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IT News Thread, Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices. in Other News; Originally Posted by bossman Why are Schools so hell bent on IT technical staff having educational degrees when much better ...
  1. #16

    russdev's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    Why are Schools so hell bent on IT technical staff having educational degrees when much better qualifications can be sort after by industry MCSE MCSA MCP CCNA CCNP CCIE etc etc. Why do we as IT professionals in our own right have to play second fiddle to Teaching Professionals who lets face it can gain a degree in bullshit if they wanted and still get paid for it a damn site more than the poor IT guy who has spent the last 6 years building up his portfolio with professional qualifications to be told that they aren't really relevant to the post as they are not teacher centric based. Its right what you say kingswood 100% the schools are purely teacher centric and as we don't fall under that umbrella we are a neccessary evil which has been the same throughout historical british management you are needed but despised for having technical know how and passion. something that i feel a lot of the teaching profession has lost over the years.

    ok bossman calm down...

    no one said teacher centric we said education centric..

    I am sorry going to disagree your work in a school you need to be education centric view schools are about teaching and learning (i mean that not in teachers and learning but that school is there to educate young people so are you ok not in direct in front of class but in direct way through use of technology of?

    Second i am sorry industry MCSE MCSA MCP CCNA CCNP CCIE etc etc. mean nothing yes they mean can use technology and are important but if want to work in education then need to have education side as well.

    But you need to have education centric view otherwise you will be out of a a job I am sorry people might not want hear this but with various dfes stuff coming online aka bsf and other stuff then you need to play part in education side just as much and problem even more as a technical staff we lead way in new ideas and technology.

    Also i think comments about teachers getting degrees is worn teacher do work hard for there degrees heck i seen work they have to do just i think support staff work hard as well.

    So you moan that you are not getting recognised as member of staff but then here is something that will help you gain recognition.

    As said this mark must go hand in hand with industry courses, degree courses and everything else to make bigger picture.

    Also I not got any industry course as such but worked my way up by a doing good job but also keeping abreast both technical and education side and I am sorry the days when "ict staff came and put box on table and left" are gone you need to be full part of education process.

  2. #17

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    Russ sorry for ranting and i know you work very hard, i don't want to be a damp squid but it is about time we brought the education dept round to the idea that there are more ways to teach than sticking a person in front of bunch of kids and rambling on about something they really know little about.
    I think now that the teaching profession has it's good points and it's bad points like every other profession but it seems to be stuck in a time warp let's say 30-40 years ago. I still see the same old lessons being taught with the same theme and experiments that i did at school 30+ years ago. Come on Russ lets get our heads out of the sand and stop molly coddling these people who think that they know all about the young people and how we should teach them kids want to be taught but not by these archaic methods they need real technology and good professional teaching methods which are designed to engage them.

    I still think what you are doing is good Russ and you are right to slap me down if i annoy you but i must speak as i find and i think a lot of educational IT staff would tell the same story i am afraid to say. schools have become a part of industry in a way and they must behave like industry to survive this means finding the most efficient way of developing resources for children to learn from and recognise those professionals who help achieve this. We are all supposed to work for the benifit of the children but i feel education is so dissorientated on the matter that the teaching professionals who manage the educational depts at all levels are only in it for the money and nothing more.
    I apologise also to those teaching professionals who are geniunely interseted in the kids cos i feel these people are great but a great number as i say are only in it for the money and pension.

  3. #18

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    Historically a degree was a sign that you were amongst the most intelligent (and from families that could afford to help you through Uni), but the fact that Labour want 50% of school leavers to go to university (not "continue their learning" ... that is a seperate thing and they 100% to do that) means that degrees are not respected as much as they were.

    A degree (and subsequent post-grad qualifications like Masters of PhDs) are meant to show that you can work academically, whereas trade qualifications are meant to show your ability to implement skills.

    The education sector has always put a high priority on the academic side of things (due to the idea that education is passing on knowledge as a sage would to his followers) but this is slowly changing towards personalised learning, with the teacher having more of a role of the mentor, the coach and the instructor. It works for some subjects but not for others. it all depends on whether the subject is based around concepts and skills or concepts and information (eg the difference between Art and Biology).

    There are a number of subjects that are in the middle ... and people are not sure what to do with them and so they take elements from both types of curriculum and stick it all together ... and you suddenly have vocational qualifications.

    Techies are expected to fit into this area ... and the foundation degrees and qualifications that people like NAACE, Universtiy of Lancaster, Sheffield Hallam and Ultralab are working on take a mix of the academic and the trade qualifications.

    It will take time to see how it all fits into the grand scheme of things but it the IT Pro NAACEMark was equivalent to 30 points (eg a quarter of a degree year under the OU rankings) then surely it could only be a good thing.

    Produce a portfolio of evidence of what you actually do and you get a certificate and points towards your course?

  4. #19

    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    So who says that the DfES/BSF etc are right when they say "us technical support staff" should be more involved with the "educational side"? We are employed to do the technical manintenance and support of the networks that provide the means for the teachers to teach and the pupils to learn. Yes, we need to know a bit about how the educational system works to be able to provide the right sort of technology for their use, but that does have its limits just as you would if you were in an IT team for British Airways; you would not need to know how to fly an aeroplane to be able to fix their computers, to put it simply. Where does the technical support end and the teaching begin?

    What is the problem with education recognising IT professional qualifications?

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    Where does the technical support end and the teaching begin?
    A better question is where does the teaching end and the technical support begin?

    ICT teachers know their office products pretty well, but in general have little concept of enterprise software management, Network management, infrastructure and general stuff that we have to deal with on a daily basis. Given that none of the details are even touched on in A'level -let alone GSCE, its hardly suprising that the teachers are clueless. IMO its not worth teaching us in the ways of teaching, rather teachers should be trained in computing.

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    ICT teachers know their office products pretty well, but in general have little concept of enterprise software management, Network management, infrastructure and general stuff that we have to deal with on a daily basis.
    Exactly my point. That's what we are here for. If only they would let us get on with it.

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    In a nutshell teachers want us as ICT support staff to do their work for them as most are clueless and also a lot more are just plain lazy full stop!



    Quote Originally Posted by cybernerd
    A better question is where does the teaching end and the technical support begin?

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    To be honest your looking it from wrong point your saying "why should we know about teaching"

    Not saying that i am saying we should know about educating students as that is our 'core business' not ict...

    I dont me we should know about teaching what i am saying is that just having an industry certificate is not good enough you need combo of both technical and education knowledge.

    Ok then question for your ictac do you know latest stuff on that how can ict be used by other departments if don’t know that then how can you advise when best ict to use.

    Russ

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    I don't see why we need this educational knowledge if all our job is to maintain the networks (in a nutshell). I think the best people to advise on ICT use in other departments are the ICT teachers who have limited technical knowledge to liase with the technically-minded Network Manager. At the end of the day all it comes down to is communication.

  10. #25

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    Ok ... a number of different posts I can start this off on but this seems the best place ... please not that these comments are not specifically aimed at webman but a a number of comments made in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by webman
    So who says that the DfES/BSF etc are right when they say "us technical support staff" should be more involved with the "educational side"?
    We do ... we moan that teachers make decisions about what they are going to do with computers, that senior managlement makes plans without any foresight into what is and isn't feasible and we have a right royal whinge when money is wasted (the white elephants thread went on for some time remember!)

    WE keep saying that they need to consult us ... that we have some cracking ideas that would benefit the whole school ... and lets not forget that this may actually be something to save jobs. With BSF and Managed Services being pushed from on high the suggestions that have been made by key people in SSAT, DfES, BECTA and other groups that having more of an impact on the education is an area that may help keep jobs in-house ... I think that pretty much sums up that not everyone wants to get rid of us and they do think we have a very valid role within a school.

    We are employed to do the technical manintenance and support of the networks that provide the means for the teachers to teach and the pupils to learn. Yes, we need to know a bit about how the educational system works to be able to provide the right sort of technology for their use, but that does have its limits just as you would if you were in an IT team for British Airways; you would not need to know how to fly an aeroplane to be able to fix their computers, to put it simply. Where does the technical support end and the teaching begin?
    When we stop teaching ... and we do it every single day. We are trainers ... helping users with the multitude of packages that a school may have ... sometimes it is only a 2 minute "No! You add slide transitions like this!" through to 2 hour sessions on SIMS. Because we do this we are often viewed as accepting the present academic model and trying to conform to it, even though it may not fit us (we are often expected to babysit or help teach a class because we instruct others).

    As an aviation technician I would reasonably be expected to understand the principles of aerodynamics and how areas that I work on have an effect on this (that is the case with RAF techies and I presume it would be for civil aviation too). A car mechanic would be expected to understand how to use a clutch and it's importance even if the couldn't drive.

    What is the problem with education recognising IT professional qualifications?
    Because education is academic and pro IT quals are trade related ... see my above post. It is not just techies ... they often struggle to understand chartered librarians, accountancy quals, project management quals (I recently got into a conversation about the revelance of PRINCE 2 in schools ... and someone thought that a certain short singer was making a comeback and going round schools as a press gimmick!)

    As for the teacher bashing ... can we cut it out please ... there are a number of members that are teachers that have the difficult balance of being very techie orientated, want to try new things but are now being stifled because it is not T&L based ...

    Try not to label them all because of a few eejits. We all have horror stories about how Mr X tried to plug the RJ45 into a wall socket and home and moaned that we didn't give him the right leads ... or of a head who signs up for a service costing several thousand pounds without realising that you already have a better system in house we you now have to scrap because it is not the one *he* chose ...

    Things like ICTMark and IT Pro NAACEMark should be the sort of thing to give you move ammo to prove you know what you are talking about ...

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    As said this mark must go hand in hand with industry courses, degree courses and everything else to make bigger picture.
    I believe there is a problem with the above.

    What you are saying is that to gain any formal recognition of the job and knowledge you have from NAACE, you are required to obtain industry recognised qualifications.

    We are all well aware that schools do not have the funding for the majority of industry recognised qualifications and the majority of technicians pay for most, if not all, courses and exam fees themselves.

    If you are saying that schools should use NAACE qualifications to assist in grading and renumerating their technicians, how is any lowly paid technician ever going to progress? Especially if they are a single entity within the school and have no experience around them to draw from.

    I agree that industry qualifications are a useful lever, but only if the school in question uses the technology the qualification covers. If by some fluke of nature a school has some training funds to cover technician training, they, quite rightly, would only pay for courses that would benefit the school. ie why pay for an MCSA when you run Linux? or why pay for ECDL when you use Open Office?

    Schools are unique in industry terms in that the technicians are the jack of all trades in the IT world.

    Considering that uniqness would it not make more sense that the qualification for NAACE accreditation be more on the lines of the NVQ route. Specifically designed for the school IT technician that could be carried from one school to the next.

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    It's OK Tony, I speak what I believe and will take back anything which I later believe to be wrong or look at in a different light.

    I think all it takes is a bit of communication between staff (management, teachers, support staff) to achieve maximum results.

    I understand we need to know how the education system works, but we don't need to be able to teach. I think you got me wrong when I mentioned about flying an aeroplane. If I was a mechanic, I would definately need to understand the clutch of a car. But I was referring to the IT guys who work for those companies, doing IT maintenance (not touching the cars, aeroplanes..) if you see what I mean. In the same light, I am of the opinion that that scenario transfers to education - we don't need to know how to teach to be able to do an effective job of maintaining the network systems.

    Is this all just the thin end of a wedge or will it actually be of a benefit to us as IT professionals?

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    Because education is academic and pro IT quals are trade related ...
    But why should that be? Is it because if they don't recognise trade qualifications they don't have to pay trade salaries? I don't know. Am I wrong in saying Education relies as much on IT now as any other sector?

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    I have to say having the NAACEMark in itself will prove nothing either. A CCNA or MCSE is equally valid. The aptitude of whether or not someone is suitable to work as a technician / network manager in a school needs to be assessed at the interview by someone who is already technical enough to make these decisions i.e LEA ICT Support. This is not happening.

    We are here to make the network run as effeciently as possible, the ICT Director / co-ordinator is the person who should be analysing what methods of ICT teaching is to take place then pass that analysis to Network Manager to project manage and oversee implementation. Do you see this happening - no because most teachers are idiots.

    I am all for having NAACEmark if you want to increase educational awareness among IT support staff but please do not confuse this with technical expertise and apptitude in IT. This should not be a qualification you MUST have but should be recommended as plus point after any other experience or industry certs.

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    when I said hand in hand meant that both work toegher in overall picture not that must have one for the other.

    As for mark being must have dont think that is case but if got to people interviewing same in tech standards but one got this mark then you would go with that one.

    [quote]
    I am all for having NAACEmark if you want to increase educational awareness among IT support staff but please do not confuse this with technical expertise and apptitude in IT. This should not be a qualification you MUST have but should be recommended as plus point after any other experience or industry certs.
    [quote]

    Think you said it great there

    Only thing I would say is if people want to be consultant they have to show that hey can do education side as well..

    Also what we are seeing here is in effect tech side of it there is also one for teachers, lsa's etc etc

    Which to certain degree people are saying that that support should be seen on its own right well for once it is not and being lumped into teaching ict mark.

    Russ

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    Re: Thursday, 01 June 2006 - Meeting At NAACE Offices.

    I think the idea of being educationalists is a poignant point- and one that is being discussed elsewhere. I also think it is the right direction to go in, so from that perspective anything that helps the ICT worker in schools become better at being in IT *in education* is a good thing; so long as it doesn't burden the worker down more than they are already ;-)

    But I also wonder why it is that industry qualifications (I think "vendor specific" would be a better description now) aren't taken up with as much interest inside of schools when often those qualifications reflect the skills used by staff every day (an MCP for example in XP or an ECDL in Office). It probably depends on the school.

    Anyway, a great discussion. In the end if the IT Pro mark hits the road it can only be good for those of us who like working in education and integrating the technical with the academic in effective and pioneering ways. Aherm. Good sales pitch. Because in the end what it will really mean is that we have to do the same work we do now, only with a certificating mark that says we *understand* education a bit more than Joe down the road.



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