Keystone Magazine - Page 71

Q: We understand that a lot of homework will require the use of a computer to complete. Some parents might not be familiar with using computers and the software that is provided. So they might have trouble providing their child assistance when they need help. How will the IT department ensure that parents are well informed of and understand the technology that is used? A: Sean: The last thing that I want to see happen is valuable time wasted on learning how to use software as opposed to learning to how to do the process that the software is supposed to help you do. Parents, teachers and students will have access, at all times, to a library of online training videos. And we will update the library whenever a piece of software or hardware is incorporated into the education. Teachers will be available as well, to a certain extent, within their respective classrooms. I also do not expect to sit in my office a lot once the school is up and running. I want to be in classrooms. I want to work with teachers. I want kids and adults to know me as someone they are comfortable coming to with questions. I see myself as a teacher who started out as an IT guy, but I am now a TI guy, as Ai Dong alluded to earlier. Dong Ai: I agree with Sean. Traditionally, the school’s IT Department functions to create a robust infrastructure that is able to meet the demands of IT. However, both of us want to do something unique and creative. In addition to the traditional IT functions, we would like to spend more time in the classrooms and focus on improving the level of interactivity of the technologies that the students and teachers are provided. I am confident that this will be one of the strengths of our TI department. I would also like to add that we should not underestimate the learning abilities of our students and their parents. From my experience, I know parents, and especially students, learn the technologies much quicker than I expected. Q: A: Your expertise is in IT. So why have you chosen to work in schools for so long? Dong Ai: When I first started working in a school, I was engaged in the job because I liked working with networks and computers. My attitude at the time was just to make sure that I was doing everything well and covering my bases. But after several years of working at a school, I came to realize that education had a strong need for technology, and so I naturally became more interested in education as well. And this interest peaked after I had my own child because I started to see the true value in an education. Now, I often approach IT problems from an educational perspective. For example, in choosing which product or technology we will purchase we must look at how the respective product’s applications best suit the educational purpose or learning outcome objectives. I very much enjoy thinking about IT products in this way. I am not