I worked in an elementary school setting with a variety of educators. Some had high digital literacy skills while others barely managed to turn on their computer and read email. With an overworked I.T. director who had to maintain the network and computers for 3 schools (roughly 3,000 students), I witnessed a lot of ignorance on the part of teachers, and bullying on the part of the I.T. director.
Several teachers would fail to even try to troubleshoot simple problems or ask for assistance from other teachers. Their first response was to put a “ticket into the queue” for the I.T. director. Often times the problems were menial but took valuable time from our director. The conflicts between the director and other teachers became a hostile environment and I heard her comment to a teacher that her problem was an “ID-10-T” error and that she would get to the problem when she could. I happened to be married to an I.T. professional and I know that an “ID-10-T” error is commonly referred to as an “Idiot error.” Or another rude response is, “there is a short somewhere between the chair and keyboard.” These demeaning comments, while not all understood, are bullying.
I decided to gear this presentation around a short 10-minute tutorial video complete with a simple quiz at the end. I firmly believe that a little understanding and knowledge can go a long way when it comes to relationships across the faculty. Perhaps if teachers are aware of what a network is and how it works, maybe they will think twice before they call the I.T. director to fix everything. Perhaps knowing that every network has a maximum capacity and that bandwidth has its own limitations can soften a lot of frustrated hearts. Maybe, just maybe, protecting their devices from viruses outside of the school safety network, they can dodge a few avoidable mishaps.
Instead of encroaching on a teacher’s valuable and limited time by presenting this at another “meeting” (although that would be acceptable as well), I created this to be used anytime it was convenient, even at home if necessary.
My goal is to have a better working relationship between teachers and the I.T. professionals who work in the school. Feigning ignorance is really unacceptable in today’s educational environment and we owe it to our students to at least attempt to stay knowledgeable when it comes to technology. Burying heads in the sand or passing the buck does a great disservice to the students. Likewise, treating others rudely because of ignorance is unacceptable as well.
Note to teachers about this short video presentation:
This presentation was created to simplify some basic information technology terms and to educate you in the workings of our school’s network. Every person, students and teachers, has a responsibility to keep our network free of viruses and protect us from inappropriate material. It is important to understand that the network does have a maximum capacity and there are ways to avoid frustration with it. By working together as colleagues, we can have a great experience in taking care of our digital information and the equipment we rely on everyday.
Some notes/suggestions about this presentation:
- Have a pencil and paper ready to take notes and for the quiz at the end.
- Consider having your finger ready on the pause button if you feel the slides move too quickly.
- The music can be muted if it is too irritating.
- Relax and enjoy these next 11 minutes. You’ll be back to your regularly scheduled activities in no time at all.
- This video presentation is very acceptable and valuable to students in grades 4 and up. Use it in your classroom if you would like.
Godwin, W. (2009, June 18). What is Wifi & How Does Wifi Work in Plain English. Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://youtu.be/Egxq00V0b1Y
SafeKids.ne.gov – Internet Safety Information for the Whole Family. (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2015, from http://safekids.ne.gov/teachers.html
Teachers First – Thinking Teachers Teaching Thinkers. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.teachersfirst.com/spectopics/safety.cfm
WiFi Security Quiz. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2015, from http://www.brighthub.com/computing/smb-security/articles/125440.aspx#sthash.Rckvtizx.dpuf