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Personally, I think it has a lot to do with the style of tech support being
offered in some locations. All desktop security vs open access issues aside
(whoohoo !), I think doing things for people vs empowering (I've always
hated the word empower - how about 'teach' !) them to do it is a big item in
professional development. Certainly, the last thing you want to do to a
teacher in distress who calls in for help is 'teach them a lesson' so to
speak. The key may be to help them address the problem asap, then to touch
base with them again shortly thereafter. Balancing that need of critical
support vs routing things to 'the queue' is an art. It can also depend on if
the user has food readily available in some cases ; )

We had a good deal of success with that method at SB. Takes planning,
patience, and a multi-tasking tech - with stable servers.

After being in tech support for sometime, the most daunting item for me
seemed to be this: Not all teachers run into these problems on the frequency
that tech support people do. Hell, as a tech support person there were
certainly items I ran into that I did 3 years ago that I had to revisit.

Teaching is dymanic, especially with technology. Well, at least we hope it
is. Not everything can be planned. Tech support must be dynamic and
forgiving too. Is it unreasonable to expect techies to be phone techs ?
Electricians ? Cable people ? How about making techies teachers ? To some
teachers diagnosing OS problems is the equivalent of techies dissecting BIG
active directory or NDS problems.

I really doubt we'll be able to teach that calculus teacher how to solve OS
problems because that person may need to solve OS problems once per year -
because they use a mac ? Ouch ! Sorry, couldn't resist.

Tough problem. There are SO many failed, under funded, ineffective
professional dev models out there. Who's got one that really works ? Don't
all chime in at once ; )

Adam





On 11/10/05 5:12 PM, "Dave Tisdell" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Joanne, 
> You brought up a question that I have thought long and hard about and I think
> there is some truth there.
> Years ago, I taught at Hazen and we had limited support which actually helped
> me  develop some good computer skills. In fact, I would say there were at
> least five other people on staff with a skill set similar to mine at the time
> I left to work in IT at MMU. One of those people became the full time IT
> director for Hazen. When I arrived at MMU, there were some folks that had some
> good application skills but none, that I was aware of, that had good
> troubleshooting OS skills. They had  had someone doing support for them for
> quite a while before I arrived and they depended on her. I think any of my
> colleagues that I mentioned from Hazen could have taken over the MMU position
> when I did had they been so inclined. I would be curious to see if Dave
> Mitchell (from Hazen) feels like the skill set of the staff has stayed staus
> quo or dropped since he moved from the classroom  into full time IT since they
> have someone to count on to fix things when they break rather than doing a lot
> of!
>   it themselves
> Great question Joanne!!!
> Dave. 
> 
> David Tisdell. Music Teacher
> Browns River Middle School
> [log in to unmask] (e-mail)
> 
>>>> [log in to unmask] 11/10/05 1:49 PM >>>
>>>> [log in to unmask] 11/10/2005 1:00 pm >>>
> Is the opposite true as well? Does this mean that the schools with less
> support are developing users with better problem-solving skills? More
> risk-taking behavior because there are few alternatives? Are staff and
> students in schools with more accessible support getting lazy?
> 
>> 
> At the elementary schools I work in, I would say that no tech support develop
> problem solving skills, but rather it makes them not want to use the
> technology.  
> 
> Many teachers are willing to try something if there is someone there to bail
> them out, but won't take the risk if they have to do it themselves.  Over
> time, with help, they begin to try more on their own.
> 
> It also is dependent on the person.  Some people are more willing to take
> risks, some not, some have more demanding classes so don't want to deal with
> the technology not working while the kids are climbing the walls.   A second
> person in the room with them is reassurance.
> 
> Joanne
> 
> Joanne Finnegan, Technology Coordinator
> Richmond and Jericho Elementary Schools
> (802) 434-2461 
> (802) 899-2272 
> 
> 
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