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General Chat Thread, Are IT Depts hated in schools? in General; In our school, i heard today that the IT dept is the most hated dept in the school.... hmmm i ...
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    timbo343's Avatar
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    Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    In our school, i heard today that the IT dept is the most hated dept in the school.... hmmm i cant think why? lol, the fact we are extremely careful with money, are efficent than all other depts and if it wasnt for us then they would be pretty much stuck.
    Does anyone else have this problem? or is it just us?

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Nope, I am "the" IT department. I've never heard a bad word against me and neither have any of my teacher spies

    I would be very worried if I thought that staff in particular didn't approve of what I was doing, I see my job as helping them do their job and if I'm not doing my work properly the chances are it'd be interfering with their duties.

    Which would make the senior management wonder why they employ me!

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Yes, we have a similar problem.

    For some reason, most of our staff are afraid of any new technology. For this reason, they always complain to Administration whenever we merely discuss adding something new (like a projector). They frequently complain about systems being broken, when, in fact, the staff member complaining had moved it and broken connections. So yeah, generally, we are too the most hated department at my school.

    As a department, we are implementing required technology training next year to hopefully get the staff more used to using technology, and maybe, more interested in improvements. So far, after we discussed the idea with a few staff members, they liked the idea and actually left a compliment with administration, our first ever.

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    beeswax's Avatar
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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    I don't think I'd go as far as hated. Perhaps resented the odd time when you point out to them the reason the computer/printer etc isn't working is the fact that it isn't switched on (despite letting them know as gracefully as possible).
    I was told last week that quite a few of the teachers believe we're only in school to support the ICT Faculty, and yet they still call us out if there's a problem. Every classroom has a minimum of projector, IWB, amp and speakers, every teacher has a laptop (with local admin rights), and the whole of the school admin couldn't run if the servers were to go down.
    We have the same problems as claridentech with one faculty (that may be to do with the head of that faculty though) who email the head with IT problems, rather than telling us.
    I do wonder if some teachers have realized quite how dependent the whole of teaching is on the IT infrastructure, and resent the fact that they sometimes have to "go through" us to deliver a lesson. My view is that we should be as discreet as possible. I don't like going into a class when a lesson is being delivered, but sometimes there's no option.
    I haven't found that older members of staff are more averse to new technology than those just starting out, if the benefits are explained to them.
    Along with the ICT teachers we run training in various pieces of software/hardware, and there's a hard core who just won't turn up, despite it being for their benefit. Not all of them are luddites either, some are very competent with IT, but I don't feel that they should be learning how to use something as they deliver a lesson.

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    I think resented is a better description- though it isn't often personal. It's an issue of function. Teachers sometimes perceive that ICT should work a certain way and when it doesn't (or they don't think you are making it work that particular way) they resent the way you *are* making it work. Teachers are functional beasts really- it's got to work, and all the time, for it to be effective ICT.

    At our place the staff are actually extremely forward looking and approachable. And that in turn makes me want our team to be more approachable and proactive in our support and development of ICT in school. I am becoming functional too- and perhaps that's the deal? If we become a little more of what they need resentment gives way to team-work (I just love that word, "team").

    But yes- there are the odd few who moan and gripe (behind your back to others) about this or that issue, but who when challenged about their comments melt if you actually look and sound concerned about their issues and want to help ;-)

    Paul

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood
    Teachers are functional beasts really- it's got to work, and all the time, for it to be effective ICT.
    You may be close here, but I think you may have the emphasis a bit off in the last part. It has to work to be effective teaching.
    Our teachers plan lessons, and if they are dependant on the ICT infrastructure in any way, and it fails, the lesson is lost. There is no time to go back and do it next week, it's gone. This goes some way to explain anger. It really doesn't matter if the media server has run faultlessly for 51 1/2 weeks; if it goes t*ts-up 5 mins into their lesson, they will a)look stupid in front of the kids, and b) want someone's blood.

    Technicians are not the most hated dept here, that is reserved for "Lettings and Commercial Opportunities". Couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery! They let a suite of rooms over the hols, tell no-one, then expect full connectivity and usernames etc for 50 children who can't be expected to understand the AUP due to being Argentinian or whatever.

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C
    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood
    Teachers are functional beasts really- it's got to work, and all the time, for it to be effective ICT.
    You may be close here, but I think you may have the emphasis a bit off in the last part. It has to work to be effective teaching.
    Our teachers plan lessons, and if they are dependant on the ICT infrastructure in any way, and it fails, the lesson is lost. There is no time to go back and do it next week, it's gone. This goes some way to explain anger. It really doesn't matter if the media server has run faultlessly for 51 1/2 weeks; if it goes t*ts-up 5 mins into their lesson, they will a)look stupid in front of the kids, and b) want someone's blood.

    Technicians are not the most hated dept here, that is reserved for "Lettings and Commercial Opportunities". Couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery! They let a suite of rooms over the hols, tell no-one, then expect full connectivity and usernames etc for 50 children who can't be expected to understand the AUP due to being Argentinian or whatever.
    Just picked up in there about the failing of IT equipment 5 in into the lesson.. Yup thats the same with our school, trouble is we respond in 10 mins, but obviously 10 mins is far too long. I mean, if you are in the middle of something really important, they expect you to drop everything... We have a room with teachers can book out... now only in the last few days the key has gone missing, so guess who gets the blame, and it aint even owned by IT, just because its got computers in it doesnt mean to say that we are solely responable for that room. The person who is doesnt even know who is in it, but am looking forward to september when we put in the electronic room booking system provided by http://folders.devizes.wilts.sch.uk/...tem3/index.asp this be a lot better for us, but i can see it kicking up a fuss about having to use technology. I mean half the staff cant even use email even tho we have shown them and done an idiots guide for them....

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C
    I think you may have the emphasis a bit off in the last part. It has to work to be effective teaching.
    Our teachers plan lessons, and if they are dependant on the ICT infrastructure in any way, and it fails, the lesson is lost.
    That is why i resent what we are *made* to use by the council/RBC/gov as it is *never* fit for purpose and we get the backlash because of it.

    Fit for pupose is; it must work 99.99% of the time, it must be relatively inntuative to use. Personally i dont think thats too much to ask, especially when the free alternatives do forfil the criterior..

    Product which do not fit the above are; SIMS, cachepilot, exambase testing, and netmedia VLE/email to name a few. All of which are about as reliable as a 1960s lada!

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    I find they like to blame us for everything IT related no matter what.
    How many teachers computers just 'lost' files or somehow deleted certain parts of it but not others. And somehow the document they save religiously all the time is a copy from 3 weeks ago.

    Those crazy computers are always doing things like that. What can I do about it? Why aren't they more reliable?

    When we develop the ability to fix their issues before they happen and ensure that nothing ever breaks or needs developing therefore negating our positions, then maybe they will have nothing to complain about(Behind our backs).

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    hmmmm, i completely agree, resented, mis-understood, abused... all come to mind.

    Issues i've had over the past few weeks:

    1: run in with the head bcs a senior teacher complained that the on-line ALAN testing system wasnt working properly and we should stay til the job was done, as it turns out, that teacher was working til 5:45, the edexcel documentation was incorrect, and they weren't clicking the right button. They "happened" to bump in to head, had a whinge, and all of a sudden, ICT turn in to exam invigillators because the test is done on pc's despite not a single technical issue occuring over the whole period of them being used.

    2: teachers blaming missing deadlines on the fact "the system was down" - infact it was a power cut, little bit out of our control

    3: teachers laptop hdd, gave up the ghost, while we waited for a piece of hardware to come in so we could run some file recovery software on the drive she moaned to the head that she couldn't hand in some minutes of a meeting because her laptop was broken. He asked us to make it a priority!

    4: our backups are a retrieval for pupils stupid enough to delete their work, or give their password to somebody who does it for them; not a disaster recovery

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    I don't mean to be nasty people but you are there to HELP staff.. I get the feeling that some of you are less than helpful in some situations. If it's a percieved problem with IT and staff are really at fault then it's up to YOU to communicate this to them, I've done so in the past and have never had any of the problems mentioned. I do however attend departmental meetings etc, I try to involve myself in the teaching side as much as possible so I know how to improve IT use for the teachers.

    You have to be flexible, yes backup etc is there as a disaster recovery but without a kids documents being recovered quickly it stalls a class. The expectations of staff are high, but that just means that value you! they know they NEED you and if you communicate with them I'm sure you'd work out a partnership that really enhances the IT use in the schools and does away with this resentment.

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    As I am the IT dept. in our school, I would say that I am not hated. I have a feeling that IT is resented, due to the amount of money I apparently have available to spend - regardless of the fact that that is spent on school wide major changes (such as new IWB's, room refurb's, new teacher laptops and new switches) and my actual budget for maintenance is shared with ICT as a subject and comes in at less than almost every other department in the school, but still has to be used to maintain school wide equipment. It isn't vindictive behaviour from teachers, more often it is subtle quips and the like.

    I also feel that if something breaks, like a projector lamp or the power supply for a teacher's laptop, and I don't have a spare due to not having the money to stock things like that then the teachers think it is my fault for not having a backup. Explaining that we have about 15 different models of projector and 10 different models of laptop in school and to stock a spare of every bulb would cost about £3,000 etc... doesn't matter - it is still my fault.

    But then, on the other hand, I do get lots of thanks from staff when I solve their problems. Overall, I would say I am appreciated more than resented.

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    It was always a bit of an indifference in my school. There was ICT and ICT services...from what i could tell it was the actual ICT department that controlled the funding and did all the whistle blowing which wasnt liked as much as ICT services. We were the cool guys!

    Anyway, yes there's always a sense of "hatred" when you fail to fix something or have to take something off someone, that typical "chuck the toys out the pram" scenario, of course if they make a fuss it's going to make the suppliers work faster *rolls eyes*.

    Down to the wire, ICT services were liked when stuff was working but god help you if anything ever went wrong. It was seen as our fault when the builders dug through the power lines...and again when they dug through the internet fibre :@

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk

    I also feel that if something breaks, like a projector lamp or the power supply for a teacher's laptop, and I don't have a spare due to not having the money to stock things like that then the teachers think it is my fault for not having a backup. Explaining that we have about 15 different models of projector and 10 different models of laptop in school and to stock a spare of every bulb would cost about £3,000 etc... doesn't matter - it is still my fault.

    .
    I keep two spare projectors in the school in case one of our 25 breaks or needs a lamp I don't have although I have plenty of spares at the moment for all 3 types. I've purposely kept the model of projectors down to a minimum for this reason!

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    Re: Are IT Depts hated in schools?

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    I also feel that if something breaks, like a projector lamp or the power supply for a teacher's laptop, and I don't have a spare due to not having the money to stock things like that then the teachers think it is my fault for not having a backup. Explaining that we have about 15 different models of projector and 10 different models of laptop in school and to stock a spare of every bulb would cost about £3,000 etc... doesn't matter - it is still my fault.

    But then, on the other hand, I do get lots of thanks from staff when I solve their problems. Overall, I would say I am appreciated more than resented.
    With BSF the first problem would be solved, as you'd have the same pieces of kit throughout the school. You may well loose the ethos of pulling together for the school though. What BSF giveth, so BSF taketh away. Before anybody starts jumping on me, within a year, possibly 18 months, I'll be tupe'd to a private company.

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