+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28
General Chat Thread, eduGeeks and Governors in General; Hi I'm a governor at 2 schools and an IT Director of a publishing company. As a governor I deal ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE England
    Posts
    7
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    eduGeeks and Governors

    Hi

    I'm a governor at 2 schools and an IT Director of a publishing company. As a governor I deal mainly with the SMT, rarely with the eduGeeks. I find that the level of technological understanding amongst the SMT is often quite low, but they do play the eduTech card quite a lot. It seems that - according to them - the key to understanding technology in schools is understanding the need to facilitate strange beasts like SIMS.net, PLASC and FFT data analysis.

    To me these are just "different" MIS systems. Every industry has their own. My take is that implementing ICT systems in schools is no different to implementing them in other businesses. Just give the eduGeeks the specs, the money and the time and tell you to get on with it.

    Am I being over simplistic? Unrealistic? Or just a prat?

    All comments gratefully received.

  2. #2

    webman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    8,422
    Thank Post
    645
    Thanked 967 Times in 667 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    328

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Very few people understand the complexities of what our job entails. As you said - the best option is to give the people in the know (e,g. us) the required information and to get on with it. Unfortunately this rarely happens. We are just the IT people who replace toners and fix the whiteboard; we couldn't possibly implement anything or make decisions on anything bigger!

    That's how I see it any way. Other schools may be more fortunate.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Easier than that, tell us what you want to be able to do, we will give you the specs, the cost and the timescale.

    All you need to do after that, is give us the finances and go ahead, and leave the rest to us.

  4. #4
    richard
    Guest

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Quote Originally Posted by shefflad
    Easier than that, tell us what you want to be able to do, we will give you the specs, the cost and the timescale.

    All you need to do after that, is give us the finances and go ahead, and leave the rest to us.
    I'll drink to that!!!!

  5. #5

    Norphy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Harpenden
    Posts
    2,584
    Thank Post
    59
    Thanked 371 Times in 287 Posts
    Blog Entries
    7
    Rep Power
    134

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Sounds reasonable to me. Yes, schools have specific software needs but systems likes SIMS etc still run on the same backbone as a lot of commercial software. Schools need a reliable network infrastructure just as much as business does.

  6. #6

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    18,529
    Thank Post
    527
    Thanked 2,648 Times in 2,049 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    925

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    I would say you were being realistic there. Decisions on ICT infrastructure should be made based on the knowledge of the school edugeek(s). To throw something at them based on perceived needs would be foolish and will end up leading to a problematic system.

    I am lucky in my school in that any new technical system (be it IT or phones) is passed to me to research and draw up potential spec's from - and then a decision on what to go for is based on my research and not on the ideas of whoever wants the new system. If it is implementing a new software package which was mandated by the dept of ed (is it called that now?) (such as the moronic KS3 ICT junk) then obviously I have less say.

    School networks are slightly different to business networks in that you have about 1/100th of the money to do a job which is very difficult (providing an IT system that can accept 100's of logins at the same time at any time of the day without noticable slow down, whilst also maintaining a complex database system and other weird packages) but the principles are the same.

  7. #7
    eduabncs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    somewhere in the midlands
    Posts
    394
    Thank Post
    31
    Thanked 21 Times in 19 Posts
    Rep Power
    29

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    School networks are slightly different to business networks in that you have about 1/100th of the money to do a job which is very difficult (providing an IT system that can accept 100's of logins at the same time at any time of the day without noticable slow down, whilst also maintaining a complex database system and other weird packages) but the principles are the same.
    I reckon the above should should be part of the title bar. Pretty much sums up educational IT!

    !

  8. #8

    Norphy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Harpenden
    Posts
    2,584
    Thank Post
    59
    Thanked 371 Times in 287 Posts
    Blog Entries
    7
    Rep Power
    134

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Depends on the school. My last place was pretty well funded, it looks like the new one is too.

  9. #9
    StewartKnight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    1,587
    Thank Post
    2
    Thanked 27 Times in 21 Posts
    Rep Power
    31

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    I find in my school, that if the device to be purchased has a plug.... then it's IT!

    Which is good, because I make the necessary decisions, and, if I can justify them to SLT, then it's up to me to do it!

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE England
    Posts
    7
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    OK guys, so I'm not totally wide of the mark, which is a relief.

    My bigger problem is that you then have technologically literate lay-governors trying to explain to "professionals" - aka the teaching staff - that they should be listening less to the RM salesman and the LA SIMS support team and more to their own technicians, network managers and DBA's.

    But with ICT, the professionals don't seem to want to do that. How can eduGeeks and techie Governors work together to improve ICT provision in general?

  11. #11

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    SE England
    Posts
    7
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    If it is implementing a new software package which was mandated by the dept of ed (is it called that now?) (such as the moronic KS3 ICT junk) then obviously I have less say.
    DfES now, I believe. Have any of their techie's ever appeared over here?

  12. #12
    alan-d's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Sutton Coldfield
    Posts
    2,422
    Thank Post
    360
    Thanked 259 Times in 190 Posts
    Rep Power
    77

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    I think the main bottleneck of IT in Schools is the almost total lack of understanding of IT by teaching Staff.

    Very often it's a case of them speaking to a salesman and being taken in by the pretty pictures and promises that this hardware or software will work with anything else out there, but when it's installed it's not touched because all of a sudden it's too complicated.

    Basic IT skills for all teachers should be compulsory, we have tried here by providing ECDL courses and exams, but the majority of staff haven't taken up the offer, despite it being free.

    There is a very clear dividing line between those teachers that embrace technology and go out of there way to create or provide resources and those that avoid it at all costs.

    Together with our SMT we push staff into using IT by enforcing electronic registration, online assesments and reports. However the technophobes still dodge any other involvment with IT.

    So in answer to your original question - Teacher training in IT would be of great benefit. There is nothing more embarrassing than a teacher asking a pupil how to display a DVD on the Interactve Whiteboard.

  13. #13

    russdev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Leicestershire
    Posts
    6,985
    Thank Post
    735
    Thanked 559 Times in 374 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    206

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Quote Originally Posted by Crispness
    OK guys, so I'm not totally wide of the mark, which is a relief.

    My bigger problem is that you then have technologically literate lay-governors trying to explain to "professionals" - aka the teaching staff - that they should be listening less to the RM salesman and the LA SIMS support team and more to their own technicians, network managers and DBA's.

    But with ICT, the professionals don't seem to want to do that. How can eduGeeks and techie Governors work together to improve ICT provision in general?
    Maybe this is where problem lies to me biggest two issues are one culture of in education you need to combat the view that you need to be teacher to an professional some of the work by BCS helps.

    Again single national pay will help with this.

    But also there needs to be direct mandate from DFES to forbid practice that be a member of senior staff you need to be a teacher. This in my view is only way that the crisis of lack of senior support staff can be avoided.

    Russell

  14. #14

    broc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,046
    Thank Post
    104
    Thanked 401 Times in 265 Posts
    Rep Power
    151

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    I think that there are no quick fixes to solving the issues facing ICT in schools. All too often many issues could be avoided if communication within school relied more on the written & spoken word rather than telepathy. For an industry which prides itself in developing communication skills, educationalists are notoriously bad at 'communicating'.

    SMT in schools generally consists of ex-teaching staff who may have been brilliant teachers but as in so may walks of life good practitioners don't necessarily make good managers. Good management is all about setting direction, developing strategy, delegating responsibility, equiping staff with skills, resources & funding and letting them get on with the job. Not all schools operate this way, all to often SMT mistake their interference for 'management'.

    I was a Secondary School Governor for 15 years, & Chair of Governors for 3 years, during which time I helped set the schools ICT direction (when asked). This seldom involved discussion with the school ICT staff who were regarded as merely 'deliverers', typifying the SMT attitude that prevailed there and still exists in many schools across the country.
    I am no longer a Governor at the school for a number of reasons, but mainly because the HT thought he could run the Governing body as he ran the school and he objected to me questioning his & his SMT's professional judgement, even though he regularly questioned my professional judgement as an ex ICT consultant with 30 years experience, including 4 years as a school network manager.

    I think improving communications is key; governors can help with that. Far more difficult is persuading SMT that managing means trusting staff and adopting a 'hands-off' approach to managing the school workforce, including ICT staff. To some extent this involves an attitude change towards support staff who are all too often looked down upon because they are not 'teachers'. Many schools now employ 'professionals' in key areas, some of whom are better qualified than teachers, it is time they recognised this.

    I am lucky at the school where I work; SMT value my contribution & involve me in almost all ICT related activity in the school. I say almost all, because telepathy is still practiced here from time to time .....

  15. #15
    Butuz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    1,579
    Thank Post
    211
    Thanked 220 Times in 176 Posts
    Rep Power
    63

    Re: eduGeeks and Governors

    Quote Originally Posted by russdev
    But also there needs to be direct mandate from DFES to forbid practice that be a member of senior staff you need to be a teacher. This in my view is only way that the crisis of lack of senior support staff can be avoided.

    Russell
    Agree with that mate - if you look at what we do, It's probably one of the most important jobs in the school. I am not allowed to be SMT even though I believe I should be - I make whole school decisions every day of the week that affect 100 teachers and 1000 pupils but there is no real reward.

    I am not allowed to control the ICT budget as a whole because I am not SMT - and yet I am by far the most qualified person to hold it. Money has been wasted over the years because of this - and I have to go crawling to SMT to get my order for 50 network cables signed.

    Dont get me wrong - I have a very good working relationship with SMT - and I've driven things forward considerably since I have been here. But I dont feel valued.

    As for the Govenors question - in the 6 years I have been here I have not once had a meeting with any of the govenors. I have no idea what they do here to be honest. They probably have no idea what I do either!

    Andrew



SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Governors Access school network from home WHY?
    By thegrassisgreener in forum General Chat
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11th October 2007, 08:38 PM
  2. One for the Musically inclined EduGeeks
    By GrumbleDook in forum Hardware
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10th October 2007, 10:24 AM
  3. HELP ME convince the governors!
    By CM786 in forum Budgets and Expenditure
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 17th July 2006, 10:40 PM
  4. EduGeeks do it ....
    By NetworkGeezer in forum General Chat
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 30th June 2006, 01:31 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •