Again, I agree, and I'm not arguing here, but in my experience even the simplest things make heads spin; even something simple like "we have a server so you can stream applications to your laptop with needing to have the software installed" makes eyes glaze over, as more than anything else, people don't care WHY or HOW you do something, only that it works the way they want it to - if it doesn't, well, that's why YOU (as in us techie's) are there - to make it work again.You talk about why you do something not how you do something
This ain't limited to school staff either, I know for a fact that if our financial staff gave a presentation on how they use FMS to keep track of the schools' purchases and balances, I would be asleep with my eyes open in seconds. Its just the way it is, most people are only interested in the things that they do, not what others do.
Or am I being cynical here?
Last edited by Pete10141748; 14th July 2008 at 12:10 AM.
No, not cynical ... but there are those that can make *lots* of things sound interesting.
If anyone had said that Isembard Kingdom Brunel would come in second as the Greatest Briton people would have laughed ... but Jezza is fantastic at things like that. I am sure that if he talked about sound financial planning using FMS we would still be enthralled.
Try not to think about it as just talking about what you do rather than how you do it ... think of it more as talking about how the things you do can be useful to them.
You have a streaming server? Fine ... in that case you are running your own mini iPlayer inside schools so that staff and students have all the video clips when they need it.
You have a secure remote access facility? Fine ... you now have a website / software that makes their computer at home almost the same as the computers in school when it comes to working on files ... for all staff and students!
It is marketing and hype ... and yes, that means a bit of blagging occasionally.
As a Technician ... I'm known as the Bi**ch or the Grunt
So many times i've wanted to send links to non-technical staff videos of talks from the likes of vint cerf, bob kahn....even larry Ellison, because they incorporate humour and have a communicative style that most people can understand. Even when bob kahn talks about early packet radio, he talks about the wider issues that effect IT decision making just as much as how the thing works.
Three recent videos of interviews/talks with IT legends i've viewed recently have been particularly good...Linus Torvalds being interviewed by Charlie Rose, Vint Cerf talking at a google conference in Zurich, and Bob Kahn at a IT Hall of fame (or words to that effect) conference. Bob Kahn in particular talked about the politics that surround IT decisions in the organisations he worked for....does any of this relate directly to discussing IT to schools SMT ? i think it does, you can't get more technical than Bob Kahn who helped give the world TCP/IP aswell as shape the internet as we know it today....but he was dealing with politicians, generals, and other 'stakeholders' who in all likelihood didn't understand the technical issues that he and his team faced. The fact he and Vint Cerf achieved what they did is a testimont to their abilities to manage, communicate and ability to see the wider picture.
If you think back to your own school days, I suspect that the worst teachers you had were those who came in, read from their notes and left (teaching has been defined as the transfer of knowledge from the teacher's notes to the pupil's notes without it passing through the brain of either). The best teachers were those who could come in and respond to questions in an unplanned way or change the lesson to suit the environment.
One simple example from my own career. When the internet was fairly new in the public eye, a year 7 class asked "how do you make a web page" and I just scrapped the planned lesson and got them making web pages (using notepad and learning HTML tags). I think that was a great success but it was completely extemporized :-)
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