[K12OSN] Join us at NELS this year! You too deserve professional development!

David Trask dtrask at vcsvikings.org
Tue May 9 15:24:40 UTC 2006

Standard;Hello all!

I hope this finds you healthy and enjoying the spring weather as the
school years winds down and businesses and organizations begin preparing
for the summer months.  Summer is often a time of rejuvenation...not only
in mind and body, but for technology as well!  While the users are on
vacation (either the long school vacation or shorter vacations taken by
organization or company employees) the IT folks (who never seem to get a
vacation  :-)  ) take the opportunity to refresh the infrastructure and
upgrade their skills.  That's why I'm writing today.

All too often many folks think of the technology director, coordinator,
teacher, IT guy/gal....etc...as the “go to” person when things go wrong or
whatever.  They are also expected to stand guard as if something will go
wrong during school closing, grading, upgrades, etc.  Unfortunately, this
is a “reactive” way of thinking rather than a “proactive” way of thinking.
 This thinking also makes it difficult for IT folks to upgrade their own
skills by attending professional development workshops and conferences.  

I have been very fortunate in changing this way of thinking in my own
school department.  I have had lots of opportunities to attend conferences
and so forth over the past few years.  The administrators and staff have
learned that the more I know, the more stable and effective things become
with regard to IT in our school.  I have done everything I can to ensure
that things will remain up and running while I am away, but nothing is
ever foolproof.  With that in mind, the staff and administration has
accepted that if something happens....they'll survive....just as they did
before computers were the norm.  Getting folks to accept this makes things
a lot easier on everyone and allows your IT staff to grow and innovate to
make things even better.  I can honestly say that for the past two
years...nothing significant has happened while I've been away.  Why? 
Because through all I've learned, I've been able to make the system stable
and manageable (and redundant) to ensure it stays up and running without
my input.

So where is this all going?  Once again we are offering an excellent
opportunity for IT teachers, directors, coordinators, technicians...etc.
to gather and learn more about some fantastic ways to better deliver
services to your users.  The Northeast Linux Symposium in now in it's
fourth year!  Now the name is a little misleading as it's not just about
Linux, but about Free and Open Source software and ideas for nearly all
platforms.  Mixed networks are pretty much the norm in todays schools and
in many companies as well.  Many of the sessions we offer show you how to
tie it all together with things like single sign-on, common data storage,
web based technologies, and much more!  Classroom teachers can learn all
about some really great programs and techniques that will help them in the
classroom without affecting their already slim budget.  Remember...you
too....need the opportunity for quality professional development!

This year we're offering two great opportunities for learning and
professional growth.  NELS at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine on June 17th
- 20th and NELS at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New
Hampshire on July 16th – 19th.  Each has a unique focus and each will
offer you a great opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment among
friends and colleagues.  

Please visit the NELS web site at [ http://www.nelinux.net/
]http://www.nelinux.net for more information about sessions and how to
register!  Register soon as housing will be filling up and the first NELS
conference is only about a month away!  Remember...we make it easy...food,
housing, and conference are all included!

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Director
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask at vcsvikings.org

More information about the K12OSN mailing list