Thursday, 4 August 2016

Will the NZ digital technologies curriculum see success?

It seems to me thinking about the ideas of the new Digital technologies curriculum that there needs to be three areas that we need to have support from.
1. the teachers
2. Supportive school management
3. A supportive IT person

While the teacher is pretty obvious, and we have identified in the past what pressures will need to be developed and supported, I think we have the other two areas to work on.

School management, while many of us have supportive school management that have let us develop programmes and courses and pretty much stayed out the way. They have let the teacher run the program. Of course it is better to have support from senior leadership and I think about how lucky I am in my school for the principal to visit my classes when I am teaching with visitors from outside the school. When was the last time a member of senior management visited the class that was not for appraisal reasons, just out of a sense of interest in what is going on within the school?

But I feel the third one is going to be the biggest and hardest to get support around, I still find out that there are schools who are still blocking the right click on the mouse. It is also in the small school where the IT support person is also the teacher. This can work out fairly well but in a reality it could be putting strain on the teacher. It seems that IT issues take a lot of time away from teaching for the teachers. How is your school going to be thinking about he extra time that you will be required to teach if you do not have year 9 and 10 programs or even more junior? A lot may depend on how you yourself see the role?

The other part maybe the issues of having a person or outside organisation looking after the network. Many people have talked about the issues of fixing accounts that take weeks, printer issues that never seem to be fixed, or that damn wifi for students that never seems to work. Asking for software that for an education point of view is needed (python) yet the tech may not want to install as it is not a stable version and installs python version 2 not python 3. 

How will the ideas that are developed as part of the resources that are developed by the people tasked to create the resources going to be used within school, if particular software, services and technologies are developed for. I think of the number of people who still are not allowed a development web server on their internal network due to the "security risk".

Ultimately, teachers, school leadership and IT people have to work together for a single mission - providing the best digital technologies curriculum possible for the students, for this to really live up to its potential.

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