Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The problems we face

Ms. Hull and I presented at PETE&C today. The coming "blizzard" likely affected attendance at our last session of the conference. Thank you weather for providing scape goat.

To get people thinking and break the Sit & Get mentality, we had those in attendance think of the 1-3 things keeping their building from breaking through to greatness.

They shared with the people sitting next and reported out.

Here's the list they generated:

  • Staff resistance
  • Keeping current
  • Lack of community support
  • Lack of a vision (clear vision)
  • Administration road blocks
  • Money $$$$
  • Lack of technicians
  • Lack of solutions
  • Deciding – dealing with overload
  • Blocking the server – firewalls
  • FEAR
  • Lack of voice for teachers
  • Need for communication from techs to teachers
  • Common language
  • Sense of community
  • Time
  • Pride

Read the list again - I had to. The topic of the presentation was "Planning the 21st Century School."
Aside from blocking the server, these are 20th Century problems. Replace server with "texts," "discoveries," "evolution," etc. and you've jumped in the Way-back Machine.

My invitation to you - pick a problem, any of the above or one specific to your building, and comment with a possible beginning to a solution. What can be done?
More later.


Robert said...

Hey Mr Chase hows it going? robert

Anonymous said...

hi mr chase
hows philly.
hope its good
mr roth isnt that bad of a teacher so dont worry we are in good hands
well hope things are good thanks for coming back and seeing us. but any ways tata for now we cant use slang.

Anonymous said...

hey mr chase how are you umm hows philly did you have any philly steak and cheese by the way you still need to see my band play some time if u dont write me back i will hunt you down and give you hug
ryan parker

Anonymous said...

hey this is rob and i think you look really bad in the picture love rob

RedHeadEd said...

Mr. Chase: I hope you weren't surprised by the answers from your audience. I have nearly 20 years' experience in meshing technology and learning, and those same barriers were brought up in 1989 that you heard two weeks ago.
I'll pick one item and a possible starting point:Need for communication from techs to teachers. Districts only have themselves to blame when they hire technology directors who have no experience with the education setting, no empathy for the demands of a teacher's day, and no understanding that technology serves teaching and learning, not the opposite. As long as school boards and districts believe that the best fit for a tech director job is someone from the business world, then comments like the ones you heard will continue to be made. So, let's assume that a school has that current "problem." My first suggestion is that the tech director and the rest of the tech staff (if any), along with the principal and the superintendent, all sit down in a room and talk with the teachers about what it is the teachers want to do that they can't currently, because they perceive it to be a tech problem. It might turn out that certain sites are blocked or the machines are locked down so tight teachers can't use them. If the tech director refuses to budge, the principal and the superintendent need to hear that - if the requests are reasonable, then you would hope that the super persuades the tech director to lighten up a bit. Ultimately, what's my suggested starting point? Open dialogue with a commitment from all stakeholders to work through the problems to find solutions. Hmm, that doesn't seem to require technology either, does it?