Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dave’s Top Ten!

This top ten list came from Dave Mirra’s of Stafford County Public Schools round table discussion (with 60 people in attendance) at the 2007 T + L conference in Nashville Tennessee.

I would have loved to have captured the audio as the discussion was great. In the end, most of this seems like common sense. Even if common sense isn’t that common. Whatever you call it, the list is worth reading and incorporating into your environment.

Top Ten List Legend
Bold Italic = Dave’s list.
Standard text = my commentary from notes and memory of the discussion.

- Is it part of an overall plan or strategy? Don’t buy it just because it is cool or new!

- What is the total cost of ownership? Hardware and software is just the tip of the cost. Consider professional development and ongoing support!

Who are the cheerleaders?
- Who is the primary advocate?

Who is the owner?
- Who will provide support? Example: Who owns the Human Resources Systems? The tongue in cheek answer is… If it is working, HR. If it is broke, IT. Just because it runs on the network doesn’t mean IT is the owner but this needs to be worked out before hand.

Who is the teacher?
- What is the training plan? Often professional development is the first thing to be removed from the budget. This is a mistake. More money should be spent on training than equipment and software.

Plastic my boy plastics
- Public Relations for the schools and community. Put on a Technology Expo for your community. Do it on a Saturday and demonstrate what technology is available and how it is being used and have students demonstrating whenever possible.

Traffic light management
- Simple data management for school leaders. Technology equipment needs to be refreshed (replaced based on a recycle or replacement plan). Having an easy to read database, or list will help school leaders, Governing Boards and the community understand what equipment is available, the age and when it should be replaced. Red, Green and Yellow was recommend to help make the process more visual.

Field of dreams
- Infrastructure considerations are vital! Before you buy and implement the technology, consider the network requirements and its ramifications on the network.

Give assigned seats
- Organizational structure must support the operations

I’m Sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.
- Infrastructure limitation (Human and Technical) IT shops don’t like to say no but they have to be careful of overloading their resources. Can it be done with what is available or can staff in the schools be trained to help support themselves?

The best statement was from a school board member sitting in the room who said we all needed to pay attention to what Dave was saying and make sure this information is made available to our communities because we can’t do it without funding and we can’t get funding without their support. I believe she hit the nail on the head!

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Hi Shawn,
I wasn't at T&L but this sounds like a fantastic conversation. I'm sure you were a valuable contributor to the discussion because I could hear your "voice" throughout Dave's points as positions you have been advocating for some time. They are the voice of reason and make a lot of sense. Very powerful! Thanks for sharing both the points and your comments/elaboration.