An example of an IT failure.

At one of the blogs I visit regularly ( I read this:

“At the beginning of this school year, I purchased licenses for MinecraftEDU and I love it. Unfortunately, as you can tell if you follow the link above, the old MinecraftEDU is now in transition. Microsoft is re-writing and re-releasing the educational version as Minecraft: Education Edition. I would love to use it, but it’s only going to be available on Windows 10 and my district’s IT department has been very clear that we are not moving to Windows 10 this year. … It is extremely frustrating – I believe in this tool and think our kids will really benefit from using it in classrooms, and our progress as a district has been completely shut down.”

This is where I start to rant and wave my hands.  A school IT department has only one major priority, supporting teachers so they have the tools to teach.  An IT department that makes a decision like not upgrading to Windows 10, and thereby affecting curriculum, needs to be evaluated.  I can understand not upgrading a whole district to Win10 in one summer.  A big district can take a while and they may not have the staff or expertise to do the upgrade in bulk.  But to not do a limited upgrade for a teacher that needs it to teach has no excuse.

I am the IT guy at a small private school.  I operate on a very limited budget.  (Not all private schools are rich.)  I have had a scattering of Win10 computers through my school for a year just to test if there were any issues with group policy or the domain.  I have managed to upgrade to Win10 this summer with no problems.  The upgrade from Win 7 or 8 is idiotically simple.  I just do not understand how an IT department has not been preparing for this upgrade for at least a year.   (More hand waving here.)

One of the major tasks of an IT department, be it a one-man-band or a large district department, is to look down the road to the future.  It has to make plans to implement changes to keep up with the changes.  It looks like this department has failed.

Perhaps I am being harsh.  Perhaps there is some extenuating circumstance in this district I do not understand.  There are a lot of things I do not understand here.  What I do understand is it is the IT department’s job to support the teachers and to find solutions for teachers, not to put limitations on teachers.

I could rant on here for quite a bit more but it is late and I have to go to work in the morning.  I have IT work to do so my teachers will have no limitations caused by IT.

4 Responses to “An example of an IT failure.”

  1. don Says:

    Windows 10 is a cascading disaster. Not upgrading to Windows 10 is not a bad IT decision. I certainly have issues with school IT departments – but this one is squarely in the lap of Microsoft. Using their enormity to force schools to upgrade to Windows 10. Minecraft was available on plenty of platforms – then Mojang sold it. I was worried what would happen. This.

  2. gflint Says:

    Interesting. Win10 is great for me. My older computers like it, my active directory likes it, my group policy works fine with it and my users like it. I guess I will get bit in the rear later. Not upgrading to Win10 may not be a bad decision but not doing what is needed to get a teacher what she needs when it is possible to do it is a bad decision. I do have to agree making Minecraft Win10 only is very narrow minded on Microsoft’s part. Dump Project Spark and mess up Minecraft. Microsoft is on a roll.

  3. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    We’re still running Windows 7 on ancient machines in the EE instructional labs, because there is software that won’t run under Windows 8 or 10.

    Microsoft is not interested in supporting teachers—they are interested in selling software, and they believe that they can sell more if they keep making the old stuff break.

  4. Who’s paying attention? | doug --- off the record Says:

    […] An example of an IT failure. What is the mission and purpose of the IT department at your school/district? Apparently I am not the only one who believes that “A school IT department has only one major priority, supporting teachers so they have the tools to teach.” […]

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