The Reason Our Computers Still Work

A Look at How Technologist Kevin Bickling Keeps the School Running

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Caleb Taylor

Kevin Bickling, school technologist, sits for an interview with CPHS News. Bickling’s main job is to make sure all technology at school is in working order. “If a student drops their laptop and the screen cracks or something like that, I’ll get a ticket from the librarians for that,” Bickling said. “Or if a teacher needs some software installed on their [computer] or their projector bulb burns out or something. Those are tickets that I can get any day throughout the year.”

Caleb Taylor, Reporter

If anyone has ever had a computer issue at school, regardless of whether they’re a student, a teacher or even the principal, there’s one person that likely saved the day.

Kevin Bickling.

Bickling is the school’s resident technologist on campus, colloquially known as “the tech guy.” With such a unique job at the school, Bickling’s average day looks very different from any other staff member’s – except for, of course, the constant fires to put out. The bulk of his time is spent dealing with “tickets,” or work orders, relating to student or staff devices.

“If a student drops their laptop and the screen cracks or something like that, I’ll get a ticket from the librarians for that,” Bickling said. “Or if a teacher needs some software installed on their [computer] or their projector bulb burns out or something. Those are tickets that I can get any day throughout the year. Then, we also have bigger projects throughout the year, like STAAR testing for example – testing is [taken] more and more online. STAAR testing is all online now and AP testing will be soon, so getting laptops prepared for those and getting computer labs [ready] so that students can test online for that.”

This is Bickling’s fourth year at the school. Before finding a permanent home at CP, he spent two years as a “floating technician” in the school district, heading from school to school to solve various problems. He’s now an information technology services employee through Leander ISD, and is housed here at the school.

“When you’re floating, no one really knows who you are,” Bickling said. “But now that I’m here, it’s like I have my own little family.”

When you’re floating, no one really knows who you are. But now that I’m here, it’s like I have my own little family.”

— Kevin Bickling

As big of a job that he has, Bickling is not alone. A task force of librarians, teachers and Assistant Principal Vernon Rogers, the AP assigned to duties related to the school district’s digital education program Leander Mobile Learning Initiative, or mLISD, supports him on bigger projects like the beginning and end-of-year laptop checkouts. mLISD is the program responsible for handling school-owned student devices.

“For every student who participates in mLISD, which is like 80% or 85% of them, we have to check those in and do inventory, and if there’s any issues with them at the end of the year, we try to take those and repair them at the end of the year,” Bickling said. “But if I had, you know, a thousand to twelve hundred laptops that I had to do by myself, that would be crazy, so they are super helpful.”

Another aspect of his job is the very same program where he found his passion in high school. Every year, Bickling takes on a handful of student aides and teaches them various aspects of his job.

“I went to Vista Ridge High School and I was in the student aid tech class there, actually with the same guy who’s the campus tech – he’s in my role at Vista Ridge,” Bickling said. “When I was in that position, I really started learning more about computers and how they worked and everything, and that really got me interested in the field. One of my favorite things is [that] that’s still a program that we do. I’ll get student aides over the years, not many, but like up to four or five. They come to my classroom during one of their classes and I get to teach them how to do laptop repairs and how to troubleshoot and do tickets and just they get to go out on campus and learn all sorts of stuff. I’ve had some really good students over the years and I really love working with them and helping teach them how to do those things.”

As a “tech guy,” Bickling generally stays behind the scenes, working out of sight, only conversing with the school administration and his apprentices. He’s essentially the Batman of Cedar Park. He has just one crucial piece of advice for the student body:

“Restart your computers,” Bickling said. “That solves, seriously, like 50% of the problems.”