Give this to your IT department: Five Ways IT can help teachers be more effective.

Let me start this post by stating that I am not a teacher. I am also not a geek in the traditional sense of the word. Now that I've discredited myself with both of the intended audiences of this post, let me explain why I might be qualified to give some advice in this area.

In my career I have worked to help organizations either start something big, or make big changes in how they do things. In the last 15 years, I have worked almost exclusively with educational institutions both as a consultant, and for the last 10 years leading their IT groups.
I have watched over the years as IT departments in partnership with vendors delivered educational technology “solutions” that were supposed to revolutionize the classroom and change the way learning happened. The long list of items included Learning Management Systems, Clickers, interactive whiteboards, laptops, tablets, document cameras, wireless networking, classroom management software, video conferencing, chat rooms, social media, etc., etc. etc. And while the promises (and budgets) were huge, the deliverables in terms of revolution were almost inconsequential.
What we did, was add complexity, frustration, and tremendous cost to the academic experience. While there were shining pockets of great technology implementation, as a whole we didn’t add any value or capacity to the teacher’s ability to do her or his job better.
Yet we in IT were undaunted, and were sure that we’d achieve results after the next silver bullet.
Does this sound familiar to you?