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The biggest ed-tech ‘pain points’—and how to solve them | School Administration |

November 8, 2010

The biggest ed-tech ‘pain points’—and how to solve them | School Administration |

With becoming a 21st century school and solving business issues going hand in hand with technology recommendations.  Scott Farmer, IT director for Virginia Tech, says getting campus officials who know nothing about technology to understand his department’s needs was one of the key challenges keeping him up at night.


“If you really don’t have the buy-in of the people who control the purse strings, and they really don’t understand what’s going on, you’re going to get questions like, ‘Well, shoot, why do we need to upgrade this?’” Farmer said during a recent webinar.

Farmer isn’t alone. According to an analysis done by IT systems management software maker Kaseya, a lack of alignment between school business and IT departments leads to several missed ed-tech opportunities.

Communicating your ed-tech needs clearly to decision makers who don’t understand technology was No. 10 on a list of the top 10 challenges in IT management, compiled by Kaseya as a result of its analysis.

Farmer was speaking at an eSchool News webinar sponsored by Kaseya earlier this year to highlight the findings of its analysis. During the webinar, speakers discussed how the top 10 ed-tech pain points as identified by Kaseya apply to them—and how they’ve used a combination of technology and smart policy to solve these challenges.

Translating ed-tech problems into plain English will go a long way toward improving school IT staff’s communication with decision makers, Farmer said: “When you try and explain all the various things in the IT realm, you’ve got to be able to put it in layman’s terms. If you start talking shop, … you’ve lost them.”

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