Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Creating 'Community' for ICT Support Staff

I had a thought provoking conversation with Rob Barugh on Friday.

Rob was talking about how he values the sense of 'Community' within the scope of some ICT Conferences and how a shared sense of purpose is important.

That triggered some serious self contemplation on the value I have for community and how it fits into the overall self value of anyone in a specialised field.  I've spent a lot of time contemplating why my sense of 'Community' within the school faded over the twelve years I worked there but grew with other ICT Professionals over the years.

I think it's the feeling of shared challenge and achievement we feel when we gather as a community.

Within the school, the acknowledgement of achievement by the ICT team was very limited.  There was in fact, normally, no acknowledgement for what we were achieving with very limited resources and wasn't valued or in any way worth taking about.  The classroom challenges for teachers were shared in the staff room and acknowledged at staff meetings and in public forums at every opportunity. 

Within ICT community gatherings (normally at conferences or PD opportunities) we all got an opportunity to acknowledge each other's efforts and converse about them.  This served to increase our sense of worth and community.

It's been spoken about for many years; there needs to be more opportunity for the growth of community of ICT staff in schools.  There are State based collaborative areas and some of these are quite strong with the AISNSW group as a great example of how this can be achieved.  Unfortunately we still don't have a national group supporting this community. 

Fortunately I am now in a position to expend some effort on building the platform for that community.  I wonder what it should look like and how it can be curated to be of value as well as capture the strengths of community.  Any suggestions and comment would be gratefully accepted but I will make something interesting happen.