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Jennifer W

It is not you -- basically, you are threatening their power. (I know that is a blanket statement -- and I apologize to anyone who does not fit into the IT Power mode.)

The network people (and I am one -- though totally on the other side of the fence) are very proud of the power they hold....and anyone who challenges or even wishes to know more, can be seen not only as a threat but also a nuisance to their tightly run ship.

You want your IT people to be protecting your network.....but it is NOT their job to RUN the network. That is done by wires and programs. Sometimes the IT department forgets that they are support staff instead of admin as well. (But they might be at your location, I don't know.)

You need to continue, even if they are resistant....you need to question, if if they remain aloof, and you need to get answers, when they would rather not provide them.....but most of all.....you need to show your appreciation for what they do, but also show them that your students are hampered by their resistance....and you cannot allow that.

Smiles, I know I am assuming a bit here -- that this might be the problem. I can say though that I was CONTROLLED for 14 years by an IT guy who lorded over the network. I am now in a position (at another school) where I am learning to protect yet open options on the network. But that comes from having a former teacher in the IT department.


Jan Borelli

Thanks! I'll work on it.


There really is too little to the story to tell (or even guess) what might be behind what you detailed in the post.

I have seen any one or more combinations of the following, but certainly could not say which, if any, might apply in your situation.

There tends to be a rift between educators in technical staff in schools. It can be very wide, or it can be the kind of minor tension that occurs when two people act in what each considers "best interest" - but those interests conflict. Example - educator asks for x, y, or z - and technical staff member feels any one of x, y, z might be harmful to (take your pick)... security, uptime, "my" time, an inordinate amount of attention needed, etc.

In the instance a new person coming in (to a central administrative position) there is a little kinetic dissonance as those who must support technology "feel out" what the new person brings. If it is significantly contradictory to the status quo, it usually brings conflict.

I have also seen technology departments act as gatekeepers to everything technology. Unfortunate responses that I have seen in departments like these are the type of passive aggressive behavior seen in some administrators too - you cannot have this because you did not ask the right way. The passive aggressive behavior also manifests itself in non-response or simple no's instead of actually holding a conversation about x, y, or z.

And in some districts, I don't think this stereotype exists nearly as much as others. Unfortunately, I have seen too many who are willing to generalize without seeking to understand both sides, and perpetuate the stereotypes that "techies" are _______ or educators are ___________. My guess is that people really looked a little deeper, they would find what you find in most school systems - most people want to do good work (but sometimes do not know what it looks like, or how to carry that out).

Neil Winton

For what it's worth, the situation is no better in Scotland (or many other parts of the world). I've blogged about this same issue on several ocassions, but the bottom line ias always the same: "We trust you to teach our children, but we don't trust you to access the internet."

Nothing like it for undermining the professionalism of teachers.

My main argument against those who seek to cultivate their own paranoia is that they are there to support my role, not to make pedagogical decisions on my behalf!

Annita Rackley

I think it's just fear of change.

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