Monday, October 1, 2012
I'm Tired. I'm Frustrated. I'm Angry.
I can't believe it's been so long since I posted last. Or maybe I can. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. And I'm angry. I'm tired of not having reliable access to the internet at school. I have been keeping a diary for the last year of all the network errors I encounter during the course of the day, and there are so many! This is just when I actually want to use it (of course, typically when a lesson revolved around something required on the internet); who knows how much more often it actually is! I'm frustrated. I've skipped out on ICT committee meetings since this time last year, when I realised that I am the only department person who shows up regularly, and that the meetings accomplish nothing for students/staff. I attended the most recent, briefly, which mostly discussed how we're going to keep the kids from using the new high-speed broadband network. I understand that while much of this is the laziness factor on the part of certain people, a part of it is also financial, and that's frustrating too. I'm angry. Our department had a vacancy last year, and it was advertised as "leading the school in technology integration." Well, thanks for the kind words! However, the person hired was NOT impressed when they arrived (from overseas). They feel a bit hustled. I'm not surprised. I'm angry my students can neither download or upload files for their work, and cannot view youtube at all! Needless to say, this put the breaks on our film wiki project. I ripped my DVD and dumped it into the student data file instead, but what a pain! This is after we were all told off for having too much stuff in our department folders that the server couldn't handle. Well, what do they expect when students have no access? If the kids had access to youtube, they could watch the bit of the film they are analysing without taking up server space. I'm angry the network went down three days in a row during report writing week, for hours at a time (as it does EVERY reporting period). I mean, seriously. If the network can't handle the traffic when it needs to, shouldn't it be UPGRADED? Nothing like last minute pressure to meet report deadlines (NOT EXTENDED [understandably]) during exams, marking, and managing groups of boys who have sat their exams and are ready for the holidays but there's still two weeks to go! If you think I'm angry, spare a thought for those poor staff members who took time away from their own families to work on reports from home using our remote server, which promptly went down and deleted all their work. I'm angry, no, I'm still really, really PEEVED OFF at last year's frustrating episode that some of you will remember. But I feel I have no recourse whatsoever. I'm still so angry about this that I am retraining myself with the ICT curriculum (that's my PD for this year) and considering a change. A major change. This year I've had so little access that the time it takes to set up blogs, wikis, and keeping all of it updated all the time just doesn't seem worth it. And that's sad. What's also sad is how little I feel this year. I no longer go in early, and I leave every day by 4pm. It means I'm super busy when I'm there, but I'm simply not prepared to continue to give and give and give of my home time when nothing changes on the other end. I'm not attending any conferences this year, which makes me sad, but I cannot justify the expense from my household budget when there's no implementation afterwards. Guess what else is sad? I find I'm understanding more and more why other staff simply can't be bothered to get wired. It does take a lot of your time. It does require ongoing upskilling. But...they will not actually be using it in the foreseeable future. Heck, my room doesn't even really have heat, doesn't have any a/c, and definitely doesn't have any computers. I'm tired of fighting for access. I'm frustrated that people still see students using computers as "playing," and I'm angry that I'm not able to prepare my students for their futures. But heck, they can use a pen and paper like nobody's business!