Image by Terry Freedman via Flickr
You may have the opportunity to advise your senior management team on the appointment of technicians to support the educational technology provision in your school. Here are nine factors to consider.
- Decide on whether to recruit your own technicians or use agency or Local Authority (School District) staff. The decision will be based on considerations such as finances, and whether there would be enough work to justify the employment of a full-time technician.
- Decide on what sort of tasks you need the technician to do. If they require little technical expertise, such as changing printer cartridges, it may be better to hire or give additional training to a teaching assistant instead. Use Becta's technician job description tool to assist you.
- Decide on the level of expertise you're looking for. This is related to the previous point.
- Decide on the sort of person you need: a backroom person who will have little contact with staff, or a frontline person with whom staff will feel comfortable in approaching on a day-to-day basis.
- Decide on how many technicians you will need. Hiring too few may prove to be a false economy, especially if they leave and take their knowledge of the network with them.
- Ideally, there will be a budget to cover salaries. Bear in mind that for a network manager or technical team manager's post, you are competing in the "real world" market place.
- If the school cannot offer a commercial salary, you will need to sell the advantages of working in your school. For example, will the person be required to come into school every day during school vacations? In many respects, working in a school environment is more challenging than working in a small to medium-sized company. This is a potential selling point to anyone who wishes to acquire a wide range of experience in a short period of time.
- Advertise in the most appropriate place. For example, if people skills are more important to you than technical skills, it may be more cost-effective to send a letter out to parents than to advertise in a technical periodical.
- Make it a requirement that applicants be ITIL (The Information Technology Infrastructure Library) trained, or experienced in something similar (such as Becta's Framework for ICT Support, or FITS), or be willing to be trained.