December 15, 2010 by readlisaread
Public Education is a really funny thing. And by Funny, I mean anything but Humorous.I work in a 500+ student Middle School, and as well as being the only IT teacher, I am sort of the go-to girl for anything technology related. It’s a great job, and I love what I do. I don’t so much love the bureaucracy, the pissing matches between admin and senior admin and the usual sorts of problems found in Organizations of more than 20 employees.
In any event, I’ve written about The LapTops before. Some many years ago, shortly after the astronomical success of the Peace River North 1-2-1 writing program, my district hopped on the bandwagon– I can still remember the then-director’s email subject line: “SD wireless project: It’s Exciting!”. The heinous details of that failure is more thoroughly detailed here:
My post entitled “The Problem with the Program”
Since the program finished (3 years ago) it has Not Been Repeated in our district. Small bloody wonder. However, we ended up with about 150 laptops that were originally supposed to be offered for buy-out to the kids at the end of the program, but the Prince of IT changed his mind on that, and we kept them, with the idea of them being put to use by more students in the two Middle schools, offering more connectivity to more kids than the one or two teaching labs could provide. Great. Not so much the reality, since it’s all good until it stops working.
This fall we decided that there were too many laptops that had become decrepit, and so, with the help of the IT department, we weeded out half of them, cannibalized keyboards, and Frankenmac’ed together 32 fully-functioning, clean and stable machines. We kept the two carts, with the intention of being able to move the laptops easily around the school (upstairs/downstairs), or have 16 each in 2 classrooms.
This all went swimmingly for the classes and teachers involved…..until today. It went down something like this:
Colleague: “Oh, Lisa, the laptops won’t print to the lab, can you help?”
*I see a movement at the end of the hall, and realize it’s a guy from the IT dept. down town
Me: “Oh hey G, that was timely–quick question about the laptops”
G: “Oh yeah, it’s the Lap Tops I’m after– where are they?”
Me: ” Down in XXX room”
G: “Great! Thanks”
Me: “So, while you’re working on them, can you reset the default printer?”
G: “Actually I’m just picking them up to take them to (your rival) Middle School”
G: “Talk to your Prince or boss about it–I don’t know”
Fast forward, I talk to the Prince, he knows nothing about it, goes pale, asks if I have the IT Dept. Prince’s cell phone number (which I JUST happened to have) and he gets on the horn, while simultaneously throwing himself in the path of G. and the carts, not letting him leave the building. In the end, he grabs 15 of them out of the cart and ferrets them away, refusing to let G. take them.
To put it in casual vernacular, what a shit show.
By sheer fluke, we are to have a joint PLC meeting with that same rival Middle School next month. Heeeeeee!