Monday, December 10, 2007

The Times..They Are A'Changing...

Rather interesting library meeting today.

In my district, as in many other school district the technology folks pretty much set the policies regarding computer equipment. As far as they are concerned their first task is to "protect the equipment". They remind me of the librarians of yore who didn't want any children in the library. They might disrupt the order of the books on the shelves or God Forbid, lose a book. Better for the books to stay safe on the shelves than to be checked out and used.

Our Tech folks are just as possessive of "their" computers. They forget that our primary business is educating children and that the computers are supposed to be a means to that end. They aren't as bad as some other tech departments I've read about. LM_NET abounds with horror stories of techies disabling the usb slots so that nobody can use a jump drive, forbidding the opening of any attachments and closing off the floppy disk drives.

Given their druthers I am quite certain our techie types would have loved to institute similar polices. I attended one of their trainings last spring which consisted of them telling nothing but "Us" vs "Them" stories (I was in the "them" camp).

Directors of our computer department have come and gone with in a dizzying speed and the revolving door just a landed another one in the head honcho chair. This one has a new attitude.

All teachers are getting a laptop. A laptop they can take home. A laptop they can actually install printer drivers and hook up to their home Internet provider. A laptop they can carry from workshop to workshop and meeting to meeting. A laptop that won't lock them out of the desktop and the control panel.

This is a complete 360. Granted corporate America has been operating this way for years but the wheels of educational change move with a global slowness. I do hope this current director stays around long enough to celebrate his one year anniversary.


Library Girl said...

I couldn't agree more! Bring it on! :)

VWB said...

it is an exciting prospect isn't it...freedom to "use" the computer!

Nancy said...

Can it be? Sanity in the IT dept?