Gather around and read or listen to my story. Have any of you had a similar experience?
Scene 1 Library
(Ring-Ring goes the phone)
Mrs. Teacher Librararian Media Specialist/Tech Person (TLMSTP): Hello, this is Mrs. TLMSTP
School Secretary: Hey there Mrs TLMSPT. Our principal needs you right away in the gym.
Mrs TLMSTP: Okay I’m on my way.
Scene 2 – Gym
(Picture many tables set up for the Career Day festivities. Community members are setting up displays promoting a career for students to browse through.)
Mrs TLMSTP: I’m here. How can I help?
School Principal: Just the person for the job! Thanks for coming so quickly. I need you to get our presenters hooked up with the wifi signal for their computers so they can be ready when students come to the career day program in here.
Mrs TLMSTP: You’re joking right?
School Prncipal: No, I’m serious. Just look around. Many have brought laptops. Some have even brought projectors and portable screens. They are all asking where the wifi signal is so they can be ready to share resources about their particular career to our students.
Mrs TLMSTP: (pulling School principal aside away from anyone within earshot and asking) Are you allowed to give out that secure code for the wifi for visitors? Remember, you, the curriculum coach, and the science coach are the only ones in the building that have access to the wifi—no one else does. I will need the code. Oh and because we are in the gym, the signal may not come this far. The gym is two buildings away from those offices. Have you ever tried to access your wifi from here before?
School Principal: I don’t think I have the code. It was set up for me. I don’t understand. Can’t anyone access the wifi? They just can’t access the network. What do we have to do to provide wifi to our guests. Clearly they came in expecting a wifi signal.
Mrs. TLMSTP: What do we have to do? We have to have a frank conversations with the powers that be in charge of wifi access at the district level. That is not me, and apparently not you either. Mrs School Principal, doesn’t it speak volumes when our community business people come to school ready to share their career expecting a signal we can’t produce?
School Principal: We did not know they would need connectivity. Clearly the business sector is way ahead with their 21st Century expectations than our school is. Yes, this calls for a frank conversation with someone, doesn’t it? Make a note please for our debriefing. Next year career day invitees will need to explicitly express the need for an Internet connection upon accepting the invitation to present to students. Sigh. Now I have to go let them know we cannot accommodate this request. Thanks anyway.
Fact or Fiction?
While the storyline is primarily fiction, this is basically a true story of a conversation I had with my principal yesterday just before our career day festivities. I think it speaks volumes about where education in my area is in terms of technology. If our community expects it, why aren’t we there yet?
We were both a bit embarrassed and disappointed that we could not provide our invited guests with an expected wifi signal. Some of the guests did have their own airport cards that gained them an Internet connection–they came prepared. But others were just mildly shocked to discover our school could not offer a wifi signal.