Staff and Students Experience Frustration with Provided Technology

meredithfarrer

By Meredith Farrer

It is near the end of class, you head to the library to print out your final paper that needs to be turned in for your next class. You see one computer free, you squeeze by everyone else in the row and flop your backpack onto the ground. You grab the broken keyboard, type in your login information and wait. The computer beeps, the ‘can not find tree server’ window pops up. You look around you, others are also struggling to log onto their computers. Aggravation builds up within you; we know this feeling all too well.  The frustration of the computers’ inability to work consistently, the Internet not working, the randomly logging off or shutting down and losing all of your work.

Junior Allie Creamer finds the computer failing during her fourth block computer class difficult to work with.

“It is aggravating, [I am] falling behind because of the computers sluggishness,” said Creamer.

We are not alone; teachers know exactly how we feel when the computers fail to work. Computer teacher Atiba Ward related to these feelings,

“[I get] Frustrated, there are so many things we need to get through in the curriculum we are given and we can’t,” said Ward.

Teachers have to have a plan ‘B’ when creating lesson plans. “Plan B is usually a movie or book work,” said Ward.

Students and teachers a like get frustrated with the speed of the Internet, Scott Patrick from KPS technology services states that each individual computer has different issues with the Internet.

“What is slow for one computer may not be slow for another,” said Patrick. However, we all seem to experiencing the same problems.

Librarian Jack Sewell estimates that the library computers have, on average, malfunctions six times a week. That’s approximately 216 times a year with only 180 days in a school year. This is a problem.

“KPS has about 6 thousand computers. Six thousand is a small city to try to provide for,” said Patrick.

“The KRESA internet provider [also] provides to all the surrounding districts,” said Patrick. “… the technology for the Internet changes, web pages are no longer mostly words and text, they are now mostly animation and video.”

Not only are all the people in the surrounding area online, but all the computer labs have a class during this time, Barb Rocky, Sue Mills and Ward all have classes during fourth and fifth blocks, when the internet is slowest, while their plan periods are first and second block. Teachers who have plan during fourth and fifth block get fed up with the lack of speed of the Internet.

Now that teachers are on an Internet-based grading system, the school Internet speed should be a higher priority than it is. Starting February 24th we all noticed a change in the speed and the lack of access to our usual sites including email providers. This was quick to change though, through the week of the 24th, tech services began testing a new Internet server.  This server was only being borrowed by tech services; however, due to its success in the week of the trial run, tech services has the intention of buying the new server for next year.

The servers are not the only issue. Our generation is so focused on technology that we don’t know what to do when we do not have access to the technology we are used to. When the computer you use outside of school has a newer version of software than the computers at school one tends to run into problems. Naimbi Pringle has two main problems with the school computers

“The first is Pinnacle not working when count is due. The second problem is working from home and not being able to transfer work because the school computers are not compatible,” said Pringle.

Ward states that teachers are told to incorporate technology into their curriculum, this is not always possible because there are not enough computers available. There are 30 computers in the library and 60 computers in the C21 computer lab, that is only 90 computers in the building that teachers can bring their classes to. Some classrooms are computer labs, and some have access to laptops, but for the rest of them it’s a fight to use the computers. Teachers have to schedule way ahead of time when they want the computer lab. Teachers are not always able to incorporate technology into their curriculum because they do not have constant access to the technology they need.