In part one I talked about the need to get students setup with their network accounts in the first days of school. I conveniently left out Teachers. We usually have teachers back two days before the “official” start of school with students. Those days are generally designated as professional development days when new concepts (sometimes old) are introduced and teachers are expected to become experts at something over night or better yet, re-design their entire first few weeks of class around some profound new understanding of learning the weekend before school starts (I’ll cover this thought process in another post, promise).
What it has not historically been is a time to get teachers into their classrooms to make sure technology is working and that they are ready to go on day one of school with students. This year was even more difficult because with budget cuts from the State, we only had one day before the official start of school. Thankfully teachers were given the afternoon in their rooms however not very many turned on computers or checked online services to see if they were all set to go. Which led to much fun and excitement for me in week two when every teacher decided it was time to put students on the Internet and a cascade of help requests started flowing in. It was all mostly little things that together added up to a mini crisis for me.
So for next year I’ll be the one going through the rooms checking all the computers the week before school and making sure everything was put back after facilities moved everything around for cleaning over summer, or after teachers came in and rearranged things or pulled all the computers off the tables and stuck them in a pile in the corner (yes that happened one year). I’ll also see if I can build in some time to the training to remind Teachers not to wait until five minutes into the lesson to see if their Internet resources are still accessible or that they’ve forgotten the password to their favorite web 2.0 service.
Because I’ve realized something about working at a school district, time is never on my side. I am always up against time because the school day doesn’t stop, for anything. The learning must flow. That means that in the ever more connected learning environments of today’s schools, so must the Internet.