Thoughts About K12 Education Information Technology
Below is a compilation of my #EduIT thoughts from years serving in K12 education infrastructures. The role of the technology department is continuing to evolve, and with the rapid growth of edtech in K12 schools, it is important to understand everyone’s role (teachers, IT, admins) in the success of technology deployment This opinionated post will continue to evolve and I welcome other technology administrators & teachers to participate in this ongoing discussion about education information technology.
- K12 information technology is NOT enterprise IT.
- Successful technology departments are not troubleshooting day-to-day tech support tickets, but rather empowering users and providing structured professional development.
- The more technology proficient our K12 users are, the less tech support tickets are submitted.
- When I am focused more on educational technology, I know information technology is doing its job.
- Putting technology in the classroom without proper professional development = money squandered.
- Just paying for tech support = adding more cost down the road. Tech support must combine with professional development, technology vision and strategic technology planning for successful integration.
- EdTech specialists should evolve to learn and experience aspects of information technology.
- IT administrators should observe classrooms and understand the needs of our teachers.
- “Geeked-Out” teachers + “Education-Minded” IT admins = Happy Medium!
- Content filtering is a must when dealing with federal dollars…but that doesn’t mean IT shouldn’t listen to their teachers about what you block. Both sides should be knowledgeable about CIPA.
- Responsible management of equipment by our teachers will go a long way to preserving the technology while lending a hand to the IT department.
- When purchasing technology, don’t forget their is a total cost of ownership which adds maintenance, warranty, training, and support costs.
- 250:1 workstation to desktop support technician is what I have seen typically in K12. But I have heard cases of 600:1…yikes! In comparison, a typical corporate enterprise would have a 25-50:1 ratio.
- Flexible desktop virtualization & cloud computing will save costs down the road while providing teachers content for engaging educational technology.
- Technology departments should be one of the models for 21st century learning. We need to empower our users to be constant learners, collaborators, and innovators.
- Majority of tech support tickets are user errors. I have even been told up to 80% by other technology administrators.
- The more we open our technology infrastructure to our users, the more important digital citizenship becomes a key component.
- When offering technology professional development, remember The Boiling Frog Syndrome metaphor.
- It is possible for a teacher to run the technology infrastructure of a school. I know many teachers who take on this role.
- Provide technology tools and avenues to empower users to share information and collaborate.
- The skill of patience is a necessity when supporting diverse groups of users. Don’t make assumptions about technology use, there are diverse experiences and attitudes towards technology.
- Implementing changes in technology requires thorough planning and strategy when dealing with such a diverse user base.
- Even when you are confident that change in technology is better in the long the run, there tends to be a resistance to change that dampers the process. One needs to be build a thick skin when making school-wide technology changes. Keep pushing forward and try to win the few resistors over.
- Not all users will read your first email or update, differentiate how you disseminate technology changes to the staff.
- Tech support is a thankless job.
- When users are not hollering, is it safe to assume there are no tech support issues? “All Quiet in the Western Front” or should tech support be worried that it is too quiet.
- “I didn’t get the email” = “you didn’t read the email”