Another One Bites the Dust

I had another sad conversation with a friend today.  He indicated that his employer was getting rid of the position of tech coordinator and that he was being sent back to the classroom.  I had two immediate questions:

  • Why?
  • Who will be replacing you?

Sadly, this isn’t a unique situation.

The answer to my second question was “nobody”.

The answer to my first question was “The district is going to buy iPads and the IT Director has convinced the administration that a position like mine is not necessary since ‘anyone can work an iPad'”.

We looked at each other incredulously.

Is the use of this (or any technology) treated so superficially that this logic makes any sense at all?

I recalled reading a piece from eSchool News recently that was so timely.

5 critical iPad mistakes to avoid

Just as the first teaching and learning machines failed on the promise to take over education and make it all good, so flies the iPad.  (Or any device – it’s just that all roads point to the iPad in this case)

Of importance is point #3 in the article.

It’s sad to think that any system would consider self-taught tap, tap, tapping and hoping that the magic happens, a critical part of their technology implementation.

4 thoughts on “Another One Bites the Dust

  1. Argh! The assumption being that because many of us use an iPad in our personal life, we know exactly how to make it work in a pedagogical setting. Really? Come on, people. My board is not perfect in terms of tech integration, but at least they did a tablet pilot this year, and looked at how tablets might work within our infrastructure, and tried different kinds of tablets, and tried to see what loading apps to multiple devices would look like, and….

    Oh, argh! This is exactly when we need tech consultants, as we begin to ask people to think differently about their integration of tech in the classroom.


  2. We just revamped our heads structure and removed IT support from it completely. I suspect the plan is to just have me do it voluntarily rather than having the work recognized, the dozens of tech related issues we have a week aren’t going to disappear over one summer.

    The assumption that everyone knows how tech works is a handy cost cutting management tool.


  3. Doug – great post, especially about the iPad. I have been saddened for many years now by the number of people saying that an iPad was the superset of what laptops could do. Technology is an amplifier, and educational technology should be an amplifier, not a limiter, of what is possible for a student to do and make. iPads are a step backwards, and I’m not more optimistic about Chromebooks. Schools cutting the IT support staff is a predictable consequence to the larger story that, “Software is free, so it must be easy to use, and iPads are easy too, and if my kid can use an iPad, why do we need any support staff?”. I would ask, “If every home has an iPad, why go to school to learn how to use one?”. The answer to all the questions is “That is why we have professional educators and a professional IT staff: to objectively assess different technologies, to use sound pedagogy and professional skills to implement them as part of a technology strategy, and to have the IT support necessary so that 1000s of students at once can actually use the devices.”


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