No, however, communications and understanding between the two factions is vital to successful introduction of mobile devices and BYOD in a school district. I'd like to see you share your thoughts on the following questions:
Take a moment, and over coffee, tell us about your school district. We'd like to hear from both factions, educators and IT.
As an educator turned techie, I have found that educators are more willing to share the step-by-step processes in using technology devices in the classroom. During my years as a teacher, I found IT people were reluctant to show me how to solve technology problems such as printer errors because they had the attitude that if we, teachers, learned too much, their jobs would be in jeopardy.
I have never understood why IT people feared job security. With so much constantly changing in the technology field and teachers having more and more demands placed on curriculum standards, I think IT people always will have a significant role in a school district.
Your description of what many IT people do mirrored my thoughts of many I have worked with over the years. I agree with your thinking and would add another reason the IT doesn't show how to solve the problem. Many IT specialist have come from the business world and continue to fix problems as they did in the business world. They would fix and move on. We, as teachers, want to know what they did and how they did it, so we can try to ease their load. It is not about them not having work to do.
I wonder sometimes if we could sit with the IT and explain that we not only want the fixes, but we want to have conversations about how the technology can play a greater role with the students. The problem with this is that those IT's that come from the business world struggle to have these collaborative events -- The thing is, how the world is using the technology is what we want our students to experience while still in the educational system. So when they leave, they are ready for the business world.
Marcia, great point about folks coming into education from the business world. My district doesn't recognize the value of having an educator in that IT position. An educator would have a knowledge base that would assist the teacher in reaching their individual needs and goals. I've worked with a few teachers who don't want to be bothered with the how and why, "just fix it".
I've had several cups of coffee and several days have past since I first read this discussion topic. I've been trying to get a few thoughts in order, so here goes.
I spent 25 years in the classroom prior to becoming a school based technology specialist. I happily spent 14 years sharing with educators how to troubleshoot basic issues and how to use technology in the classroom.
It was a sad state of affairs in my school district when they chose to eliminate the position. They also eliminated the media specialist and the literacy specialist positions in a cost saving measure. Unfortunately, they didn't understand that with all the demands placed on the classroom teacher on a daily basis that they all weren't on the same page with basic troubleshooting or care of their machine.
I don't think all IT folks feel threatened when someone else knows the same or more than the tech. But I have met a few and I also don't get it. I wanted to empower the teacher with the knowledge needed to use document cameras, Smartboards, and applications with ease and proficiency. This particular model isn't working. A new position was created and called an Information Communication Technology facilitator. Needless to say the job responsibilities are enormous because one person has replaced three. And so it goes...
In some situations, the "catch up" game is played. School districts who do not take the lead are often playing catch up with policy and procedures, when in fact, BYOD may already be practiced in individual schools. So I do see communication as a key component to success in most situations. Here's an article that indicates how a school administrator can help; The Administrator's Role in Technology Integration.