Tech support and academic integration

We are currently hiring for a support technician for our staff, and I am really enjoying the process of calling lots of candidates and hearing their stories. There’s something about the high level of engagement that both parties to the conversation have, perhaps due to the need to represent yourself well, the excitement over a new future possibility, and the pleasure of learning from a professional peer. Onward we go, hoping to add a staff member within the next few weeks.

On a related note, I found out something interesting while writing up a justification for this position. Compared to our NAIS benchmark group, a dozen or so similar schools from around the country, we place in the upper quartile in number of staff devoted to tech support. This, we already knew — we have a reputation for having a large IT department. However, we didn’t know that we also place in the bottom quartile for number of instructional technology staff.

Outside the IT department, we have two computer studies teachers, one for the upper school and one for middle and lower schools. Andrew and Greg are pretty fully immersed in their teaching. Greg provides a good deal of academic technology integration advice to his colleagues, and Andrew maintains a number of powerful web scripts to make academic data visible to the faculty, but neither is primarily focused on academic technology integration. On average, other, similar schools have either a director of academic technology or teachers elsewhere in the school who have academic technology integration as their primary focus.

Our IT department assumes responsibility for both tech support and academic technology integration, which may explained why we’re so darn busy all the time. Properly staffed, I think it will work nicely, as we very much enjoy working with teachers to identify technology solutions most appropriate to their pedagogical and curricular objectives.

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