Tear Down the Walls!

I have a problem.

I work in a school and district that declares itself as a leader of technology in the classroom. Digital tools are interwoven throughout our curriculum and professional development everywhere you look. Yet, there is an obstacle that rears its ugly head seemingly every time a student or educator wants to use an educational tool from the school or (heaven-forbid) home that uses wireless internet.

The internet can not be accessed.

An “Expanding Boundaries” technology course within the district has been methodically putting laptops in the hands of its faculty district-wide. Yet many of these ‘full-steam ahead’ educators can not use their tools in the school because the wireless connections within them are spotty or worse, inaccessible due to walls and restrictions put in place.

My frustration levels reached a boiling point recently when my team sat down to continue working on a Google doc outlining a team project designed to tailor to each students’ needs. When it was realized we could not connect and collaborate effectively, we were left wasting our prep time finding alternatives (such as short cords and paper notes that would have to be digitally scribed later on.)

When we are trying to move forward with students and expand their boundaries of learning, why are we continually left standing still burdened by obstacles put in place by ourselves? Obstacles that must be either troubleshooted by one overburdened tech specialist or worse, completely scrapped for a lower-impact, but 1.0 feasible alternative?

Please do share your resources and links for the support and continuation of firewalls in education institutions. I need some rational perspectives on this before I stop yelling…

“Tear down the walls!”


About MrMusselman

K-5 Science Specialist for the Burlington Public Schools of Burlington, MA.
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One Response to Tear Down the Walls!

  1. Magistra M says:

    I wish I could say that your problem wasn't also happening at the high school each day – but we face the same obstacles all the time. It's maddening to have so little time to plan and collaborate with colleagues, only to have much of that time wasted on technological issues – who can't connect, why is the wireless connection working here but not there, where is there a working printer? The hindrances many of us face are not lack of imagination or creativity, but the physical limitations of our tech infrastructure and the manpower limitations of too few IT support staff. In these difficult financial times, I wonder if these problems will become worse before they can be addressed in a meaningful way.

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