This has been a super frustrating week regarding technology at my school. At the end of last year, the entire administrative staff left the school and took the technology staff with them. Since last June, we’ve only had a technology staff-person hired for one week (after which he quit). Most classrooms in my school have one-to-one i-Pads, but unfortunately we have been unable to update the i-Pads all year (thus the apps on the i-Pads have not yet been able to be utilized). Every day this week, I, along with three other teachers, have been attempting to gather all the necessary technology, passwords, and information to update the third grade i-Pads. Day after day, we have reached a roadblock that has forced our project to a halt–we need another password we don’t have, the master computer can’t be hooked up to the cart, we need to access i-Tunes but can’t on our network’s internet, and the list goes on. It feels ridiculous that it’s almost the end of the school year, and we still have yet to be able to truly use the technology our school is lucky enough to have in its possession.
Yet sadly, our school is not alone in this problem. According to this article, “Tech Without Support“:
- Sixty-five percent of K-12 schools do not have enough staff to integrate tech into classes.
- Two-thirds do not have enough staff to plan for new technology.
- More than half do not have enough staff to maintain their tech applications.
SOURCE: ESCHOOL NEWS SURVEY
If we wish to truly value and utilize technology in today’s schools, we have to also find a way to support its use. This means training teachers to use it and providing enough staff to keep it up and running. The article also mentioned an interesting alternative to hiring a full technology staff–use the students! Obviously this would work best at a college and high school level, but I even think that upper elementary and middle school students would be fully capable to learn many of the skills necessary to keep the technology up and running. This article, “Student-run Tech Support Programs Advance at the Speed of Technology” gives some really cool stories of schools across the country that are using this model.
It will be curious to see how schools work to find the support they need to use the technology they have in these coming years.