Friday, April 3, 2009

Are you Making it Easier or Harder to Use Technology?

I was attending a meeting today with a bunch of tech coordinators discussing extending Maine's laptop initiative into high schools. I always find these meetings really interesting. The technical people always want to discuss security of networks, locking down users' privileges and making it difficult for those little angels to screw up their machines.

One of the representatives from Apple Computer mentioned that Apple gives it's employees full access to their equipment (yes administrative access). It made me think about what I do as a technology leader in my building. I seem to have a different view of my role from some of the others in this meeting today. I see my role as one that removes the barriers from teachers and students to technology - not creating hurdles that they must jump over to get to the learning. Is it more important to have the most secure network and equipment or to have people pushing the envelope and doing great things with the technology? I'd rather see teachers spending their time planning innovative projects that use technology to improve learning for all learners than trying to figure out how to get around all the locks on their machines and the network.

If you're a teacher I hope you have a technology department that supports your ideas of using technology to improve student learning.

If you're a technology leader I hope you strive to remove the barriers between your teachers and their technology use in the classroom. If nothing is happening on your networks and machines it really doesn't matter how secure you are.

Image Attribution:

Image: 'Cardinal Health picnic'


Mike Muir said...


You're my kind of tech coordinator! I hope all teachers have one like you!

Mike Muir

Ernie Easter said...

Bravo! Well said. We need to find more ways to encourage learning, not discourage it. Let us be educators, not internet police.