Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away--and barefoot. -- Sarah Jackson
Inca Trail, 2006
A classroom teacher shares her frustration on her blog entry "The Start of the School Year" with the overly restrictive policies set at her district. (Thanks to Scott McLeod for the pointer to this one.)
Good technology policy-making is probably the most neglected area of technology planning and integration. I've explored it before at A good policy for policies, Librarians Are From Venus; Technologists Are From Mars and informally in the Blue Skunk at When Techies Don't Get It. I've even done a session at NECC about the issue - complete with handouts!
And do people listen? Noooooooo!
To be truthful, developing good policies is an ongoing issue in our district as it is in all. Just this week our tech staff discussed whether to use our firewall to block iTunes Radio - a bandwidth-sucking resource of dubious educational value that requires us to open ports in our firewall. No good or easy answers here - but the decision will be eventually made by our district tech committee with information and insight provided by our IT folks. Sigh...
I did pass on "The Start of the School Year" to all of our techs and our district tech committee. Daniel Pink in A Whole New Mind lists as a conceptual age skill:
4. Not just logic, but also EMPATHY. “What will distinguish those who thrive will be their ability to understand what makes their fellow woman or man tick, to forge relationships, and to care for others.
Developing mutual empathy between techs and teachers may just be a career-long task. I could use more empathic abilities myself.
How do you build empathy and good policies in your district?
Greetings from beautiful Eugene, Oregon where I am attending my pentultimate board meeting for ISTE. Up at 4AM (6AM Minnesota time). I'll get to watch the sun rise over the Willamette River. Question is: Will I still be awake at sunset?