April 30, 2008

My IT staff is better than yours

The general consensus among educators using technology is that IT are the enemies. Obviously this is a generalization but when you listen to teachers, read weblogs, this is a clear message.

Not for me. I’ve touched on this before and am currently working with our IT manager on a presentation at Tlt in a few weeks that deals with how we work together.

Today I was trying to access the chat portion in ustream. I had mentioned it casually with our IT staff and they said since it uses port 666 which is generally used for IRC, it could be potentially a threat. Makes sense. That’s their job, to protect and insure our network is stable and safe. But I persist. Since we all use Gtalk, it’s a quick IM conversation and here it is:

me: how hard is it to open port 666? Is it like a click of a button or some weirdly involved coding? temporarily I mean
stinndler: i have to log into the firewall console
find the right access-list then add the exception to it
all so you can use IRC
me: It’s part of Ustream…lots of online presenters use it.
stinndler: how many is lots?
me: I could join one everyday
stinndler: ustream.tv?
me: yep
I’m watching this right now http://www.ustream.tv/channel/weblogg-ed-tv
It’s basically over but just curious to see if we can do it.
stinndler: so it allows you to ask questions of the presenter?
me: that and chat with participants
stinndler: checking my firewall logs it looks like it’s always going to the same server
i could potentially open up port 6667 to just that server
that would remove the risk
me: that would be cool
you rock….you knew that right?
stinndler is typing…

That’s all it took. Conversation, relationships and common sense. Unfortunately, there are not that many school districts that operate this way. We need more stories and examples of effective relationships. I’ll be sure to post our presentation and materials on May 15th.