A place for elementary tech teachers to share.
I am not really sure what to do here! I am a first year teacher and I am teaching technology for one of a group of charters. Our computers are very closely guarded (I bring my personal laptop to work because it is so frustrating to not have programs that I need on my laptop!) and you need a password for anything. Updates pop up every few hours. I got our IT guy to give me that password and I have been installing updates and I put a few programs on the computer. I have only added free programs, TuxPaint, Dropbox and Windows Media Player. When the IT manager came to my classroom he was very upset that these programs were on the computer because they were not approved. I am not even supposed to have this password. Every request I have put in has taken weeks to get answers to, and they have all been denied (I don't have enough headphones, or plugs for all of my computers or a printer). Any ideas on how I can get things approved so I can do things in my classroom. I now have to delete tuxpaint this week :( I am unsure how they expect me to teach anything with no programs but Microsoft office. I would love to do fun and engaging lessons but my options are very limited with what my school is allowing me to have!
That is ridiculous! I agree with Deborah...Talk to the principal...tell him/her that you cannot teach effectively if you have no control over the programs that you will use. And that you need to work WITH the IT department not against them and the way things are it's against them.
In my school. I am both the IT and the computer teacher...I feel for you Lauren. Hang in there and talk to the principal...I hope it works out...let us know!
I am planning on talking to my principal Tuesday. Today is just a crazy day and tomorrow is a busy inservice day with our whole organization. I am going to bring him samples of my students work so he can see what they can do if they have the right programs! I am hoping that that will help me convince him. We have an IT guy at our school and then a whole IT department so it is a lot of bureaucracy to deal with. I had to practically sell my soul to get internet access for my personal computer!
You can't teach 21st Century students without 21st Century tools! I'm sorry for what they are putting you through. Good luck on Tuesday!!
I don't have any suggestions, except to accept that they are slow and go through the proper channels. I have a similar problem. I requested Tux Paint and Tagxedo be put on my computers. I was first told she would look at them when she has time. Then I was told I will need to write a justification and lesson plan. Only problem is that they are not on my computers so I have never used either! We still have XP and are upgrading to 7 and a lot of our older programs (like KidPix) don't work anymore. I guess I will try to put them on my computer at home and write a lesson plan.
My Kid Pix lesson was to show them how to use the pen, marker, chalk, and crayon. I am not sure if TuxPaint works the same way. I will have to download it and play with it at home. Just seems like if a computer lab teacher requests something that it is a responsible request. At least if I do a lesson plan I will be able to use it in the future.
Traci, I believe Tagxedo is used online. What you do need for it, however , is Silverlight.
I think I would request a meeting with the IT Manager and give him a list of programs you would like installed as well as plug-ins (Flash, Shockwave, Java, Quicktime, Silverlight, Adobe Reader, Media Player) that you need to be sure are kept up-to-date. They like to keep things uniform and be sure everything is licensed and virus-free but don't always understand what is needed to teach, particularly with elementary students. Your principal should be able to help with equipment that needs to be purchased such as the headphones, electrical outlets or power strips, and printer.
Thanks Elaine. I am allowed to keep all of my things updated but not install new programs. I have a list of what I want. I am not sure a need a few of them but I would like the option of using them! Unfortunately, my principal has approved headphones, powerstrips and the printer but IT has not ordered them.
I had similar problems when I started at my school. The IT people never did come around. I was so annoyed (they also never fixed anything) that I created an Excel spreadsheet that automatically updated daily with everything they didn't fix. That got in the right hands and I got a few repairs. Not a lot. The IT guy was good with the excuses.
But I never did get the password. I couldn't get that until the old IT guy left and a new one arrived.
I settled for using what was there and online sites. What else can you do?
this too shall pass.