There are still some of us around that started our teaching careers when computers were not the norm. Ditto machines, typewriters and non-digital clocks described our world. Even if you weren’t teaching, some of you may remember these types of items from when you were a student. It was a little shocking when a recent new teacher announced she was born the same year I started my career. Never thought I would see that day.
Now when you walk into most schools, you see laptops, tablets with touch screens and fewer and fewer actual books. All of this comes with their own set of needs. After the initial purchase of the various technology, the greatest need is people to provide support. If you have been in a school recently and the internet goes down, it is catastrophic. Attendance can’t be taken, the lessons the teachers had planned for the day have to be scrapped as well as student lunches have to be recorded with paper and pencil and entered later into the system for each account to be charged. Everything comes to a screaming stop!
At these times, there is no more important person than anyone from the technology department. They are the true modern day superhero when something is not working. There is no such thing as a no big deal breakdown when it comes to technology. It is crucial that any organization maintain a solid technology department to provide the support as well as the forethought to put the pieces in place to handle the change that is always happening.
You always want to make sure there is a back up plan in regards to personnel when it comes to technology support. If you only have one person that is handling most of your technology and that person is no longer their, it is guaranteed you will have chaos and chaos is never good.
Now there are different levels of comfort when it comes to technology, but I would encourage everyone to attempt to learn all they can about the technology they use. Tech support may not be able to help you the instant you need it. Many times with a little problem solving skill, you can do quite a bit yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask the people from your technology department to show you basic trouble shooting. If it is going to save them time and future headaches, I am sure they will be more than willing to help.
A final word of advice that has worked well for me…be sure to always read any information you get from them carefully. Their phones and email inbox’s are always blowing up. When they try to make things easier by giving step-by-step instructions of how to do things yourself, do your best to follow them. Not being on their good side is like being on the dark side of the moon.