Wednesday, April 13, 2011

If you expect pathetic you probably will get it

Recently heaps of fellow principals attended the NZPF conference in Wellington. I got a few tweets coming from there from @carolynstuart . @lenva was also in attendance but she doesn't have the principals funded 3g coverage and there was no wifi available to get her thoughts out there. So I made some sarcastic remark about NZPF being old farts not knowing about twitter and carried on with my day. I suppose that some principals can take the attitude that twitter is for people with too much time on their hands and is a load of crap, fair point. I suggest most however don't even know what it is and how it could be used. Still it shouldnt be a judge of a good conference. I'm just using it as a small measurement tool of digital principals. However it begs the question as to weather Principals are in touch with their digital side when wifi isn't a priority at their conference and no-one cares or comments. Then you also ask if we see it as essential in our own learning.
So I digress. A colleague of mine subscribes to the eAdmin training from the MOE. She sent me through the latest offer of professional development for leadership teams and principals. This is really funny, embarrassing and somewhat insulting. I reckon it could be one of those secret stings, you know those FBI tricks where they send wanted criminals free tickets to NBA basketball games and tickets for their kids, when they turn up they are arrested. Maybe if you go on this course with the eAdmin team you get ERO, National Standards visitors, and letters from people wanting charters and more grief.
So read below and be insulted, but also remember that you can't throw stones if I use the "conference without wifi and no-one cared" as a digital gauge.

I have run workshops with over 50 principals in the last 6 months and all have left setting up and using their own wikis, most have gone away using the cloud as a default. What are the eAdmin Team doing? Give yourself an uppercut guys! File structure OMG.
Sorry eAdmin Team I don't mean to offend but this is not what should be being taught to Principals. (feel free to use my sting theory)
Oh and all NZPF people, you aren't old farts, you are great people doing a brilliant job and I tip my hat to you. BTW no chance of offending anyone enrolled on the course, they probably haven't seen the interweb yet.
Just trying to get a point across thats all. If you expect pathetic you probably will get it.
PS How funny is the Macintosh line at the end - MACINTOSH ha thats so 1997. Wellington now has saturday shopping incase you didnt know.e-Admin  Training Homepage

Kia Ora _______

We would like to invite you to make a booking for the Managing Your Computer Files e-workshop running in term two: 2nd-27th May.

"Do you have problems finding the file you're looking for?"
"Are your folders a mess?"

If you answered yes to either of these questions then this 1 hour online interactive e-workshop is for you. Managing Your Computer

Files e-workshop is designed to teach you the concepts of good file management and give you practical examples and techniques on

how you can achieve this in your school.

In this e-workshop our trainer will show you:

  • How to create folders and subfolders
  • How to move a file/folder to another location on your PC
  • The recommended way to Naming your electronic files - we will share with you some recommended tips!
  • How to use one of windows search features to find your saved files
  • How to create shortcuts to the files that you use regularly
The Managing Your Computer Files e-workshop is designed for:
  • principals
  • deputy principals
  • administration staff
  • Note: This session is not suitable for users of Apple Macintosh computers.


GimliNZ said...

That is just so sad!! We were teaching staff these concepts in the 90's running LCII & LCIII's. I would have hoped we'd moved on by now.
However knowing my kids' Principal, I'm expecting him to mention this at tonight's B.O.T. meeting as some innovative PD he's sending the staff on!!

gregcarroll said...

Sad but in my experience quite necessary for some.
The conference last year in Queenstown was the first NZPF conference with wifi to my knowledge .... and how long have ICT PD conferences been wireless?

Marama said...

Oh Dear! I am an Apple Macintosh user! How will I ever cope? Should I switch back to PC? blaaaah yeah and pigs will fly ...

Mac Stevenson said...

I understand the Year 1 classes at Summerlands School are providing the necessary PD for this.

Marama said...

Ok, going to be constructive now ... so I think NZPF is fantastic and I am so grateful that I have its support and advice. What I am concerned about is that there seems to be very little Gen-Y/Digital Native/Geek 2.0Principal/What ever you want to call it representation.

The reason I didn't go to the conference is because I knew I would be in the minority at the Old Boys/ Girls Club. Please don't get me wrong, I am a huge NZPF 'fan girl' but I have been to, too many Principal things where I have been the young geek 2.0 principal odd one out.

NZPF needs a some official geek2.0 consultation, so that this kind of stuff like WIFI (which I consider essential to a successful conference) doesn't get left out. Also NZPF needs to sort out some kind of 21st Century Learning Leadership thing/body/committee, that will help lead future focussed learning (my hands up for that).

I don't know, I just feel a bit left out and would love to be able to get together with some other techno wizard principals in flesh, not just through the awesomeness of twitter.

ps. I use the Geek2.0 term, in the positive super awesome way it deserves.

Mike said...

Got worse today, check this out, I am back in 1996.

We would like to invite you to make a booking for the Using the Internet for Attendance Management e-workshop running in term two: 2nd-27th May.

"Are you confused by Internet jargon like, 'url', 'browser' or 'cookie'?"
"Would you like to use the Internet more effectively?"
This 1 hour interactive online session provides information and hands-on practice for users who are new to the Internet or who want to develop their skills and confidence to use the Internet more effectively in their work.

In this e-workshop our trainer will show you:

How to effectively search the Internet
How to manage the files stored by your Internet browser.
How to save and organise website addresses as Favourites or Bookmarks
How to access online attendance management resources
The Using the Internet for Attendance Management e-workshop is designed for:

deputy principals
administration staff

Podgorani said...

I have been overwhelmed all day with tweets, DM's @'s iChats, and even old fashioned email from principals from all over the place. Several pointed out the new training offered today. Web training, learn what a browser is! WTF. I heard Douglas is no longer at the MOE. Boy it didnt take long for that place to turn to s#&t.
The common thread among the comments I have had today was that the cost cutting in the MOE is quite harsh yet this nonsense carries on. This lot need to be kicked for touch.

Podgorani said...

Marama, I hear you re NZPF and I reckon there are a bunch of people out there on that waka. I will talk to someone who knows someone and we might make something happen, or then again we could continue to never go like me for 15 years in a row, only because i have prioritised other principals events (with wifi by the way)

j_cowan said...

All I can say is OMG!!! What planet are these ppl on? If you can't manage your files or are confused by terms like url find a 5 year old and ask them!

BTW the message around WIFI and NZPF was given.

Podgorani said...

point of order on NZPF conference
clearly judging a conference on wifi is not the intention just a gauge.
interesting how Marama feels, probably i'd say she wants to meet others like her who are the geeky type, no snob factor, just that like attracts like and she is keen to network with like minded and is hopeful that nzpf might be interested in moving with that.
places like blogs are good places to start, and then organising meetups etc. problem is ulearn and L&S arent "principals" meet up places so you end up missing the "big dog" and talking to the up and comers.

managing my files OMG still shaking my head j_cowan !

Marama said...

Nope, no snob factor here, I have had so much invaluable advice from so many experienced principals, many who wouldn't know url from a html but I don't care I couldn't of gotten by without their help and support and I am eternally grateful.
I am just missing a connection with Principals that are 'like minded' when is comes to technology. Like Luke said, uLearn and L&S are great, but they aren't principal meet ups. I am also not getting at NZPF, they are super sweet, I just think they need to start planning for the future of future learning at leadership level, or else they are going to get left behind :-/

Philip Harding said...

Hi Luke - thanks for the feedback from an old fart who rose to the challenge and sent a few tweets out from his 3G phone during the conference - just to make sure you felt better!

The issue of wireless at conference came down to cost. NZPF raised the wish that there be wireless, but the Michael Fowler controls its setup and charges a rate of $10 per day for access.

I guess a rate could have been negotiated, but it wasn't, although there were two networks available at the $10 rate for anyone who really wanted it. One way or the other, principals (schools) would have had to pay - this way it was there for those who really wanted it, and valued it enough to cough up.

NZPF is actively working to improve its digital strategy, and I invite interested folk to send me suggestions...

Podgorani said...

Good call phil, only a gauge but interesting if you dont attend how easy it can be to throw paper darts without knowing the facts.

I think marama raises the best point about getting GenY principals on the leadership waka and helping them interact and be the future NZPF leaders.

im keen on that discussion

Danny said...

I think the workshops being offered offend me more that the NZPF wireless issue (although that needs to be looked at in future).

Can we infer from the workshops being offered that there is a demand out there from school leaders for this type of ICT support? Hopefully not! If there is no demand then it is a pretty damning picture of MOE confidence in school principals as e-leaders.

I think there is a great debate to be had re: NZPF and building up the next generation of leaders. Like Marama I am often the youngest one in the room which is OK for the first couple of conferences - it's like getting to play grown-ups - but gets pretty depressing further down the line. Maybe NZPF, or even an informal group within the membership, could develop a "Young Principals" network - similar to what NZEI have with their networks? This would have to be useful for succession planning - and opportunity to grow leadership outside of the usual networking/ geographical limitations which can be barriers to younger principals.

I'm sure there are others out there feeling similarly, perhaps this is the start of an important debate?

Podgorani said...

some good points danny, problem for me is that "young principals" shouldnt have to wait ten years to feel part of the group. the body does have a slight issue here, i suppose I havent been to nzpf in 14 years as a principal, part of this was because as a 30year old when i started i felt exactly how you feel now, and i've found my own network to meet and confrence with. however i cant comment on workshops and stuff as I didnt attend. good food for thought.

Danny said...

Yep and I should clarify two things from my last comment - when I say workshops I mean the online modules that you referenced in your original post not what is offered at NZPF conferences as I have found them to be good.

Secondly in terms of "young" I don't mean that in an ageist way (although that's also worthy of consideration) as much as I do in a representative way. I don't want to disparage NZPF who work hard and give good leadership - I just hope there is a place for the emerging voices and technologies in their structure somewhere. Thanks Luke!

Rebbecca said...

Just tuned into your blogs again Luke after quite some time away. Have had an afternoon of lots of laughs - nice to read what you've been up to and love this particular entry and your Q&A sessions for the lighter side of entertainment. Cheers Becc