At my school we have a student drive where we can put assignments that students can access. The problem is that students also can move and delete the files. A student figured that out this week and started deleting almost all of the files off from the student drive. My folder in particular was targeted. I had a backup file on my drive that I just copied over but this file started disappearing daily. A call was put into our IT department and they restored the files (every teacher except for one was deleted). They also changed the setting to make the files all read only. The IT guy said that our school had originally requested the setting that allowed students to edit files (I would like to know who the genius was that requested that :)
I took the opportunity to send an email to the guy who fixed it. He also has been very helpful in white listing lots of sites for me this year including Voicethread and student blogs in Vietnam. Not surprisingly he replied immediately saying thanks for the encouragement.
Many times I hear a lot of complaints, in particular, about sites being blocked by a teacher's district. I have taken time to go over to their offices and sit down and talk to the IT people in my district. In the past year our district has opened up many things especially for teachers. I think it is important to recognize these improvements.
In the end it comes down to relationships. Build some trust with your IT and let them hear why you want to use the "tool" for student learning. And take the time this week to thank them for all the hard work they do to keep the technology running in your district. They are often under-staffed and over-worked. Everybody likes to hear "Thanks, and good job" once in a while.
Who can you encourage this week with a heartfelt "good job and thanks!"