fairly easy. In our Google Admin console I pushed out the extension and also placed a link in our staff managed Chrome bookmarks. We are also only using this tool when we are on Meet calls with staff members. This has helped us walk them through the initial set up and be able to ask to follow up questions as we work. The staff has also responded positively and some have said that they appreciate that we can troubleshoot things without having to be in the same physical space.
Below is a video that I sent my staff explaining the process from a technician and an end-user view. I also included this message to explain more. Feel free to use/modify either resource.
As we continue to move to a remote working environment the tech team is looking into the best way to support you with any issues that come up. Sometimes when troubleshooting a problem it helps to see and try various things to try and find a fix. To better facilitate this yesterday we pushed a Chrome Extension to all YPICS Staff members that will allow us to remotely view and control your computer. You can also find a link to the website in your YPICS Bookmarks. If you do not see the extension or the YPICS bookmarks make sure that you are signed into Google Chrome with your school email account and have sync turned on.
The process for starting a remote session needs to be initiated by you. The tech team can not initiate a session which means we can not see or control your computer until you have given us permission to do so. To make sure we are being transparent with this process I created a brief 3 minute video that shows you the process from the tech and user side of things. If you have any questions please let me know.
If you have any questions or need any help getting this set up for your school please don’t hesitate to reach out! This is an awesome tool that I think every IT team should have in place.