I am pulling my hair out with admins about what exactly should be covered in an IT curriculum. Half of them can only see a PC or Mac as some kind of magical typewriter that does not require White Out and magically sends out letters without a stamp. I keep trying to tell them that in a few years even typing will be gone, as we know it. (Thumb typing maybe, but QWERTY touch typing is becoming less and less essential.) And all they want to see is PROJECTS...ah...and when do the kids actually learn to manipulate the MACHINE...global Windows skills and learning to SELF teach from the Windows system. "Oh the kids should master Office 2003"...really? That's nice...problem is Office 2010 is coming and 2007 was a shock to most of the admins whereas my kids had no problems because they have intuition and can self-teach in nearly any program. I am really thinking strongly of leaving this field because it's a daily battle.

Any advice or ideas????

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Someone has to fight the good fight, Jack. If you not, who? Come on--stick around with all us fun frazzled folk.
SMOOTCH! If that's allowed...our inservice begins a week from today and I am ready to quit already! You are sweet to say hi!
I don't doubt that there are lots of admins who don't understand that computers are more than a word processor. However, I don't want every one in this Ning community to think that ALL admins are stuck in the last century. My principal doesn't understand tech and she'll admit it, BUT she supports it and encourages us to use it. She knows that learning new technologies is a skill our 21st century students need to develop. Our tech director is an awesome guy who wants to make sure that we use tech in our classrooms. If I ask him for something and can show how I'm going to use it, I normally get it as long as he still has money in his budget. I'm very, very grateful that tech in my school is promoted and encouraged. There are other schools out there like mine. Unfortunately there also many schools that are not.
Oh my admins support it and encourage...it's not enough. They should be USING it fully and daily. They are very good at PR...at application? Not so much. these are my own opinions, so I do not speak for the NING community

I agree. There are many and I have some as well who are supportive. Most I have encountered do not understand or use it, however. I do believe that overall the field of education is behind the curve when it comes to understanding and use of technology as compared to my prior experience in a market driven profession.

Again, I think we have to keep working on it.

Sue, unfortunately you are right. Sadly there are many admins who do not understand technology and do not see how it helps them in their lives so why would it help students? (rhetorical question). I do believe that education is behind the times in many things. I don't know if it is because schools are based on year long planning, i.e. teachers are hired for the year, budgets are created a year ahead of time, etc. Or if it is because administration wants evidence that something will work before we try it. A Catch-22.

It appears to me that businesses see something isn't working and they change. Schools see something isn't working and they wonder why. It's worked for decades why isn't it working now. Maybe something is wrong with the implementation or the personnel. Surely, it's not because the world is changing.
Over at fno.org Jamie McKenzie states,"What I find remarkable about so many technology people in schools is their persistence regardless of the obstacles and the barriers. ..." I could not agree more. Over my time in this work, I have come to have the most appreciation for the skills I have acquired in learning about humanware:students, teachers, administrators, parents and myself. Persistence may be the most necessary attribute of all in this. I remind myself of that all the time.

For advice I would only offer that you continue to make time for supportive groups such as this one. Too often we end up feeling alone locally.
Yup...I am my own department and I am very isolated...in so many ways from colleagues. The worst part of it is that the older ones, with permanent tenure in their minds, don't even want to learn basics with a PC. Sadly they get away with it.
I have a fairly resistant group of teachers at my school, too, Jack, so I've adopted the push-pull strategy, where I hope what I teach the students is so exciting, they take it into the classroom. It worked with wikis. These are so easy and fun that my fifth grade students pulled it into the classroom as a way to discuss books. The teacher was forced to ask me how to use 'this stuff about wikis'.

I'll take my successes in small doses if necessary!
That is a great technique. The wiki lure!
Unfortunately IT is one of the "specials"...how I hate that word...art, music, PE, IT are "free periods"...for older teachers the very thought of their staying to help and co-teach a cool project on the PC is anathema. And yet my admins want that. I am supposed to make it happen. And I don't get to have input into what the project will be so guess what...whatever it is it has to be done on WORD...the only program they know.
That is just not fair, with the breadth of the IT world out there, you're confined to Word. Argh.

We're called 'exploratories'--art, music, PE, as you said. It's the classroom teacher's break time and like you, they resent the idea they might have to join the computer lab. My principal made it voluntary--so no one does it. My only way to get even is to make the students tech-savier than they!
I am trying to push us toward a netbook campus so that they kids will get me TWO periods a week, instead of one, so I come in one day for pure IT skills stuff, and the second period will be for an integrated project with the general studies/jewish studies teachers to collaborate. And half of them will say "I need to leave for a few minutes" and come back after coffee and a break just as I am ending the class. But until the admins DEMAND such a plan, it won't happen.



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