Bill MacKenty

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It’s not my job

Posted in Educational Tech Leadership Smartboards Support on 04 - January 2010 at 07:20 PM (14 years ago). 196 views.

How this phrase and attitude infuriates me. I get angry when I hear people say and act like they don’t care.  However, a series of conversations with a building assistant principal has slightly changed my thinking about this. She said “sometimes, it’s good to let a system fail”. I was providing technical support for all the smartboards in the building. Every time there was a problem, I stopped what I was doing, and went to fix the smartboard. I was responsible for inventory, maintenance, training, and professional development. Not a great situation. Other important projects took a back-seat to smartboards. Her point was well taken - I’m propping up a system and feeling resentful about “doing it all”. Heh.

Of course, this problem did not magically appear. The smartboards were purchased and installed without thinking about support. This is the original sin - and in my experience, a common problem in technology and education. 

So, I did what she said.  I carefully explained this to my leadership team. I didn’t have time to handle the smartboards. I had a daily schedule, and explained the important work that was taking a backseat to the smartboards. Soon, the boards starting failing, teachers started to complain - teachers actually stopped planning on using the smartboards because they were so unreliable. It was hard to see this, and I know I took a small political hit for this. But fast-forward 3 months. Now we have hired a part-time technician, who is totally dedicated to smartboards. We have consolidated our efforts to keep the smartboards up and running. The system is still far from perfect, but I am getting far more done than I was.

Because I let a broken system fail.