Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tech support?

Check out this video - pretty funny!

OK, so this ad has nothing to do with computers, but we saw it during one of our training days, and it's a great analogy for how tech support works in schools. The school-based people usually have really good skills in a couple of ICTs, but if they're faced with a new problem, they might get 'stuck'. Then they have to log a job, wait for the tech people to come out, and hope it won't happen again.
So I think there's a good argument for having lots of different people in the school who have some ICT skills. One might be good with a smartboard, one might be great with software and internet stuff, one might know a little bit about networking etc..
That way, they can handle almost everything, keep the wheels turning.
But even better - they could all 'train' each other! Then all of them would have the same skills. And if one or two of them left the school, there would still be someone there to handle things. And, bonus! The people who leave might even go to a new school and pass their skills on again!
OK, I know we don't live in that wonderful utopia (where teachers have an assistant to hang displays and tidy their desks; where we have the time and resources to plan the perfect lesson for each individual child; where our schools are so fantastically resourced that everything we need to create outstanding lessons is there for us), but surely there are ways we can help each other!
What's the point of having awesome ICT gear if only half the people use it? Not because they don't want to, but because maybe they don't know how to, or have time to create stuff, or their gear doesn't work properly and they're not sure how to fix it.....
We spend all this money on gear, and then we don't invest the time or money to train people, or give people time to learn how to use it properly. Even if it was just a group sharing session twice a term, or a school PD day, instead of some pointless course selling us something that none of us will ever use. (oops! Did I say that??)
One of the teachers at my IT PD told us about their school, where at least once a term they have a 'roving' staff meeting, where everybody walks from classroom to classroom, and people share the exciting stuff they've been doing. How cool!
Anyway, bit of a whine and a moan (you've gotta do it sometimes). I know - schools have so many different priorities and goals and budget considerations...blah blah blah....But it makes me feel better to complain!

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