Part 2 of a series which covers / glosses over the experiences of delivering technolgy to pre-schools - the forgotten corner of the education world. This episode covers governance & policy
The first thing that's important about pre-schools from a governance perspective is that they aren't governed by the Department of Education. Rather, their oversight is from the Department of Community Services. This has a number of impacts. For example, in some instances, the requirements to retain data extend beyond 20 years. That isn't a typo.
Secondly, there is a completely different level of oversight, which covers almost every facet of running a pre-school, from the number and mix of teachers, the state of the facilities, the maintenance of policies and procedures.
Almost every facet.
There is practically no published or authoritative guidance on what can or should be made available to three and four year olds in the classroom setting. There is no guidance on online curriculum, access to internet, indications of appropriate duration. It's likely that it's purely oversight, and yet another example of technology moving faster than our ability to keep up with it ...
This series is about the journey to bring a pre-school into the 21st century for technology. Pre-Schools are governed in a different way to primary schools, and hopefully I can map out some of the issues that others might experience in working with this forgotten corner of the education world.
For the past year and a half, I've served our local community pre-school as their IT Officer. It's been an interesting ride. What started as a simple reactive role - fixing the odd printer and wireless working glitch, validating software licence status, documenting passwords - is now at a point where I can turn my mind to longer term planning and strategy.
My professional life is about operational performance improvement. I work with clients to understand how they work and help them add sustainable value to their business by working to change business systems and process. So it's easy to see how I'm going to approach an IT management role for a pre-school. </end pitch>
Circumstances in 2009 had me workshopping with the teachers around what they would like to achieve in the classroom with the kids and constructing an estimate of what was needed to refresh the hardware. At the time, one of the machines (which has since died a natural) was over 10 year ...