I’m just so impatient with the argument that the world should be slowed down to help people who aren’t smart enough to understand what’s going on. It’s in part because I grew up in a generation that benefited enormously from not doing that. Right? The baby boomers, when we were young, we had zero, zero patience for the idea that people who are in their fifties in the ’70s and ’80s should somehow be shielded from cultural changes because somehow the stuff that we were doing was upsetting them. So, now it’s our turn and we ought to just suck it up.
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I’ve had it. It’s grades and comments time at school. Let’s not discuss the issue of why we are writing these lengthy comments for parents who just want to know “the grade.” Or the question of why we write them 4 times a year. No, I want to talk about this issue: tech support.
3 years ago, we put in a Student Information System (Pearson’s PowerSchool). It’s simple, web-based, browser-based, cross-platform, and originally designed by Apple. In other words, it’s relatively idiot proof. However, it is clearly not teacher-proof. Some teachers manage to get everything completed in a timely manner with little outside assistance. They have read the help-sheets, listened to explanations of how the system works, and rarely have a question. Unfortunately, that is the minority.
This term, our network has had some glitches. It has been slow. This has nothing to do with PowerSchool, just our infrastructure. I tried to explain this, but got, “I don’t want to know how it works, just tell me how to get this done.”
Similarly, the same set of teachers have needed instructions each term. They have made some sort of mistake – usually not reading through the directions. Each time, I have said, “Let me explain how the system works.” In response, I get, “I don’t care. Just tell me how to do this now.”
At what point, because of technology, did it become acceptable for educators to decide that they didn’t need to learn? When did, “As long as it doesn’t take any time,” become a defensible response? I agree with Clay Shirky. It’s time for folks to “suck it up.” Or at least get out of the way!