Managing Technology Issues
Many media specialists also act as the technology specialist for their school. Performing the duties of one job is hard enough let alone two. When my district eliminated the Instructional Technology Specialist position from our schools, the media specialists were asked to take over the technology portion of that position. In my previous work, I was a technician for a software company giving me some idea of how to manage the resolution of technical issues efficiently. I applied this experience and devised a plan that we have been using for the past three years with great success.
I approached one person at each grade level and asked them if they would be willing to act as a “goto” for the teachers on their grade level. This role would include extra training from myself to ensure they always are one step ahead of any issues that arise. At my middle school, we have a goto for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and one for the connections teachers. I am the goto for anyone not assigned to a grade level or connections (administrators, speech teacher, etc.). These gotos handle any technology issues from software questions to hardware issues. Most issues are resolved during their planning period. Any issues they can’t resolve are forwarded to me. If I can’t resolve the issue, I contact our district’s technicians for assistance. We don’t use any special form for issues but we do ask that teachers either e-mail the problem or pass along a sticky note so that we don’t forget to take care of the issue.
At the beginning of the school year, I act as everyone’s goto until I am certain that the major issues have been resolved. This gives the grade level gotos a few weeks to get the school year started. After the first few weeks, I inform everyone that they should follow our goto procedure.
Some teachers come to me directly. I always ask, “Have you brought the issue to your goto?” If the answer is no, I ask them to approach the goto first. I also assure them that if they cannot fix the issue, I will be able to assist.
By distributing the work involved, I am more able to carry out my other responsibilities while ensuring that the technology issues we encounter are resolved in a timely manner. Although I believe that every school should have a dedicated technician to manage and maintain the school’s technology, this plan has worked well given our circumstances.
Media Specialist, Mundy’s Mill Middle School, Clayton County, Georgia