Enough Excuses

UK blogger Terry Freedman wrote a great post on the TechLearning blog called “Oh Sir, you are too kind“. He actually wrote it a while ago now (Sept 07) but I only just stumbled across it… I guess that’s one of the great things about blogs, the way they can capture someone’s thoughts at a particular point in time and make them available to anyone, even people who stumble across them much later.

Terry’s basic premise is to ask why we keep putting up with teachers who can’t or won’t get to grips with ICT in their teaching. He seems to think that it’s time to tell teachers that ICT is an important component of being a teacher and that if you can’t, won’t or don’t get yourself up to speed with technology and how it should be used to integrate with student learning then it may be time to find another job. And he suggests that we are being way too nice about accepting this sort of thing, and allowing the laggards to get away with it.

He’s absolutely right of course. The laggards ARE still lagging, and schools don’t seem to be willing to draw the line in the sand and start demanding some ROI on the millions of dollars they’ve spent in professional development over the years. Terry says we are too nice. OK Terry, here goes…

For many years now I have been in the position of someone who works with teachers to assist them learn about, and then embed, technology into their teaching. Some get excited about the possibilities it offers, and some have actually told me that they have no intention of doing anything about it. Some say that they are too old, some say they are close enough to retirement that they aren’t going to worry about it, and most tell me that are just too busy with all the other stuff they need to do. It ticks me off to hear the excuses that teachers come up with about why they can’t integrate technology into their teaching… “I don’t have enough time, I’m so busy” is the commonest one.

Poppycock. We all have 24 hours in a day. We’re all busy, we all have too much to do and not enough time to do it… so how come some people are able to learn and apply what they need to learn and apply, and others cannot? If we all have the same amount of time in our day, then it’s clearly NOT a matter of finding time, no matter how much people use that as an excuse. Are they suggesting that the people who do learn this stuff have more time on their hands? Do I not have enough things to do, so I’ll just get good at using technology in all my spare time? If they don’t want to learn what they ought to know, then just come out and say so, but don’t insult me with the “I don’t have time” excuse, because trust me, I don’t have time either.

Is it intelligence? Maybe some people are just too stupid to use a computer. Maybe some people really are incapable of learning this stuff? Aptitude has something to do with I’m sure, but that only explains why some people might pick technology skills up quicker than others… it doesn’t explain why some don’t seem to be able to pick it up at all. Especially when you see the basic, basic stuff that seems to confuse some people… I mean jeez, how hard is it to make a frickin’ folder and save something in it? Trained monkeys could do that. If people are too stupid to learn basic, low level operational skills, then maybe they are too stupid to teach.

But we all know that time and intelligence have nothing to do with it. There is only one factor in this that really matters, and that’s the motivation to learn these things. After 30 years of the personal computer being in our schools, ongoing opportunities for professional learning, and the continual development of better, simpler and more intuitive technologies, there are no valid excuses that teachers could possibly dream up to justify why they could not or should not be actively embedding information and communication technologies into their classrooms. We manage to do all the other stuff that teaching entails – write reports, do playground duty, turn up to class on time – but for some reason when it comes to adopting the use of ICTs in our work too many people still feel they have the right to treat that as optional. It’s not. It’s part of the job of being a 21st century educator. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.

I think Terry’s right… it’s time for those teachers who have not accepted ICTs to shit or get off the pot. I’m tired of accepting excuses. Technology is, and will continue to be, an absolutely integral part of the lives our students will lead. The work we are doing in our classrooms to prepare them for this future must contain a significant amount of access to, and understanding of, this technology or we are failing them as teachers. To be a technologically illiterate teacher in the 21st century is unacceptable, unethical and unprofessional. To hold students back from using the tools that they need to be literate for the 21st century is, quite frankly, immoral.

Seriously, if becoming technologically literate is too hard, or you don’t think it’s “your cup of tea”, then get out now. Quit. Let someone else take over and do the incredibly important work of educating our young people using the tools they deserve.

Thanks for getting me fired up Terry.

Image: ‘Car Problems
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CC BY-SA 4.0 Enough Excuses by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

30 Replies to “Enough Excuses”

  1. Ummm, wow. Tell us how you REALLY feel!

    Philosophically I am in agreement. But there are a few factors this rant does not address. What is the role of the administrators and the school boards in this issue. If it is not a job requirement then it’s not required. (Did that make sense?) And what about the teacher education programs preparing new teachers? Are they paying sufficient attention to this issue?

    Why should a teacher pay attention to an issue that’s only paid lip service to by supervisors and by the people who train teachers?

    If it is truly a matter of ethical responsibility to the students because this is where the world is heading, then we need to get more serious about how we write teaching contracts, job descriptions, and teacher preparatory curriculums.

  2. yes! calling teachers liars, stupid, and dumber than monkeys is going to inspire them to use technology.

    If teacher’s aren’t using technology, it’s because the edu-tech community still hasn’t done a good enough job training/explaining/showing/demonstrating how to use it.

  3. I could not agree more!!! I experience this same frustration every single day. I recently asked my teachers to complete a technology survey and almost all of the people that responded “no” to the question of “have you used technology to enhance your classroom experience?” said that time was their biggest issue. I, like you, get angry at this response. I’ve only been in education for 3 years, so maybe I still have the enthusiasm that inspired me to become an educator in the first place, but when did teachers forget that what they do, they do to benefit their students? Am I crazy to think that students will benefit from the technological skills that we present to them in school? Perhaps I’m way off base here, but I thought that one of the purposes of education was to prepare students for their future, which, last time I checked, is probably going to include the need to know how to use many of the tools we are trying to get the teachers to try out.

  4. Is it intelligence? Maybe some people are just too stupid to use a computer. Maybe some people really are incapable of learning this stuff? Aptitude has something to do with I’m sure, but that only explains why some people might pick technology skills up quicker than others… it doesn’t explain why some don’t seem to be able to pick it up at all. Especially when you see the basic, basic stuff that seems to confuse some people… I mean jeez, how hard is it to make a frickin’ folder and save something in it? Trained monkeys could do that. If people are too stupid to learn basic, low level operational skills, then maybe they are too stupid to teach.

    Way to not get that job interview when your next employer googles you! 😉

    But seriously, we’ve all felt the depths of frustration with others who don’t get it. Yes, there should be minimum standards regarding educational technology, but we need to find the particular thing that excites and fires up individuals, not go with a blanket, scatter-gun approach.

    If teacher’s aren’t using technology, it’s because the edu-tech community still hasn’t done a good enough job training/explaining/showing/demonstrating how to use it.

    No, it’s because we haven’t reached critical mass – yet. Posts like this probably don’t help…

  5. I understand the frustration. A recently retired teacher, at the end of the year, thanked me for helping her with technology and then went on to say that she knew that if she held out long enough she wouldn’t have to learn all this tech stuff for herself. I must admit that got under my skin…

    However, I’m working with another teacher whose been around for over 20 years and has expressed to me that all she (and others) really want is someone who will be there to support them when things come up that they don’t understand. She can make a file, folder, and save but like many has a hard time understanding error messages, file structure on a network, and simply isn’t aware of what is out there. Again, someone to point the direction and still be there to ask questions to again later.

    From talking to teachers I believe part of the problem is that tech-savvy folk tend to talk a little over the heads of those who aren’t as up on technology-and teachers have said to me that past techs at our school/district have had a habit of talking down to teachers when they do something wrong/don’t understand. Teachers are highly educated people, and anyone is going to be put off when they know they are being talked to like children (even children!). So at least part of the blame has to fall on us tech folks who, purposely or not, intimidate less tech-savvy folks both with our knowledge and message of dire consequences if we don’t use technology well.

    This is not to say we should stop calling for technology use. However, perhaps we can take a different tack…focus on the skills needed in today’s world (synthesizing ideas, analysing, applying…higher order thinking skills) and finding ways to use technology to support. I believe many teachers-good teachers-will understand those ideas more fully. When the discussion turns to those ideas, technology just naturally becomes part of the conversation. Paired with Bill’s comments, getting administrators, school boards, and governmental support we can be sure teachers have the tools in their classrooms, that they work, and that they will be supported throughout the process.

    Adam

  6. Not all teachers like or even need technology. One of my best teachers in college refused to have a computer in his office, so e-mail was out of the question. He even had the audacity to play a vinyl LP record for us in class, long after the CD had squashed that technology.

    If the teacher doesn’t want to use it, no amount of pressure is going to change them. This is an issue of leadership and vision, not of pressure and criticism.

  7. Bill, you make two good interrelated points…

    “If it is truly a matter of ethical responsibility to the students because this is where the world is heading, then we need to get more serious about how we write teaching contracts, job descriptions, and teacher preparatory curriculums.”

    and

    “If the teacher doesn’t want to use it, no amount of pressure is going to change them. This is an issue of leadership and vision, not of pressure and criticism.”

    It’s totally about leadership. Personal leadership on the part of teachers to ensure that their current level of skill and understanding (for teaching generally, not just ICT) is up to scratch. Just as they have to be personally literate and numerate, and able to adequately perform the basic functions that their job requires in every other sense. If a teacher realises that they lack expertise (required expertise) in an area then filling that gap should be a matter of personal leadership.

    Leadership on the administrative side is, as you say, the other big issue. It’s no good having school leaders continue to employ people without ICT ability, then try to figure out ways to make those people get on the ICT bandwagon. Administrators lament that teachers don’t have the required ICT skills, but why didn’t they demand them at time of employment and why did they employ them without those skills.

    My point is that just as we would not employ a teacher who couldn’t read or write, we should be placing the same expectations on other literacies as well, including (but certainly not limited to) digital literacy.

    Thanks for your comments! 😉

  8. Hi Doug,

    Thanks for the comment, and yes I guess I was trying to be a little controversial and say what I sometimes think but never day. I hope my next employer does Google me first… hopefully they will find I’m passionate about a whole lot of things, including the importance of ICTs in education.

    When you say…

    “But seriously, we’ve all felt the depths of frustration with others who don’t get it. Yes, there should be minimum standards regarding educational technology, but we need to find the particular thing that excites and fires up individuals, not go with a blanket, scatter-gun approach.”

    … I guess my point is that WE, whoever we is, should not be the ones having to stand there with a big stick forcing people to get skills that they ought to in the first place. Where is the personal accountability? yes there should be standards (minimum is such an ugly word) and individuals ought to have some level of personal responsibility for meeting those standards.

    I’m not talking about teachers who are relatively unskilled in ICT integration but willing to learn. I have all the time in the world for those folk and they will always get my complete attention and patience.

    Where I struggle with it is when i come across those people who tell me that they don’t know anything about technology, who wear that ignorance like a badge of honour rather than the embarrasment it should be, and who are proud of the fact that they know nothing about ICT. The refusers. The ones that will not learn anything new because they don’t think it’s important. The ones who don’t realise that education is NOT all about them and what they want.

    I love teaching and I like working with teachers. I have almost unlimited patience for those who WANT to learn. But those who do not want to learn are in the wrong job.

  9. The key issue for me, which I don’t think has been touched on in any of this (or at least, I missed it if it has) is that all of the arguments about leadership, time, incentive etc are all irrelevant in the light of some simple questions that any teacher should ask him/herself:

    1. Would you feel OK about not being able to read?
    2. Would you feel ok about having to ask someone else to count up your loose change?

    For me, using a computer is a pretty basic skill these days.

    But even more important, why do these people feel so proud of their lack of ability??!

    But even more important than even that, we should be educating kids for their future, not our past.

  10. In reference to Bill’s comment that states “not all teachers like or even need technology” and “If the teacher doesn’t want to use it, no amount of pressure is going to change them.” I find this is yet another arrogant example of where education and the rest of the planet are worlds apart. If any manager walked into their office and refused to turn on their desktop, any McDonald’s employee refused to use the cash register, any Pharmacist refused to log your medication, any police officer refused to use the onboard computer to find the child detailed in the latest amber alert because they weren’t “comfortable” with technology or they didn’t like technology or feel that they needed it….they’d be fired.
    The use of technology today is not discretionary. It is a requirement of the job. It’s embedded in our world, an imperative for our future and the future of our children… and…newsflash….”it ain’t goin’ away!” I don’t often quote Star Trek, but in this case, these three words say it best, “resistance is futile”.
    In my opinion the failure of teachers to adopt technology in their classrooms is short-sighted, arrogant, unrealistic and, most importantly, a huge disservice to the generation of technologically savvy, eager learners who are looking to them for guidance. There are busloads of children aboard the technology bus, it’s a shame we have so few teachers who can get behind the wheel and actually take them somewhere!

  11. Hey Linda,

    How would you respond if I told you the teacher that I was referring to had epilepsy and viewing a CRT caused him to have seizures? It wasn’t arrogance in his case, it was a physical disability. But the man was an amazing teacher without using much technology at all.

    That was an extraordinary case, and I agree with you that there is far too much resistance to the inevitable out there. However, I think we need to do more on the supply side of the educator chain to resolve this, rather than only beat up on those already in place who don’t want to play the game as it ought to be played.

  12. Wow, definitely some points you make here Chris that I agree strongly with and reflect frustrations I have shared for the past 8 years working with teachers in ICT. Early on (as I would imagine you experienced yourself), a lot of time was spent -to borrow Negroponte’s words- ‘bridging the digital divide’; you know, formatting in word, how to use email, helping science teachers make charts in excel, etc. But that was a lifetime ago in ICT in education. Those tools and others have become part of a teachers (and school administrator’s) toolset, and many teachers seem to do a good job of developing professionally in all areas BUT ICT. I agree with Bill above that I would never want ICT to get in the way of great teaching, however in the same way teachers now have a responsibility to have some modicum of technical competency and at least be open to exploring new ways of doing things. This should be supported by the school by prioritising and giving access to quality ICT PD, facilitating mentor relationships and leading by example.

  13. Ouch, a tough post to read, but I have to say I have felt the same way on more than one occasion.

    I agree with much of what you are saying especially with regard to how school leadership is paramount to driving the use of Technology in the classroom. What worries me most is that after 20+ years we still talk about the need to embed technology in the classroom and making it a routine practice in our day to day teaching. Surely after that period of time ICT should be used far more frequently than it is and Jaruzza I am not too sure that teachers as a group are good at developing themselves professionally. All to often many teachers have the attitude that if they go through the motions the current flavour of the month will fade into obscurity, without them actually embracing the concept and I have to say that with the exception of ICT this has largely been the case over the past two decades, many of the changes to our pedagogy has just faded away.

    As Chris said there are many and varied excuses for the slow uptake of technology in schools, but one that we haven’t talked about here is in our teaching training. Do Training Institutions spend enough time teaching our young teachers how to use ICT? The other day I was scoffing lunch down in the staffroom and there were three student teachers sitting across the room from me, they were discussing their school based project which the schools Principal had suggested should be a wiki based around teaching and learning. Now I was quite proud of my Principal fo rthe suggestion but what worried me most was that not one of the student teachers knew what a wiki was. It made me wonder if maybe ICT is not embedded in our schools because it is not yet embedded in our teacher training. Is this also the case with IWB’s? Does it extend beyond ICT and into many of the current teaching practices which we incorporate into our classroom?

  14. Great reading. I agree with all those who are concerned about teachers who are not willing to get on board with today’s learning. None of us would want to go to a doctor who has had his/her head in the sand for the last 20 years, or probably even take our latest car to one of those “good old fashioned” mechanics who could problem solve and create their own replacement parts out of a piece of bent wire. We still need those great problem solving and Number 8 wired thinkers (sorry I’m a kiwi – read for that phrase inventive) but we also need them to know about today’s reality, today’s systems etc and apply their thinking ability to that. We need both the great teaching and the current processes used by those successful in today’s world to go hand in hand.

    To get them there, we need high quality professional learning opportunities for those in the service and for those entering shortly. Most of our teachers don’t need bashing – they need leading – firmly and with expectation that they will succeed and they will keep up to date. The hook, in my experience in teacher education and ICT usage, is to talk about learning rather than technology. ICT alone does not do it. We need to talk about the learning that the teachers are wanting to see in their classrooms and then open their eyes to the new possibilities and support them through getting that happening. The teachers don’t need to know it all when it comes to technology, but they need to allow their students to get on with it, and be prepared (and excited), about learning alongside their students – even the little ones entering school.

    Good teaching has always been about sharing our passion for learning. If we are no longer passionate about that, then its time to get out. But don’t mistake uncertainty for unwillingness and don’t berate until you have shared your own passion and patiently supported the learner / teacher.

  15. Interesting. I can’t think of any other profession that would on one hand claim that ICT is crucial to success, and then allow employees to choose not to use it because they don’t want to.
    While we allow it, who can blame teachers for avoiding technology? And if we don’t believe it is essential, we should shut up and leave the luddites to their chalk and quill.

  16. Greg,

    Thanks for the comment, I appreciate you taking the time to make it.

    Just to clarify though, although I pondered the notion that some teachers don’t use ICT because they might be “stupid” or “dumber than monkeys”, the very next paragraph has the sentence “But we all know that time and intelligence have nothing to do with it. There is only one factor in this that really matters, and that’s the motivation to learn these things.”

    I don’t know where you got the idea of them being “liars” though… I don’t recall saying anything that I thought could be interpreted as calling them liars, unless you’ve taken my comment about them being very busy as a lie to cover up that they aren’t actually busy. I don’t know.

    But as for the “edutech community” not doing a good job, I’d have to ask why is it our job to encourage them to do their job? The way I see it, the “edutech community” (whoever they are) are just those people in the education community who have accepted/embraced technology and are using it in their classrooms. That doesn’t make them some secret society, responsible for evangelising the rest of the teaching community, it just makes them the ones who have already done what should be a reasonable expectation of being a teacher in the 21st century – and that is to get themselves up-to-speed with how technology can be put to work in their classrooms. They aren’t superstars, they are just doing their job.

    That was really the whole point of the post… that ICT is not optional. That ICT is a necessary part of the job. That ICT doesn’t have to be something the teacher likes, it just needs to be something the teacher does anyway. That using ICT in a classroom is not about the teacher’s comfort level but rather about the students’ needs.

    The point is that just like every other part of the job such as reports and playground duty and parent evenings and sports carnivals and knowing about anaphalaxis and literacy and workplace safety and the hundred other things that are just part of the responsibility of being a teacher WHETHER WE LIKE THEM OR NOT, embedding ICT into our work is just as much a requirement, yet it seem to be the one area that a handful of teachers are able to successfully refuse to do.

    I’m certainly NOT saying that teachers in general are liars and stupid monkeys, – a large chunk of the teaching profession does a good job of overcoming their fears and discomfort about ICT and are taking responsibility for their own learning about it. But there are still those who don’t and I AM saying that for those who after 30 years of having technology in schools, still don’t take ICT seriously and make no attempt to move forward, they are in the wrong job.

    Terry was right… too often we dance around the issue and placate these people instead of called them on it.

  17. Dear Chris,
    I understand your frustrations. If we are educators dedicated to children and helping them to become the best functional people they can be technology has to play a role. It is an integral part of their lives and is not going away.

    So, if we want to educate them on how to be productive citizens of our community, state, country and world and also equip them with the skills needed to compete with other peers for jobs so that they can survive we need to educate them with technology based skills.

    It isn’t always a clear cut path however because there are many things that need to be considered like: is the technology available? Is support available? Is leadership present? Is patience present? Many “old school” teachers need these things in order to be ready to take on the risks that come along with embracing technology.

    When teachers clearly say “I won’t” or “I can’t” that is another problem altogether and that is when administration has to take the driver’s seat and make it an expectation that all teachers will make a commitment to embrace technology for the good of the student and not rely on excuses as a crutch. What example is that setting for the students we encourage to take risks everyday?

  18. I agree with what has been said but I also believe that schools need to dedicate a certain amount of money to teacher training. People need to be taught how to use the technology. They should be given enough time to play and explore during school time in a supported environment, just like our students.

  19. It is important to note that while you talk about time it is the hands on time that has proven at our school to have the greatest impact for our staff. It is important that everyone talks about it using the same language in a non threatning environment.

  20. I’m close to retirement and doing a web 2.0 course. My school has always supported teacher education in ICT.

  21. I too, from time to time, have been guilty of making excuses for not using technology in my classroom – time and availability of hardware – being the usual excuses. However, I strongly believe where there is a will there is a way. I also believe that it is those teachers that are embracing technology and embeding technology to improve both their teaching practices and educational outcomes for their students are those who are continually wanting to improve, change and modify what they do to best meet the needs of their students. Those that won’t embrace new strategies and techniques just won’t because they couldn’t be bothered, it is not a “technology thing”, it is being objectionable to change, to something new and maybe having to think a little more than doing the same old thing day in day out.

  22. Time and professional development funding are needed to truly enable teachers to value and effectively use new technology in their classrooms. A non-threatening supportive environment, small study groups and mentor involvement can make an enormous difference in developing teacher skills and confidence.

  23. Hi Helen, Laura, Judi, Chris, Vanessa and Michael.

    Thanks for the feedback. Judging by your shared email domain, I guess there must have been an event on today somewhere where people were asked to comment on a blog. 🙂

    Just reading between the lines, I’m hoping you don’t get the impression that I’m unsupportive or impatient with teachers who are trying to learn this technology stuff. On the contrary, I think I am very supportive of those teachers who want to take steps forward, and one of the things I love most about my job at the moment is that I get to work in an environment where pretty much all the teachers there are keen to take the ICT journey. It’s a real joy going to work every day knowing that the staff is keen to move to whatever the next step is for them.

    I agree with all you say about supportive environments, small groups and getting on-demand access to assistance with tech questions. The school I’m at has allowed me to set up programs that hopefully address the issue in many of these ways. The things you suggest as being so important – more time, time to play, hands-on time, funding for PD, did I mention more time? – are absolutely the keys to success for those who really want to move forward.

    I guess my issue is with those who simply don’t want to move forward at all, regardless of how much support they are offered.

    Vanessa, I think you hit the nail squarely on the head with your comment… it’s not really a technology thing, it’s about being resistant to change generally, and that’s not a good characteristic to have in the 21st century!

    Thanks again for your comments.

  24. Hello Chris,
    Thanks for your response to my trusty group of “eventers”!

    “…..I guess there must have been an event on today somewhere where people were asked to comment on a blog. ….” – not just any old comment on any old blog though! Your post was great to get people thinking – about their assumptions, their viewpoints and their perspectives. Lots of thought provoking responses/comments agreeing with and taking issue with what you said. Just the thing to “get your teeth into” and become part of the convesation.

    Thanks Chris for a great discussion provoking post, and to all the commenters for sharing your thoughts.

    KimP

  25. Chris, I have been following you blog for many months now but have not commented before. Then something happened at my school that reminded me of this post of yours I had read.
    What do you do when it is the IT coordinator/Network manager who will not allow these changes to happen. At our school there are a group of us who are embracing the changes and opportunities that Web 2.0 is offering. We have been using them in our classes and getting excellent responses from the kids in terms of their level of engagement and the type of work they are producing. Yesterday we were told we are not to use Edublogs, WordPress or Blogger for the self-learning journals our students were to set up. We are only allowed to use Novell Teaming,a new product our school has signed up for and none of us are upto speed on as there has been no inservicing. Now we are not dumb but it is not straight forward to use and does not have the bells and whistles that help to get the kids on board for things like blogs and collaborative writing spaces. We were not given an educational reason or even a safety reason for not being allowed to use the free tools out there on the internet. We were told we have to use this because that is what the IT manager want us to use. Have you seen this program? Talk about a sure fire way to turn kids off. So what do we do? How do we change the thinking when we are being constrained by those who surely should be encouraging exploration? We are not a wealthy school but our infrastructure is good thanks to this same IT manager and we are being told “You can only play if you play with my toys”. And I’m sorry but I want choice especially when the options are safe to use.Aren’t we about teaching the students how to pick the best tools for the job and the safe tools on the web. I am sorry to rant but I thought you might be someone with ideas for how I can deal with this situation as you are so passionate and positive in your posts.

  26. Hi Faye,

    Thanks for the comment. Firstly, I’m assuming that this Novell Teaming stuff is hosted on your school servers. I can see both sides of this… As an ex network manager I can imagine that the real reason you’re being asked to use the inhouse blogging tool is that it is inhouse. If it’s hosted within your network (as opposed to Edublogs which is being hosted outside your network) then the potential bandwidth savings can be significant. Hosting all that traffic internally on your own network means that every single request does not have to go through your school firewall and count toward your monthly data allowance. It also means that the school can have more control over content (ie, can easily pull a blogpost that is deemed to be inappropriate). These are the practical reasons that, I imagine, would make your network admin want you to use a school-hosted solution. Our bandwidth bill at the school I teach at is around $90,000 per annum, so I understand why they might want to minimise the traffic!

    Having said that, I’d be taking the issue up with the principal. (Bearing in mind that the principal may be behind the directive to the IT manager!) Explain to them the reasons hwy you see the other tools as better. I’d be getting as much info on the Novell Teaming stuff as possible so you can make a compelling case for using third party tools… if you can’t give good reasons why they are better (other than you just like/know them) then you might be fighting a losing battle.

    Good luck with it. I’m off to find out about Novell Teaming…

    Chris

  27. PS… having said all that, of course it may just be that your IT manager is being a power-crazed control freak. I don’t know the exact politics and economics of your school situation… there may be valid reasons or it might be a complete power ploy. Do your research before you go in too hard! 🙂 Good luck!

    Reasons to use Edublogs/Wordpress
    1. Hosted offsite means no extra work for your IT staff
    2. No local backups required (time consuming and expensive)
    3. All the latest plugins and themes provided
    4. Free for students and staff
    5. Uses the latest WordPress engine, so is as close to an “industry standard” as you will get
    6. Students can access anytime, from home/school/etc
    7. Home access requires no school bandwidth

    Reasons to NOT use Edublogs
    1. Bandwidth constraints
    2. Lack of control if things are inappropriate
    3. Novell team what?? Who else uses that?

    3.

  28. Thanks so much for all your ideas and advice. You gave me a lot to thinks about and confirmed some opinions I had. I was told that bandwidth was not an issue so that narrows down the possible reasons. As you suggested, we will do our research and proceed with tact as we are committed to making the shift and have heard enough excuses.

  29. I have a community of friends in other professions, such as architecture, engineering, nursing and urban planning. These people are simply stunned that teachers are allowed to treat ICT use as optional. If an architect refused to use computers, they would be sacked. Simple as that.

    These other professions don’t have spare time either.

    They get mighty annoyed that their own children are disadvantaged by teachers who feel they have the right to live in the last century.

    Simply put, ICT use by teachers is poor because it has not been supported by educational leaders, who treat teachers as if they are some sort of delicate flowers. Until we get serious as a profession this will not change,

That's all well and good, but what do YOU think?