Thursday, February 22, 2007

Session 7: Standardization

Session 7: Ed Norman Syndrome

This week podcast is about the Ed Norman Syndrome.
The topic of standardization of computer usage and software at work was discussed. This is the problems that I encountered at Palm Springs High School and Mt. San Jacinto College where I work. The problems I come across were the student’s usage of computer unproductively.
I recalled that when I was at Palm Springs High School. First time I tried to logged on to AOL to check my personal e-mail, I found out real quick that the school’s computers were not allowed to run any program other than programs that the school district permitted. I must use the e-mail address issued by the school. I guessed this set up by Palm Springs School District was to block staffs from spending time on personal matters. Now I know that this practice is called Ed Norman Syndrome.
Since I was teaching automotive technology, my instructional area has two parts: classroom and the workshop. The 13 computers were positioned in the classroom. The performance tasks were outside in the workshop. I had problem with students’ use of computer with this set-up. Every time when I was out in the workshop with students, some of them went back (or sneaked back) to the classroom, and instead of doing the research with the computer; they played games. Not much I could do about this because the students were very good and fast at turning their games off when I entered the classroom. I brought this matter to the Principal’s attention, and a big glass window was installed along the wall for me to see the monitor screens from the workshop. That was the end of the playing games from students.
At Mt. San Jacinto College, I ran into the same problems as I had at Palm Springs High School. The computer lab is situated separately from the classroom and workshop area. The students went in there and by themselves, and most of them logged in the www.break.com instead of doing their school work. I notified my Department Head, and the technical staffs somehow block this website. No one can log on Break.com anymore, but now they (students) found some other sites to enjoy their illegal usage of the computer.
I can see that the standardizations usage of the hardware and software are necessary to prevent the manipulation of the tools and equipments. It is a natural nature of the employees, students or even myself to utilize the readily available means at work for personal purposes. The more I think about it, the more I understand that the employers are suffered in term of unproductive time at work and many other costly related causes.
In a way, the standardization will block someone with creativity thoughts or skills to go beyond the standardization boundary to come up with new applications or more productive methods or uses of software et cetera. We need this creativity to come up with new and dynamic use of equipments. Therefore, standardization has a positive and negative affect depending on the purpose of the user. The employers or the school district must make the decision on this matter.

Week of 2/19/2007 to 2/25/2007
Monday through Friday

Listened and took note on podcast

Draft and posted this week topic

Finalized project 1 and 3

Please check them at www.denguyen.com under ETEC 623 Portfolio

Or the link to my web site on the side

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3 comments:

Rosa said...

Hi De,

It is a fine line between personal and professional usage of technology. When it comes to students’ having access to a computer for a class is always a matter of concern. Supervision is a big part of a successful integration of technology in the classroom. The glass installed to view the students was a good idea.

Tyler said...

I also try to use my AOL, and now know why I am unable to. It sounds like you set up your classroom in a great way to keep your students in line.

Brian said...

Please keep in mind that "Ed Norman Syndrome" is a term I made up to describe an overly restrictive computing environment at a school.

This isn't to say that all limits are bad. Obviously some limits are needed as your experience shows!