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« Do school libraries need tables? | Main | BFTP: Technology as a separate species »
Monday
Dec032012

The line must be drawn here: tech support for BYOD

"The line must be drawn HE-AH!" Jean-Luc immortal words from Star Trek: First Contact.*

One of the biggest anxieties my technicians have about students and staff bringing their own devices to school - smartphones, laptops, iPods, tablets, netbooks, Kindles, Nooks, and who knows what - is that we will be expected to "support" these tools in the same we we maintain, repair and troubleshoot school-owned equipment. 

"Even if we had the time, how can we be expected to know every operating system of every device - and every app a student or staff member might want to use?" A legitimate question.

So we have "drawn the line" by stating that the district's responsibility ends at making sure personal devices can connect to our network. Once that's done, it's up to the user to figure out the rest of it - how to connect to GoogleApps. How to view Moodle courses. How to sync calendars and contacts.

At least that is the official rule. In practice we do everything we can to help people use their tools well.

I am proud to say that in our district that our techs are also educators.

*OK, so I am a closet nerd.

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Reader Comments (5)

Old adage about asking the custodian what he does "I teach kids"

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrandt Schneider

So far my favorite line from students about their personal devices is "Well - it works at home!"

We are trying to convince all of the students and teachers the same here - we will support internet access (either wired or wifi) but nothing else.

Personally I do not see how this will every really work, but I agree with you that those of us who live in Geekland know that we are 'expected" to know all OS, all applications, all web sites, and all devices.

The fun never ends...

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKenn Gorman

Closet nerd? I think you've been out of that particular closet for a while!

December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Randolph

Hi Brandt,

Asking one's "mission" would be a interesting district-wide survey of all employees!

Doug

Hi Kenn,

We old print librarians were expected to have read every book! Same, same. When one is perceived as super-human, it's the price one pays.

Doug


Hi Jim,

Don't let my mom know.

Doug

December 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

It amazes me the number of parents who purchase expensive e readers for their students and don't get any books for them. I do what I can to help students find e books, but we don't HAVE wi fi for the students, so there is sometimes not a lot I can do!

December 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Yingling

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