Filters and CIPA and Tech Plans, oh my!


Technical difficulties that can plague the start of the school year are featured in Sherry Technically Speaking: The Start of the School Year. This has lead to a response from Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant: It’s the system, stupid

In the post, Sherry questions whether she should be complaining publicly on her blog, and this is echoed in comments on Miguel Guhlin’s Around the Corner v2 – – Taking Action

Sherry asks for how to proceed, and I’m going to lend a couple of suggestions. First, someone commented (nastily) anonymously on her blog suggested some tech reasons why a number of still functional machines were carted of from her site. It points out that there are reasons why all these actions took place at her school and district. Some of them may be good, many will be brain-dead. The BIGGEST failure here is the lack of communication. That is a serious administrative oversight. It makes people assume the worst, and not trust leadership, because well, you are NOT being a leader when you don’t communicate. Here are my suggested responses:

  1. Find out what happened and why. Ask your site administrator. If they don’t know, talk to the folks in IT. Get information, this will be key to getting things changed. When you are requesting that policy be changed (like on blocking), you need to anticipate their arguments and answer or fight them. Also, when you know WHY they did what they did, you may discover in some cases that there was a good reason for it, and it will not be worth the effort to fight that particular (don’t worry, there will be plenty more).
  2. Find out who is the decision maker, and who can change the policy. Start with your site admin. The next level will either be your superintendent or school board. Try to seek out people on your site or with your union local (if you’re unionized) to find out which will be more effective. Always state your concerns as for the children, to make you more effective, etc.
  3. Get together examples of why you need to do what you do. Be prepared to answer the anonymous commenter’s question, why were these tools integral to you teaching. You don’t have to justify yourself to some pinhead not willing to sign their name on your blog, but you will to whoever you are trying to convince.
  4. Get allies. Talk to sympathetic parents, staff members, and others about the issue. Make sure you have a suggested solution. You’ve been offered some allies in the rest of the world based on the comments on your blog.
  5. Share your story as you undertake this. Case study will help others in the same boat. You were concerned about how this post would play in “Peoria” (your town). I may be out on a limb, but you should have a right to talk in a mature and professional way about your work place conditions especially since this does affect the education you can offer your students. You owe it to them, and to the rest of us to speak up. We owe it to you to give you support. Good Luck!
by posted under politics/policy | 1 Comment »    
One Comment to

“Filters and CIPA and Tech Plans, oh my!”

  1. September 13th, 2007 at 4:53 am      Reply Sherry Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have received a lot of great advice since I posted. That really was the intent of the blog entry. My site administrator is almost as frustrated as I am and has been in the unfortunate position of having to defend me. I think I have already been branded a trouble maker because I have been very vocal about what I don’t agree with. She did point out that I have passion for what I do and that it is my passion she loves to see in the class. I have a committee meeting tonight where some of this is going to be discussed and I think I have compiled enough information and logical arguments for that meeting. We will see how it goes.

    Thanks for all your help and support. That has been key to getting me this far into the school year!

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