Classroom 2.0 needs Educational Technologist 2.0

So I've spent my weekend (1am on Friday night and 2am Saturday night) migrating my schools moolde and wordpress mu site.

The moodle migration went find...due in part to the the fact that I've migrated moodle sites 5 times now...I pretty much know what I'm doing.

The wordpress mu site is another story...and as I go to bed tonight still is not ready for students to use tomorrow.

In a classroom 2.0 environment I think we're going to need educators that understand more than just how to use the tools, they're going to have to understand what it takes to keep all of this stuff running. Sure something like this doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen....our technicians do not know Linux, or php or mysql there for you need an educational technologist that understands both the educational impact these tools have and the knowledge to be able to run the backends of them.

I could write more, but I'm dead tired and once again my wife is going to bed by herself....the life of an overworked educational technologist.

Views: 59

Comment by Jeff Branzburg on April 8, 2007 at 9:34am
Hi Jeff

Well, as with automobiles, there are drivers, and there are mechanics. I don't think we can expect all teachers to be ed technologists, do you? In NYC I find most teachers by far are barely classroom tech users (for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which is spotty access to technology), let alone technologists. I suppose a technologist or two per school would be able to take care of the maintenance and support needs!

(By the way, that article on Skype for Technology & Learning for which you and I did a videoconference was published).

I'm going to add you as a "friend" here, although I really have no idea what that means!

Jeff Branzburg
Comment by nlowell on April 8, 2007 at 10:28am
our technicians do not know Linux, or php or mysql

That's the problem. Why is it that school districts aren't hiring people with the right skill sets?
Comment by Alice Mercer on April 8, 2007 at 11:06am
because all they are thinking about is the novell network that needs to be maintained at the district hq?
Comment by Jeff Utecht on April 8, 2007 at 5:44pm
Jeff: Thanks for the heads up on the article. Nicely written!

As for the technician piece both nlowell and Alice have a point. Honestly I don't think schools can afford to hire programers that know Linux. They are in high demand in the business world and I don't know too many schools that have $80,000 they are willing to pay a Linux programmer/technician. Most school technicians as Alice points out are busy running our admin systems, our wireless networks, and just trying to keep the grid alive. We need these people the problem is these people do not know education. An Educational Technologist in my world is someone who understands the needs of students and teachers, who can program as well as train and understand the theory behind why we need to be moving to a classroom 2.0 format. Of course schools need these people and want them to do it for the price of a teacher. Someone with these specialized skills and knowledge working for $30,000/year....hard to find.
Comment by Tom Kennedy on April 9, 2007 at 6:27am
There is no question that you are at an advantage with the many Web2.0 tools and are well positioned to more easily utilize Open Source Software if you have some understanding of Linux, php, mysql, etc. I think the analogy of the driver and the mechanic is an apt one. You are better off if you can tinker some with your car, or at least have a strong understanding of its systems and how they work. Depending on a entirely mechanic can put you at his/her mercy.

I am a teacher certified as K-6 Elementary, 7-12 English, and K-12 Instructional Technology. I am not a computer scientist by a long shot. I have learned the Linux OS and can administer a server performing many of the functions that you describe. Like you, I can now offer Moodle, WordPress, phpBB2, and other OSS apps to our staff. I would encourage districts to promote an interest among teachers or educational technologists in developing these skills. They will only become more valuable as time goes on.


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