Don’t be this Principal

I’ve been cleaning out my Google Drive account along with some other older files. I’m trying to reduce both the physical and digital clutter in my places and spaces. Here is an interesting story rescued from that clutter:

We have a new fleet of largely dysfunctional computers.

Two months ago, the principal invited me to leave my classroom to meet with a philanthropist who was making a $10,000 grant to the school. (I was working in a small school that enrolled about 300 students. This grants represented about half the annual technology budget at the time.) She was trying to convince the principal to purchase devices that had a poor reputation. I questioned her about my concerns regarding the devices, and she assured me that the vendor dismissed those concerns.

Another technologist and I recommended the grant funds be used to purchase other devices, but the principal followed the philanthropists’ recommendation with the reasoning, “they are paying for it.” In the end the devices proved as dysfunctional as the reputation my colleague and I questioned. The exact problems that we expressed are the ones we have encountered as we have tried to use these devices with students.