Well, I finally had my meeting with John. He’s the Director of Technology at our local school administration office. We met today as a result of an email that I sent to him regarding the set up of the school’s website.
To his credit – he contacted me right away to discuss it. Any help he could get, he said. Anytime he can outsource cheaply.
After having to reschedule the meeting twice – we finally met this afternoon. He is administering the website with FrontPage – – meaning that the websites given to the teachers to update are done with FP. Most of these teachers have a serious learning curve when it comes to FP…Even though I find it incredibly easy to learn and use, some teachers don’t have the technical skills, nor the time to learn a new trick.
I described Moveable Type to him. I gave him a live demonstration of the program, using my other website (EW) and showed him, once it is set up on the server – – how incredibly easy it is for the end user to utilize. Plus – he wouldn’t have to worry about doing FP installations on each users computer…also, they could access their website using MT from anywhere. Meaning they could do their daily updates from home, over coffee – – after dinner…from the computer lab at school, during lunch or where ever they want. It doesn’t get any easier than this, I explained!
He did explain that it was not a requirement for the teachers to update their individual websites. The school administration gives them the website to use, if they choose to – – but no one is making them do it.
Fair enough. I explained that if he made it incredibly easy for them to do – – I would imagine that most teachers would hop on board the communication train. He did agree that the number one complaint from teachers is that parents aren’t as involved as they should be…and vice versa, the number on complaint from parents is that teachers don’t communicate the needed information for parents to adequately stay involved. Offering to make a communication over the web this simple is a nice alternative.
I offered to volunteer my services to develop the templates needed to get the system up and running for the school in no time. I printed out the user manual for MT and gave him a copy of it.
Overall, we had a nice meeting. In the end, he told me that trying to get people (read: teachers, principles) on board for a change such as this would be difficult. He assured me he would look into it – – but not to take it personally if I don’t hear from him straight away on it.
Then he asked for my involvement on two committees that he chairs. The Technology Budget Committee and the Technology Committee, both require at least 10 community members to sit on the board for the school. He said both groups meet about 8-10 times a year and discuss and decide where the technology focus will be for the school year – – and where the money would be spent within the tech budget.
Interesting – – possibly some good contacts and networking for our local web business…so I agreed to assist him with the committees as long as he assured me that he would take a long and serious consideration of my offer to volunteer my time to help the teachers use a tool that would, hopefully, improve communication somewhat.
A firm handshake and a promise to be in contact, and I was off.
I headed across the street to my daughter’s track meet (the first one of the year!) and watched her compete in the high jump, the 400-meter and 800-meter dash and was proud as hell! She didn’t win. She didn’t even place. By the end of the 800-meter, she was so tired that she walked the last 1/2 of it. Not great by any standards . . . . but there I was, smiling like a fool — cheering her on and then reassuring her that the fact that she didn’t quit, that she finished, was the important thing – – and maybe next time she could ask her coach if she could run the 100 meter or 200 meter instead. Lol