Administrative Filters

In the last few weeks I have been transitioning out of my job. In the process, I have enjoyed the opportunity to be a by-stander. A key issue I have seen in IT support, is that currently there is a lack of filtering on the part of administration. This is obviously a direct result of all the change. These filters are needed to keep IT issues organized by what is real and what is not real.

Often when a single teacher is having a very specific problem, they will emote and say things like, “This —- never works!” ( Fill in the blank with any IT device, process, etc.) As an administrator, the best thing to do is to not focus on this teacher, but on the teacher’s peers. By doing so the administrator can decide if the problem is simply with a single person, or with a group. A group problem in IT usually means a piece of infrastructure is not functioning. An individual problem usually means someone just is not following instructions.

This week in particular, two teachers complained that their blogs were not working. However, the exact way they expressed this was, “The school’s blogs do not work!” . And, “None of the parents can access the blogs!”

This problem would be severe if it were true. There are currently more than 60 blogs, and they contain the weekly information parents need. The proper things to do at this stage, for any administrator, is to open the blog page, and click on 5-10 blogs. For the record, it takes about 3 minutes to test all 60 blogs in tabs to confirm if they work or not.

Upon testing 5-10 blogs, the administrator would be able to conclude that the teacher who is upset, is likely not following the same process as everyone else. Pairing them up immediately with a grade level team member would sort the issue out quickly.

Instead, this was not what happened. There was no filtering. Just a demand that IT fix the blogs. There were numerous emails going around about the fact that the blogs did not work. All of the mis-information was flowing through communication channels.

Upon finally checking each individual blog, it was determined that 2 of 60 had in fact set their privacy settings to restrict access. 2 of 60. Even the teacher could have tested a few and realized that it was only their blog, but instead they became emotional. Which happens, and that is why filters need to be put in place to help isolate
the needs of the many from the problems of the very few.(Indirect “Wrath of Khan” Quote).

Tony DePrato

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