Thursday, February 15, 2018

The New Laptop

I've written before about how my district not only wants to replace my perfectly functional desktop computer with a laptop, but also wants me to
  • perform the backup of all the files on my computer,
  • disconnect all the peripherals from my computer,
  • schedule a time to take my computer to the district office (it would have to be on my own time, wouldn't it?),
  • pick up the new laptop,
  • connect the new laptop to everything, and 
  • reload all my data files, as well as any software I'd loaded on the last computer.
My response was to ignore them.  There's no way I'm going to do that.  It's not only not my job, it's not even my area of expertise.  I'm no Luddite or technophobe, but there are plenty of things (especially given the lack of permissions they give me on the computer) that I just cannot do.

Before deciding to ignore them, months ago I talked to one of Tech Services people about some software on my computer.  We'd bought a license for me to use the software, how could we move the software without having to buy another license?  She said they could load the software for me, I thought that was great, and asked that she do so.  That was months ago.

Several weeks ago we got word that, because our school has so many technical issues, a Tech Services rep would be onsite each Thursday.  There's a clipboard in the office on which we can write our technical issues, and the rep would come by and address those issues.  I wrote on the clipboard that perhaps the rep could bring me that laptop that I absolutely don't want.

Today he showed up with the laptop.  I had no clue he was coming, I was in the middle of teaching, and he was there to swap out my computer.  He was flexible enough to come back maybe 40 min later when I could be ready and available.

Remember that software with the license I mentioned a couple paragraphs ago?  Of course it wasn't loaded.  You know what else was funky?  After connecting everything the rep said, "This computer isn't configured to get on the internet (via our district network).  I've got to change some settings."  Can you imagine if I had gone to pick up that computer, connected it all up, and couldn't get it to connect to the network--because some setting was wrong?  How long would I struggle before I'd call, and before they'd want me to bring the computer back to them?!  What a waste of time that all would have been if someone in the know hadn't been onsite to fix that problem pronto.

The tech rep got as much done as he could, at least got me up and running.  There are some things that still need to be addressed, but I can function as a teacher in the interim.

So now, instead of Windows 7, I'm running Windows 10.  That's quite interesting given that I'm still running Vista at home (and am reasonably happy with it!).


Anonymous said...

Most tech support departments are made up of techies who were never teachers. They don't "get" teachers. (They are a different breed). I was a one person tech department for a faculty of 70 and a student population of 800. I was also a former teacher. Your complaints are entirely valid. Too often decisions that affected the classroom were made by administrators (including tech admins) who spent little or no time in the classroom. Addressing concerns in a timely manner is important if technology is expected to be used in the classroom. Sounds like your school hasn't gone 1-to-1 yet. That was the decision that drove me to early retirement. It is the flavor of the day and adds almost nothing to quality classroom instruction.

Good luck!

Pseudotsuga said...

You're still using Vista?!
Well, hey, if it works, does what you need, and has decent anti-virus software running, then why not?

Ellen K said...

My tech guy knows that I was a para working in tech services before I returned to teaching full time. He keeps it a secret. While I can make changes and load software, I don't because the protocols and security changes are so jarring that it takes a special kind of technical balance to make sure the entire system doesn't crash. Remember, my district under the previous and probably paid off superintendent bought Apple products from IPads for kinder to Power Macs for teachers. The excuse was there would be fewer viruses. Of course when I wanted to apply for a grant for Apple products years before I was told no because we wanted students to use the machines of business...but I digress. So we use Google apps on Mac computers and communicate using Microsoft programs.It is the most inelegant hodge-podge I can imagine. What's more, for a long time they told us to go out on the internet and find free virus programs to use. Our Tech Central has a habit of doing boneheaded things like scheduleing major district wide changes during a week when we're on a grading deadline. They are also unresponsive for other lower case tech issues. My class phone hasn't worked properly for months. We can't get voicemails b/c nobody will fix it so we can reset the password. It's just silly.