Sunday, October 2, 2011

Top 10 Signs Your School Is Caught in a Time Warp: List for School Leaders

Ian Jukes, Ted McCain, and Lee Crockett write in their book Understanding the Digital Generation, "Schools have not recognized the changes that have occurred in the world around them and have continued to teach as if it were 1980." In the spirit of David Letterman, here's my "Top 10 Signs Your Schools Caught in a Time Warp." A list for school administrators.

1.  Your school policies work harder to keep web content out rather than bring web content in the school.
2.  Your school technology policies force students to "power down" their personal devices when they enter the front doors.
3. Your textbook budget exceeds your technology budget.
4. Social media rules condemn it as the downfall of public education.
5. Your web site hasn't been changed in three years.
6.  Overhead projectors still sit prominently at the front of your classrooms.
7. The idea of an interactive board is a bulletin board with push pin figures attached.
8. There's a card catalog file sitting in your media center.
9. Your school still spends and budget's money for journals and magazines.
10. You spend a portion of your day dealing with confiscated cell phones.

What would you add to this list? Feel free to share and add.


  1. 11. You only publish a school newsletter on paper, quarterly.
    12. You read agenda points to teachers at faculty meetings and wait to the end to ask for discussion.

  2. Wow, great list. Looking forward to more from your blog. I teach technology in the college of education at Kansas State and this is a great resource. Thanks for being an innovative administrator I can use as an example!! You guys are few and far between!! and

  3. 13. Teachers are told to NOT bring their district-issued laptops to faculty meetings, teacher institute days, etc.

  4. Technology failure @ your school is a given. (ie internet access, email.) When a bulb in a projector/smartboard goes out, there is a weeks long battle over who will pay for the replacement..the building, or the curriculum budget. Meanwhile, the class with the burned-out lightbulb in their projector doesn't get to use theirs, or has to borrow one from the media center who is now unable to lend it to use for other things like school staff meetings etc.

    Any number of computers at any given time in a lab for student use don't have software like Java, quicktime, etc installed or updated so not every student in one class can sit together in one space and do the same thing at the same time.

    the list could go on and on and on.

  5. Your annual duplicating budget could purchase netbooks for every classroom!

  6. going paperless means sending e-mail and then printing it out.

  7. 14. You are told, "please switch off your cellphone" before a talk or meeting

  8. 15. When you try and create a back-channel at PD the presenter almost ends up in your lap while trying to use proximity to get you back on task.
    16. Your school has one technology teacher responsible for over 1000 pieces of IT infrastructure, but dozens of people who take care of half as many text books. Then they wonder why no one does the job for more than a year at a time.
    17. When you offer up a twitter ED discussion coming up online, half a dozen teachers over 50 freak out on you for wasting their time.
    18. Your board thinks that diversifying technology means a desktop OR a laptop.
    19. You can't get your students the Prezi educational package because your board blocks all their email from actually receiving any... email.

    Good times.

  9. Ordering sets of iPads in August and still yet distributing for use until the devices are inventoried.

  10. 20. Whe you've worked hard to set up a Skype session with your American class and a class from New Zealand and then are told that the school network couldn't handle it.

  11. 21. Your school has a technology class (teacher).

  12. You are still advertising for e-Learning Leaders

  13. You Are still "Integrating Technology."
    Much of your effort and expense is about raising test scores.
    Your District has a print newsletter instead of a Blog
    Teachers' ideas of "paperless" means "online worksheets."
    Kids are still "completing" more than "creating."
    Kids are writing for their teacher as the primary audience.