Bill MacKenty

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How do you effectively manage technology in an organization with low resources?

Posted in Educational Tech Leadership Support on 23 - December 2009 at 08:44 PM (14 years ago). 212 views.

Very Carefully.

Resources = people, time, and money

When you don’t have enough resources to realize your vision, what should you do?

1. Your school should develop a clear vision, and a clear plan. What do you want your technology to look like in 5 years?

This is especially important for schools. Why? I have seen SO MANY TIMES when a company comes into a school and says “we have 27,000 copies of (old obsolete software or hardware thing here). We are going to DONATE it to you! When the “I have free stuff” fairy comes to your school, it helps to look at your 5 year plan and decide what fits. By the way, just as having a plan is important, so is advertising and evangelizing your plan.

2. You should use open source solutions whenever appropriate - especially in the server space

I can’t think of a decent reason not to use open source in education.  Of course, closed source has a place - especially if it really answers your problem well. But by and large, open source should be the defacto choice for schools unless there is a compelling reason to choose something else.

3. Hire and work hard to retain smart people.

In the last 4 years, we’ve fired 4 people who were MSCE, A+, Cisco certified, etc… They didn’t know what they were doing!  What matters most in technology is being smart. Does your programmer eat and sleep in MYSQL? Yea, good. Keeping high-technology people should be a very high priority.

4. Articulate your vision often. Hone your elevator pitch

Education is often a victim of “tyranny of the immediate”.  Very easy to lose focus or forget what is important. I heard a seasoned NYC principal say “the most important thing a principal can do is stay on message.