What Your IT Department Worries About the Most
You seldom hear them complain, but the CTO at your district and the technical support staff have plenty of worries.
These concerns are related to how well they can deliver the technology support you need to be effective in the classroom. Their goal is to make sure you have everything you need right away.
Let’s try this in unison
Just like their students, not all teachers come to school with the same level of skills, especially when it comes to technology.
One of the biggest challenges for your IT department lies in keeping up. They’re trying to help you keep up, but they, too, are trying to meet modern technology expectations and requirements.
To make sure everyone at the campus knows how to use the edtech programs and equipment, the technology department pays serious attention to onboarding. Some of the most effective ways to do this are through training with Google Classroom and gamification.
By making sure everyone has at least the fundamental technology skills, they can move on to other issues.
There’s an app for that
Technology is to many adults what candy is to kids. It’s irresistible, and we want it. We can’t wait to get our hands on it, all of it.
And that’s your technology department’s biggest fear.
Downloading dozens (and even hundreds) of apps onto school devices can wreak havoc on the network. The apps may carry viruses, and keeping up with all of them is a nightmare. One of the most important jobs in IT is protecting teacher and student information. Your IT department monitors social engineering attacks like phishing, baiting, and compromised sites to protect the network and keep you safe.
Every department has a software management app they want to use. IT has to make sure these apps have interoperability – they work well together without disenfranchising the network. Even the well-intentioned use of apps for the various departments in a district has caused more than one tech support person to stay up late at night to repair a network breach.
The need for speed
Our use of education technology has increased by nearly 400% in less than a decade. That kind of network traffic has created the need for a robust digital highway at school, one that can accommodate a variety of digital media without issue. Administrators, teachers, and students need access to exclusive lanes without bumping each other off the internet.
The good news is that most tech departments can provide that. Like you, though, they worry about what happens after hours. Your students may have premier access and connectivity, but what happens when they go home? Education Week reports that 98% of all American students have high-speed connectivity at home, but there are still two million or more students in K-12 without the same access as everyone else.
You can help your IT department worry less.
Take advantage of the professional development opportunities offered to you. Ask the IT team to check out any apps you want to download. And finally, be mindful of whether all of your students have access to the technology needed for the homework you assign.
What worries you about instructional technology?