The ten commandments of school tech support
- Thou shalt test the fix.
- Thou shalt talk to actual students and teachers and make time to watch how technology works during actual class time, not just when it’s quiet.
- Thou shalt not make fun of the tech skills of teachers or students, nor allow anyone else in the tech department to make disparaging remarks about them.
- Closing trouble tickets shalt not be thine highest calling; thou shalt strive to continually make the learning environment better.
- Thou shalt not elevate the system above the users.
- The network will be never be perfect. Learning is messy. Get thyself over it.
- When teaching someone a new skill, keep thy hands off the mouse.
- Thou shalt listen to requests with an open mind and respond in plain English.
- Blocking shall be controlled by educators, not filtering companies. Thy job is to enable learning, not enforce behavior.
- Thou shalt include students and teachers in decision-making about technology purchases and policy. Their interest is not an affront to your professionalism.
From Serve.gov | Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
We are calling on educators and web professionals to join our new effort – the 2010 MLK Day Technology Challenge. The idea is simple: to connect schools with technology needs to IT and web professionals, developers, graphic designers and new media professionals who are willing to volunteer their skills for good, take on these technology projects and give back to a school in need.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?” We ask that you answer his call in 2010 by participating in the MLK Technology Challenge.
Why not turn this around – how about students offering services to the community or their own school? Why rely on the help of kind-hearted outsiders when there is a tech savvy crew right on campus who just need some guidance to get busy!
The Day of Service website has some great suggestions for projects –
- Enhance the school’s website by creating blogs or discussion groups for various student groups, such as student council, chess club, drama group, dance troupe, or varsity and intramural teams.
- Create a Facebook Fan Page for your school or for your Parent-Teacher’s Association, Student Government Association or Alumni Association.
- Create a NING social network for your school or a school organization.
Of course, all of these things could be done by students.
Even if you bring in outside expertise, include students. You can register your school’s technology need and ask for help by registering your school’s technology need as a “volunteer opportunity” with one of the partner websites listed here.
When you create your volunteer opportunity, be sure to:
- Use a descriptive title and make sure to include the “MLKTech” keyword – the keyword is necessary for search.
- Set the date as January 18, 2010
But remember, when you do get volunteer help, include students in the meetings. Let them apprentice with the volunteers so that once the volunteers go back to their real jobs, you still have students who know what to do. Building local capacity pays off in the long run!