[K12OSN] Greg reminds us to taste the soup

Dan Young dyoung at mesd.k12.or.us
Wed Jun 27 23:39:57 UTC 2007

On 6/27/07, Terrell Prude' Jr. <microman at cmosnetworks.com> wrote:
> If the technology co-ordinator in the article is not interested in
> >> LEARNING the technology...what's he doing in that roll?
> >
> > Go read it again. The tech coordinator was saying that his
> > _science_teacher_user_ wants to remove a package from their Fedora
> > system.
> Umm...with respect, perhaps it is you who should read it again.  I quote:
> "Yeah, yeah," my inquisitor said to me. "You don't even notice, I know,
> because you would go the command-line to remove a package. But my
> typical user is a science teacher who became the technology coordinator
> for her high school. And I'm sorry to tell you this, but she will never
> bring up a command line, ever."

Ah yes, thanks for the cluebat. Missed that.

> As you can see, that "science teacher" _is_ the technology coordinator.
> She should not have taken the job as _technology coordinator_ if she is
> unwilling to learn about the _technology_; she should've stayed teaching
> science.  Learning about the technology comes with the job.  It'd be
> like if I, a systems engineer, became a "classroom teacher coordinator"
> and was unwilling to learn the skills to actually teach a classroom full
> of kids.  If you can't hack the job, then do not take it.

Ouch. Well, it's that or a free-for-all for that school. I'll take the
science teacher who's a bit afraid of a blinking cursor over nothing
in a heartbeat. If you have no/marginal support for non-1337 folks,
you're destined to shut them out forever.

The way I imagine it is that you've got a user who uses GUI tools for
common admin tasks, then one day asks if there's a better way to
remove 20 packages in one shot. Or a tasks that needs to be performed
at 3am every morning. That's a teachable moment. They need a mentor,
not a berating.

> Of course, what amazes the daylights out of me (a Chemistry major, BTW)
> is *anybody* smart enough to teach science...who is unwilling to learn
> something just because it's new to that person!  If that's the case,
> then how the hell did this individual ever learn science well enough to
> teach it at *ANY* level?

They are willing to learn, they just don't know it yet. Don't shut the
door on them.

Dan Young <dyoung at mesd.k12.or.us>
Multnomah ESD - Technology Services

More information about the K12OSN mailing list