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I didn't want anyone to think I was suggesting that teachers are better off without tech support. I just remember being very struck and surprised when I started at MMU, that a larger percentage of the Hazen staff seemed comfortable with technology; a school with a much smaller stff and far fewer resources than the staff at MMU. I don't know if that is true today. The staff at MMU as grown tremendously in their use of technology.
The key of course is effective professional development; something that many Supervisory Unions sorely lack.
Dave

David Tisdell. Music Teacher
Browns River Middle School
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>>> [log in to unmask] 11/10/05 7:34 PM >>>
I'm not sure I've received all the pieces of this particular thread, but
I get the idea that there is some feeling that teachers might be better
off without being spoon fed their tech support by us techies.  Mostly, I
think I disagree with that.  When it comes to teachers, I'm don't feel
it's appropriate to ask them to become proficient (i.e. self-sufficient)
in computer hardware support.  That's the job my tech support group
does.  We don't expect the teachers to ask us to teach their classes and
they don't expect us to ask them to fix their computers.  I was once a
classroom teacher and it's the toughest job I ever had in my life  - and
I've had several nasty ones.  These people have their hands full trying
to deliver an education to kids who are used to being amused and
entertained from morning until night and are not about to cut their
teachers an inch of slack.  

Today, it may be necessary for all educators to understand how to
employ computers and other technical devices as tools in their
classrooms and across their curriculum, but they needn't be able to fix
the things.  We need a certain set of skills to be able to drive our
cars, but we don't need to know how to fix them. (Unless you're as poor
as I was for the first twenty years of my adult life - basically, I went
from fixing cars to fixing computers.)  I doubt even the average NASCAR
driver has any more than a rudimentary idea of the inner workings of the
components that are hurtling him toward his death.  Even when his tires
need changing, someone else is there to do it for him so he can keep his
mind focused on the race. (I'm making this assumption; I don't watch
NASCAR races, nor can I understand why anyone would. )

If, like David Tisdell or me, you were inclined to fool with these
devices (computers) anyway, and ultimately ended up being employed to
keep them working, it may seem like a good thing that we were forced to
confront them ourselves, but the average teacher is not so inclined and
has better things to do with his or her time.

The answer to us techies being overwhelmed is not overwhelming the
teachers even more, it's convincing the folks holding the purse strings
that we need more help - hired help.  Competent hired help.

On the other hand, I've likely misunderstood what everyone has been
saying - but I'm too tired to go back and read all that email again. 
So, as usual, you can dismiss everything I've just said as the continued
ravings of a man who is too old to make any sense and too poor to retire
and get out of everyone's hair.  :-)

I remain, your humble servant,

Vince

 
>>> On 11/10/2005 at 5:12:39 pm, in message
<[log in to unmask]>,
[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 
> 
> 
> This e-mail may contain information protected under the Family
Educational 
> Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  If this e-mail contains student
information 
> and you are not entitled to access such information under FERPA,
please 
> notify the sender.  Federal regulations require that you destroy this
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> without reviewing it and you may not forward it to anyone.
> 
> 
> This e-mail may contain information protected under the Family
Educational 
> Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  If this e-mail contains student
information 
> and you are not entitled to access such information under FERPA,
please 
> notify the sender.  Federal regulations require that you destroy this
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> without reviewing it and you may not forward it to anyone.
-- 

Vince Rossano
Information Technology Director
Montpelier Public Schools
Montpelier, VT 05602
 
(802) 225-8690

This e-mail may contain information protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  If this e-mail contains student information and you are not entitled to access such information under FERPA, please notify the sender.  Federal regulations require that you destroy this e-mail without reviewing it and you may not forward it to anyone.