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Where the Rationale for School IT Breaks Down

In my experience, that last point is where school IT decision-making breaks down. Organizations have different strategic goals, and they accomplish those goals by setting different priorities and adopting different strategies. IT professionals who have learned their craft in organizations other than schools are often unfamiliar with the urgency of malfunctioning academic systems. During my Read More

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Special Use IT in Schools

In addition to the fleets of computers maintained for populations such as students and teachers, schools are places where special purpose computers and peripherals are found. In makerspaces, science laboratories, studios, workshops, and other special teaching spaces, there are computing devices necessary for specialized educational activities. Examples include: 

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IT Tradeoffs in Schools

School users are also well-known for trading reliability for functionality and ease. IT professionals know that systems can be configured to perform many more functions than are typically used. Further, many users will use only a fraction of the tools and features available in the applications they use. Of course, using these tools and features Read More

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Edtech for IT: Learning Management Systems

Virtual classrooms took on particular importance to teachers and students with the quick pivot to remote teaching necessitated by the COVID pandemic. Even before that, however, virtual classrooms were being managed by school IT professionals and teachers were using them to extend their classrooms and enhance information sharing and interaction. Like other cloud-based infrastructure in Read More

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Types of Tests

There are two types of tests that are typically administered to students: standardized and standards based. For IT professionals who are designing systems to administer the tests, there is no difference; devices must be able to establish reliable and secure connections to the servers where the test is housed, user accounts must be created, and Read More

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Who Decides IT in Schools?

I’ve seen the requests from many desktop support teams: “Before you add technology to grants, please include us in your planning.” I understand their rationale. They are responsible for installing, configuring, and managing it. It must integrate with existing systems and be reliable, robust, and secure. I would be sensitive to their requests and I Read More

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The Challenge of Passwords in Schools

When upgrading the computers in a school that enrolled students in grades K-12, the new technology coordinator did not change the minimum complexity requirements of passwords for the organizational units containing student users. When they first logged on to computers, they were prompted to change their passwords and were met with the complexity requirements. Students in the Read More