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General Chat Thread, Is this right? in General; Originally Posted by tomscaper I think alot of training in schools is a problem, as you said that technicians are ...
  1. #91

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomscaper
    I think alot of training in schools is a problem, as you said that technicians are expected to learn/fix software and hardware pretty much straight away, and when I first started here I didn't know anything and I did my best to get up to speed.
    Same here ... I have very few courses and I treasure each one I managed to get on (except perhaps the rather intensive FirstClass training ... never again!) ... most learning and training can have some elements of self-study or independant learning, but it should not be the sole method of learning.

    It is very easy to knock teachers and i do it myself, sometimes we forget it isnt easy to learn something new.

    Maybe the bigger picture is that all staff in schools need far more training, us for learning in sw/hw and the teachers in how to use the systems, and confidence to use them.

    I have taught staff here many things, and i never wanted to teach, i dont believe i can do it that well and have the patience that others have. I just think that if there was real training for them, rather than me doing it, where i know only certain aspects. They would understand and be able to use it much better.
    Ideally ICT training should be part of the whole school policy on CPD until staff are at such a level that they are competent enough to continue with self-study until yet another major change. If you roll out a new mail system it is reasonable that you train staff how to use it ... and when new staff arrive you should take part in subsequent inductions. New hardware arrives ... give some training and access to manuals. Train the Trainer is a common approach and it may be that you just target one person per department, and they then cascade it to the rest of the staff.

    One key factor in all this is that you, as a technical lead (whether it is as NM or a technician) are moving things forward in the school ... for a number of people this is exactly the sort of thing that schools need ... heck, you might even use it as evidence that you are doing more than your standard job description and get a raise!

  2. #92

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by djm968
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    So who does teach them then? We can't have it both ways ... have a go at teachers for knowing bugger all but then say that we aren't going to help them. And please don't turn around and say that they can find out for themselves. The number of rants on here and other places about techies being forced to learn stuff only through self-study and in their own time because schools won't provide proper CPD.
    Incorporating ICT into a lesson plan/scheme of work is the responsibility of the teacher and ICT coordinator not the responsibility of a technician.

    Specific product training should IMHO be provided by the product vendor or a third party and I would argue that a NM or ICT technician should not be expected to write or help write documentation for any member of staff other than generic user guides for the network and operational procedures.
    I seriously disagree ... if I just wanted that at my place I would go and get a managed service in with techies who just plug things in and change toners, who rely on a central team to design and set things up ...

    What a backward step that would be ...

    Damn ... anyone hear people digging a large hole to form the foundations for BSF?

    Ok ... I'll come clean, I don't fully believe everything I have been saying ... I have just been leading the conversation around for someone to say the above ... that it should be up to others to train, that the support team do generic stuff that could be done by any drone in a central office, that the product vendor or supplier does the training.

    I truly am serious about this bit though ... if you want to be on a par with teachers, if you want decent salaries and to be treated as you should, then this is the way it is going, adapt! ... if not then you are at serious risk of being dropped in favour of a managed service because schools will say you do not add anything extra that a managed service cannot do!

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    Re: Is this right?

    I'm finding myself sitting on the fence grumbledook. I partly agree with some of what you say and partly disagree. Not just with your comments but a whole range of them, maybe even my own to some extent. I think it's about comprimise. You suggest that if we implement a new mail system then we should provide training. Spot on. However if a teacher goes out and buys a software package then why should we give them training. i know that all software purchases *should* go through us but we know it's not always the case.

    Anyway we seem to have gotten off topic somewhat, i'm sure it started about teaching a lesson and preparing resources. In which case i'm firm on these.

    Resources:
    If it is a complex, specialist resource, that myself or my team could produce whereas a teacher could not then we will do it. Provided it's not a regular occurence. If the powers that be give me more staff so we could do more resource building then fine, but at the moment they wont. If it is a resource that a teacher should be capable of doing, then i will happily sit with, or let my team sit with, said member of staff, and guide them, train them or whatever, but we are not here to type up powerpoints. Teaching assistants or, again, resource technicians if they were hired, could do this.

    Teaching:
    If a teacher asked me in advance to work with a small group of students, maybe a couple who wanted to do something more advanced that was outside the scope of the module, or beyond the ability of the teacher then that would be fine. However if it's an ICT teachers lesson and they are doing databases surely they could put a bit of effort into learning what is needed to deliver the course.



    I think a lot of it comes down to teacher ICT competencies. Some teachers will never get there, they're too close to retirement, too "old school", whatever. All new teachers should go through ICT training though. I'll happily show the teacher something, produce idiots guides, etc. but i'm against doing the job for them.

  4. #94

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    Re: Is this right?

    At the end of teacher interviews we would always ask what does this person bring to the job that the others don't? Where's the "value added" to this person? How will they add to and improve the education of the pupils and the ethos of the school? As a school governor If I asked that of prospective teachers, then I have to ask it of myself in the work I do. It's about self respect.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?

    @Lee_K_81

    I was playing it a bit over the top to see if I would get the reaction I thought there would be ... but yes, I would say that we are of a similar mind.

    The team here don't do training other than very specific things. Initial training of new hardware or kit never used by members of staff ... often just basic bits that the teachers / HLTAs have to sort the rest out themselves.

    We do indeed have curriculum technicians and HLTAs to create resources ... and the team don't teach at all unless employed specifically for it (Stephen, my NM actually teaches .2 for KS5 Physics at the moment, but he is a qualified teacher) and we only deliver training when part of a whole school programme that covers teachers, HLTAs, LSAs and Admin Staff. This includes SIMS training, access to email and remote access. We don't cover Office, Dreamweaver, Flash, etc ... we have teachers who do that.

    The only exception is me ... I get asked to do a few lessons a year, usually the intro lessons to year 7 (logging on, password changes, security, computer safety) and then for year 9 when talking to the G&T groups about the serious stuff about computing (not ICT!), but this is in my contract .. and I accept that.

    I do agree with beeswax though ... there is something to be said about what extra you bring to the school ... the important it is making sure that it is not taken for granted and recompensed accordingly ... and I think this is the key issue from the OP ... the OP was being taken for granted.

  6. #96

    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    I truly am serious about this bit though ... if you want to be on a par with teachers, if you want decent salaries and to be treated as you should, then this is the way it is going, adapt! ... if not then you are at serious risk of being dropped in favour of a managed service because schools will say you do not add anything extra that a managed service cannot do!
    It is difficult to take on the additional responsibility such as training the teachers when they are usually paid double what we are; and we are not afforded any instant TLR-type benefits!

    I'm sure most of us would be prepared to take this sort of thing on if we were paid accordingly!

    Hah. I'm sure the managed service techies will train teachers - NOT.

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    Re: Is this right?

    Ok lets get this into perspective for the majority of Techs / NM's. Never mind that teachers get paid a lot more than us, never mind that it is or isn't in their job descrptions.........There just aren't enough of us per school to carry out extra duties such as those mentioned. Currently my department runs at 1.5 manning, if I was to take on the extra responsibilities what should I drop from my daily tasking? I already know what the answer would be if I was to mention more funding for extra Tech hours!!!
    As GrumbleDook mentioned we should be expected to train staff on new software (not specialist departmental stuff), hardware and procedures, but who trains us? We have just moved to a new VLE and guess who is expected to train the staff!?! More importantly guess what was said when I mentioned factoring in training for key staff when costing it!?! Let alone trying to get funding for a course of any real value, and I'm really sorry but I already spend enough of my own personal time reading up on how to do things and move the school and department forward...just ask my wife and kids!
    I think it is about time that schools were made to realise that funding training for us will in the long run be of benefit to them and the staff.....how you go about that is another matter. Plus if I am confident in the use of new/specific sw/hw then I can be more productive when imparting my knowledge to staff.
    This is obviously just my opinion, but I hope that it reflects the position a lot of us are in.

  8. #98

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?

    Another thread reminded me of one rule through a school can bring an expert in who is not a qualified teacher to 'teach' a very specific area for example dance teacher to teach dance.

    So they can bring in it expert to teach movie editing who is not a qualified teacher but they could not bring non-teacher to 'teach' ict as that is too broad.

    Russell

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    Re: Is this right?

    We can be seen as the IT experts in school and so if our skills can be used by teaching some advanced techniques then fine - on occasions. But for general everyday lessons - such as basic ICT skills, that is a staff training issue. If staff cant do it, it may be necessary for a training day to be dedicated to showing the teachers how to use their basic IT skills.

    I will give you an example of what has previously happened in my school when I had a member of staff hoping to get the kids to create a video. We had an English teacher who had recorded some video footage of a small group of pupils regarding some project they were doing. He drafted up a plan for what he wanted to achieve and what resource he had. He asked for my advice in regarding how this could be achieved in school and the resources we had. I advised which room could be used and what software we had. I also was present in the lesson to ensure that if there were any problems I was on hand to help out. I was also able to help when the kids were asking about how to do certain things(btw - I am by no means an expert in video editing). The teacher took the entire lesson - I was just on hand as technical support and to make notes on any way that it could be improved from a technical point of view. The point I made to the teacher was that I would help out to try and create a lesson which would be completing self sustaining without assistance from me. That way the teacher is training up to become the expert on the software they are using without the reliance on someone else. The lesson was a success as the kids managed to create a number of good films very quickly, as a result I volunteered to help out in any of these lessons in the future if he wished to try more complex video editing.

    I worked alongside the teacher to reach the goals they had set out - advising and assisting in the use of the equipment we have in our school. That as I see it is part of my job.

  10. #100

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Is this right?

    That I agree with.

    But I also have no problem if teacher if they need to know how to do something so lets do simple example needs to know how to insert audio in PowerPoint then I see ICT support has role in training/showing them how to do that. So that they can then go and teach there lesson.

    Also same hand I have no problem if member of English staff comes to me and says I want use podcasting in my lesson can you show me how we go about this and give me ideas on how I could use it within my lesson. Therefore, in that situation would show them how to create/publish podcast. Then would sit down and talk about ideas they could do for example recording kids reading there poems out or they could record short stories they had just done for primary schools kids we have come into the school etc.

    At that point, it is up to them to write plan on how they are going to teach it etc. I have just helped them brainstorm ideas and then it is up to them to write the plan. I would also if they wanted to me to look over/comment on the lesson plan. If they wanted to make sure technically correct and if I think it would work etc.

    Training in my view must be part of act support but again do think need to pay for this role.

    However, as said before my views on this subject well documented (and gets me into trouble all time).

  11. #101

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    Re: Is this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    That I agree with.

    But I also have no problem if teacher if they need to know how to do something so lets do simple example needs to know how to insert audio in PowerPoint then I see ICT support has role in training/showing them how to do that. So that they can then go and teach there lesson.
    Rus, i think the main argument is that we dont mind showing them how to do something such as audio in powerpoint or a formulae in excel, but not to actually, regularly, do the work for them. Why should a NM or tech go and teach a lesson about how to use the if function in excel. Surely the teacher is there to do that.

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