Lee_K_81 - lay off that coffee mate :-D
Pallen - Totally agree with you, good points made.
OK, only recently I was asked by an a trainee teacher to check her lesson plan. It wasn't big or complicated but as no one had done what she was hoping to do (due to the software being new) she wanted to check with me that she had the technical details correct. I sat with her showed her how to use the software and even wrote up a bullet point user guide. She took this on board and developed into her lesson plan. I was available if things went wrong or any problems that arrose, but in no way did I write a lesson plan.
I am employed to keep the network up and running to ensure that the teachers can use it to teach. How they choose to do this is entirely up to them. I however, do think that if I can supply training & user guides to our software and equipment that is what I should do.
I would take another look at your job description. If it is not in writing then you dont need to do it. If the teachers in your school are not capable of creating lesson plans incorporating ICT into their subject then it comes down to a staff training issue.
Lee_K_81 - lay off that coffee mate :-D
Pallen - Totally agree with you, good points made.
I have to aggree with both dhicks and Halfmad. The goal of any administrator should be to set up the system so that it is as robust and reliable as possible. This is not only true in education but in business to.
From a more narcissistic point of view it is really in your best interests to do so. If you don't have to spend your day recreating profiles and unjamming printers it will leave you free to do more interesting development stuff or whatever.
There is always more to do through whether it be testing out new software that could be useful, doing documentation or planning for disaster recovery. The preparing of teaching is really way outside the scope and is distracting you from the larger picture of making the systems run as well as they possibly can.
If you are going to do this I would suggest getting a job description change to cover it or handling it as an extra project outside your job otherwise it could get out of hand.
I will be working on a similar project next year where I will be guiding a team of teachers to create a learning and assessment framework to teach ICT stuff in a primary school in an integrated way. I can provide the technical knowledge, planning and overview of the project while the teachers handle the wording and segmentation of activities etc.
This will be billed seporatly (basically under a different job description) with me as a facilitator rather than a system admin.
Oh and I am not and never have been a teacher.
I dont drink coffee. Maybe i went a bit postal and exaggerated a bit, but i'm here to run the network, and offer training support and guidance on the use of ICT, not be classroom assistant or prepare materials for teachers. Surely you understand my point?Originally Posted by Halfmad
Here's my comment:
Pretty much sums it up!
Agree with Lee and halfmad
Im very happy to help out when students or teachers have problems with software etc, in addition to the background job of keeping the network running
But, I went into IT for IT. I didnt go into it to start planning lessons, because I didnt want to be a teacher.
I agree with halfmads point, ICT in other fields dont get involved to the point that the OP is expected to. Obviously education isnt 'just another industry' and there are differences, but to be organising and planning lessons is not our job
Secondly, even if I wanted to, I'm not trained on how to plan lessons and how to get kids to learn. In the same way that a teacher isnt trained on how setup active directory. They trained for their career, I trained for mine, you cant just suddenly expect a technician to know how to plan lessons just because the involve IT
I am honestly shocked at dhicks responses. I'm glad most others see it the same way as me!
I agree with lee and halfmad too. All the time I free up by reducing my need to reset things etc... goes in to improving ICT, planning new systems, planning future expansions etc... My time initially when I came here was entirely spent mopping up messes - now less than 50% of my time is spent doing that.
Although there are several different levels here, the general consensus seems to be that it's too far for teachers to ask us to plan for them. Which of course, I agree with.
A teacher this morning came to me 2 hours before her ICT lesson and said "Hi guys, I'm teaching the next lesson on Databases and don't have any idea what to do. Can you sort something out for me?" and promptly left. I ended up helping to teach the whole lesson together with my technician colleague while she sat there looking very perplexed.
We have a head's meeting every monday...perhaps this monday I'll bring up the fact that many of the staff don't seem to know how to actually plan a lesson.
Maybe I need to say "no" a bit more often. The staff don't like hearing that word though, and I've gotten in trouble for it before. It seems that the POV of the SMT + staff is that we are here to help in anything + anyway we can. Perhaps they need reminding that we are ICT STAFF, not;
all of which we have had to do in the past 4 months.
@sidewinder; I agree, but I did do teacher training, and although I never completed it, I do have 2 years experience of working in schools as a trainee teacher - its part of the reason that I was given this job, as I am "able to see from both sides" as they put it. I guess I just have to remind them that although I have done it, I didn't do it very well!
yup I do, it's a fine line we have to tread, we are staff, we are here ultimately to help educate the pupils but it is indirect, we don't teach but we facilitate the teaching by supporting the ICT. Personally I think the OP is being asked to step too far from ICT and into teaching staff responsibilities. Absolutely he should be there to answer questions, offer guidance and training on ICT issues but not actually planning it, not deciding what's taught, when and what resources are to be used. He can tell them if they can do it with the existing equipment, tell them what they'd need if they cant and ensure it's all ready to go. However he shouldn't be doing their job for them.Originally Posted by Lee_K_81
We're not trained in planning a curriculum or in teaching, that's pretty much the end of it. As someone else already said it sounds like a staff training issues which needs to be addessed or at the very least a meeting that has to happen.
Teacher draws up the plan
Teacher meets with ICT to discuss it
Teacher alters plans to suit what the ICT is capable off, or ICT reconfigures/installs the necessary hardware and software to meet the requirements.
Pete I think you really need to put your foot down or this will get out of control, you're not a teacher, if they can't teach what they're employed to teach they need to be trained. It's not even a resources issue, if your school is inspected and they saw you - experiences but ultimately unqualified teacher in charge of a class, even with a teacher present do you think they'd be happy?
I don't even think that parents would be happy, I wouldn't be.
That is a lack of planning on the teachers part, and it is most definitely not your job to plan/teach. Also, why is someone teaching IT if they can't actually do it??A teacher this morning came to me 2 hours before her ICT lesson and said "Hi guys, I'm teaching the next lesson on Databases and don't have any idea what to do. Can you sort something out for me?" and promptly left. I ended up helping to teach the whole lesson together with my technician colleague while she sat there looking very perplexed.
erm before you go to war... are you in a union?
My previous ICT Head got really pissed because I changed lesson plans. The current one invariably asks my opinion on what he is planning and we will sometimes go through a lesson together before he delivers it to the ICT teachers. He does realise that I am often to busy to get more involved.
I'm starting to get a little confused about what, exactly, we're arguing about here. Reading back through this thread, it would seem the main thing we disagree on is the original poster's job description, or what exactly what the job description for "network manager" or "ICT technician" or whatever should be. Personally, my job title is "IT network technician" (well, that's what's written on my door, anyway), and I would have no problem with any of the items mentioned in the original post. Opinions seem to differ from person to person / school to school, which, again, is understandable as every person/school is different.
> I was going to go into a rant about how ICT support staff are under-valued
> and underpaid etc etc
Absolutly, no disagreement there. ICT staff should be valued as profesionals, alongside teaching staff, and should be paid and treated accordingly.
> I agree with you that setting up computers to look after themselves is
> what I aim for, but the time that's freed up by this is simply used up in
> other areas. I am available to give advice more often but the bulk of it
> goes into developing future plans and improving ICT, attending departmental
> meetings and trying to improve the used of ICT in the school.
Difference in size/working of schools, I guess - we just don't have that kind of structure here.
> Teachers are there to teach, students are there to learn, you're employed
> to keep the ICT infrastructure working and help people use it. You're not
> there to assist in teaching directly, which is how you seem to view your
Ah, this is just a difference in job descriptions - I used to be a teaching assistant, and my job does involve helping in class if needed.
> ICT in business doesn't work like that, you don't see ICT for accountacy
> firms sitting showing the accountants how to fill in forms, planning
> accountants diaries etc.
It doesn't matter how businesses work, schools shouldn't be teaching children How To Be An Office Worker. Office work is dull, especially to a school child, and schools should be interesting places.
> Surely its up to the teachers to teach and prepare resources for their
> lessons. I will help a teacher if it's something particularly complex
> or a one off, or show them how to acheive something, but actually
> prepare all their resources? No chance.
I don't think it's unreasonable for someone to be employed to prepare resources for teaching staff. I'm not suggesting that this be /extra/ work that fitted in around other things, you would need to have time and resources properly allocated to do the work, of course. ICT staff would probably be the most appropriate members of staff to help prepare, say, web-based materials, or Flash content, or maybe video. If they have good subject knowledge on something the teacher is planning to teach then it seems reasonable to me that they help prepare worksheets. This goes for all members of staff - you get an amazing selection of people working in schools, some of whom will have had experiences completly different to that which most pupils might get at home. I've worked with other members of staff who've lived in forign countries, experienced wars, been refugees, done all sorts of interesting things.
> The whole reason schools are here is to teach people stuff, not to
> provide careers for ICT staff.
> Ok so if this isnt a career it's just a job. Why should i invest my
> time and money furthering my skills for just a job? Why should I take
> work home, or wake up remembering something that needs doing for just
> a job? Why should i come in early or stay late when it's just a job?
> IT, even in education is a career. End of. We've worked hard, got our
> quals or experience. Please dont belittle that.
Sorry if you got the impression I was saying that your career isn't important, of course it is. I don't think anyone should think of themselves as "a school ICT technician", though. The job description might have disapered in 10 years time, everyone should think of themselves as an "ICT professional" in a wider sense, and be prepared to change and adapt to future developments. We should also be doing our best to make sure that as many of those future developments involve less work to look after machines, make machines simpler in operation, leaving moe time for us to do other things.
> Ok, so i'll set up linux, open office and firefox. None of this poor
> quality software that teachers buy, no access by pupils with memory
> sticks, no virus worries as it's linux, it'lll save the school money,
> and everyone will be happy right?
I figure the best way to make a computer system for a school these days is to foget about desktop operating systems, just use the web browser. A client machine needs to do nothing other than provide web browsing services and associated plugins. Move all file storage to servers, make all software web-based. Problems solved.
> <snip> becuase LCD projectors require maintenance and consumables.
> And you wont print anything either because keeping a stock of
> consumables and fitting them requires time </snip>
Yes, this is the unavoidable maintainance part of the job, the part that's always going to be need to be done (at least until we have robots to do it for us...). Aside from the physical moving stuff around part, though, a computer network shouldn't need much more maintainance. This is especially true of switches - spending ¬£80,000 on switch equipment should get you devices that are stunningly easy to set up and configure compared with ¬£1,000 worth of switch equipment, not the other way around.
no it is not right, I think this goes on everywhere, not lesson planning as such but with other things as well.
All I can say is - When are HEADS/TEACHERS gona get it into there heads that Techies/Network Managers are there to provide ICT Support - meaning making sure all IT works and making sure if anything goes wrong they arre there to correct it (techy).
We are not teachers/TA's. If we wanted to be teachers/TA's we would have applied to do it -
Roll on Edugeek Union lol
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