IT Solutions for Schools: Staff Augmentation and Assessment
Few people who have not worked in the public education arena are aware of the diverse mandates schools must meet. Many of these relate to the field of IT services, yet the people who staff schools rarely receive the kind of high-level technological training that would be needed to fully comply with the intentions of the various pieces of legislation. Indeed, in many states the only computer training a novice teacher needs is one basic course lasting merely a semester. This does not prepare a teaching staff to perform one essential function of most schools and districts, which is to write a comprehensive technology plan.
The Purpose of a Technology Plan
The intent behind a technology plan is to help an educational institution whether at the site or district level to envision the "next steps" needed in order to enhance both teaching and learning activities. While this intention is certainly laudable, it assumes that teaching staff have a robust working knowledge not only of the technologies currently in place, but also of cutting-edge developments leading to new tools that can improve education and assist all students to learn.
Some districts must release teaching staff for a semester or a year in order to comply with mandates such as these. These "teachers on special assignment" spend their time researching and writing rather than working with students. A better use of resources is to keep experienced teachers in the classroom and contract with an IT consulting firm that can provide IT assessment and staff augmentation services so that those with expertise can write the needed technology plans in consultation with staff and administration.