I’ve been using my own computing hardware at school for quite a while now – it’s well secured (better than school issued ones) and also runs better AV/security software. I prefer to use my own kit because it is better quality and with a range of software which makes me more productive. I’ve spent 2 years learning how to use Office 2007 to the point where I flounder around on Office 2003 trying to more than the most basic of tasks. I even bought a net-book to use at work to save on desk space (from my own pocket!).
Last week our ICT technician/network manager came to see me – it turns out my hardware shouldn’t have been on the school network, which meant having to remove my net-book (and the spare desktop in my classroom). He apologised since he was the one who set it up, but he had never been made aware of the policy. In fact no-one at school apart from the ICT coordinator was aware of the policy.
Fortunately my net-book has a built in 3G broadband card so it is still fully functional (apart from having to use a local printer). I won’t be using my school issued laptop since it would reduce my productivity and therefore increase the time I spend working.
This brings me back to policies. A policy is only worth having if it is shared with staff, and all are familiar with its intentions and operation. A policy on a shelf that nobody knows about it not worth the paper it is written on. The number of schools that I’ve been to that have shelves full of unshared policies is staggering. This ethos needs to change.
In my case the little-known policy led to bad feeling and resentment, needless expenditure on my part and also makes the school look unprofessional. A classic example of how policies shouldn’t be used.