Hardware/Software Selection + Implementation
The Learning Collaborative (TLC) reached out to Apparo for help to standardize their hardware and software. Apparo matched them to a corporate volunteer team from Bank of America who generously sponsored the project and helped optimize their workflow by providing support to move them to reliable PCs, standardized operating systems and consistent use of Microsoft products.
Upon completion of this Community Impact Project, we checked in with Pam Gray, TLC’s Director of Development, who explains, “Before this project, we were limited in our access to the information we needed and faced frequent crashes. We needed a comprehensive overhaul of our technology. We received grant funds for new hardware and software to gain much needed security, efficiency and uniformity across our organization, but not for any of the tech support needed to adopt the new technology. Apparo and Bank of America stepped up and it’s been tremendous.”
Through this Community Impact Project, Apparo worked closely with a corporate volunteer team from Bank of America to help assess TLC’s needs, make the right hardware and software purchases at the best prices and prepare all equipment for use.
Pam shares her perspective on the benefits of the project to her organization:
Saved more than $10,000 in hardware and software expenses through optimization of nonprofit rates and off-lease purchases
- “We did not know how to coordinate all of the TechSoup discounts for nonprofits. We did not have the connections to get those refurbished laptops at those ridiculously low prices. Apparo’s knowledge and connections in the tech community have saved us tons of money. If I had to guess, I’d say we paid about a third of what we would have paid doing this on our own.”
Increased efficiency and independence of staff due to effectiveness of new hardware, software and cloud access
- “Before this project, not every teacher had a good working laptop to use. Now we all have upgraded software and hardware, as well as security and efficiency. Teachers are especially enjoying how easily they can now record data from developmental assessments.”
Improved mission fulfillment through: Freed up time, better ability to lesson plan; better ability to track/react to developmental assessment data and address academic deficits; availability of desktops for preschoolers to access tech-based curriculum
- “Having the right tools is a huge capacity builder, allowing us to spend time doing what we need to do, rather than addressing tech issues. Teachers were inhibited in their ability to create lesson plans. Now they are better able to look at where student’s needs are and make course adjustments to address deficits, for example, in pre-literacy screenings.”
Increased data security through cloud-based backups
- “Getting everyone on the same cloud-based platform is going to ensure that we have backup to all of our data. In the past all we had for backup were old paper binders.”
“I felt very supported by Apparo and the Bank of America volunteers,” Pam reflects. “We could not have completed this project without them. We had no idea how big the scope of this project would be. The fact that it went as smoothly as it did is amazing. We are in a much better place with our technology now and feel confident that moving forward we will be able to sustain these new systems.”
Bank of America volunteers also told us how much they enjoyed participating in this project:
Monisha Naga said, “We at Bank of America are really glad that we were given this opportunity to partner with Apparo and help TLC. We have made great connections and it was fun working together. It gave immense satisfaction to each volunteer to work on this project and we became good friends during this process. We hope to keep these connections going forward.”
Miguel Cepeda said, “This was my first time volunteering through Bank of America. I was especially interested in getting out of Uptown and getting into the community. My manager and team were all very supportive. It was a great experience.”
The Learning Collaborative is a comprehensive preschool program with hands-on involvement between teachers, students, families, patrons and the community. Providing transportation, hot meals, speech language and literacy development, and intensive family support, we have a long and successful history of developing children who are ready and excited to learn upon entering kindergarten, while coaching parents to participate in their child’s education as both teacher and advocate.