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Tuesday
Jul172018

Tech being the last to know is hurts everyone

Far too often the tech department is the last to know.

Last to know about a new program. Last to know about a change in or addition to a management system. Last to know about a change in a process or procedure or policy. Since technology now plays a critical role in about 99.9% of all work in a school system, this oversight can lead to unhappy results.

For my entire career, I have worked toward having a technology representative on planning and leadership committees. For one simple reason: I want to make sure the decisions made that involve technology will help make the project successful. I have had mixed success.

Implementations that involve technology are often complex. Questions that often need to be asked in the selection and planning processes include:

  • Is this new system compatible with our legacy systems?
  • Do we have the infrastructure to support the new product (bandwidth, server and storage capacity, technical support etc.)?
  • How do we get the new system to import and export data from our other systems when necessary?
  • Are there any security/privacy issues surrounding this new program?

I can understand how such questions, if not carefully and thoughtfully asked, can appear to be more obstructionist than helpful. And I suspect there are technologists in schools that purposefully throw up roadblocks to any new initiative. 

All of us in technology must work to be viewed as problem-solvers, not problem presenters. If we can change our image, we might just invitied to more planning meetings.

The technology department being the last to know is frustrating not just to the tech department, but to those who wish to use the technology to improve their own effectiveness as well.

It's win-win or lose-lose.

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