#edtech for #edleaders: Technicians and Teachers

When listening to students and teachers, as well as administrators and staff who comprise the users of ICT systems in schools, I hear complaints about the technology (they tell me it is unreliable and insufficient). I also hear from them complaints about the people charged with managing ICT (they tell me technologists are unresponsive to and dismissive of users’ requests and concerns).

When listening to the technologists (technicians, system administrators, and technology coordinators) who are charged with managing ICT in schools I hear complaints about insufficient budgets, too few technicians, and unrealistic timelines and expectations, as well as complaints about the faculty and students who misuse (or fail to follow directions for using) ICT. I also hear complaints about school leaders who “dump” computers (or netbooks or tablets or any other device) on teachers (who are unprepared to teach with them) and on technologists (who are unprepared to support them).

It is not unusual for the complaints in the preceding paragraph to be expressed with a tone of frustration; complainers can be vehement and they often use hyperbole. In general, however, each group is absolutely accurate, justified, and reasonable in the blame they assign to the other group for problems with school technology.

The only solution I have ever found to reducing these complaints (and they can only be reduced, it is not possible to eliminate them) is to bring IT and technicians and leaders together when designing and deploying new IT systems in schools. If they are in the same space at the same time listening to each other (and actually hearing what the other is saying) as they describe the problem from their perspective, then they have a chance of creating useful and supported systems.