“Manning Technology”: an Exposé into the AHS Technicians

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Lisa Cochran, Co-Editor In Chief

Technology plays a pivotal role in our lives as children of the twenty-first century. Because our culture is often instantaneous and defined by easy and ready-to-use software, we disregard the possibility of malfunction within our technology. However, in a school where everyone has their own MacBook Air- knowing how to maintain technology is immensely important.

Ian Smith and David Lunaburg, the Ames Highschool Tech specialists, are the primary caretakers of the school’s computers and technology systems. As technologicians, their jobs tend to be quite tedious. Nonetheless, they claim they enjoy them very much. Their jobs entail keeping updated inventories, repairing tickets for broken computers, distributing computers, providing audiovisual tech support, organizing the school’s security systems and monitoring the computers of any students brought to their attention by teachers.

In addition to being media specialists, Lunaburg and Smith also monitor the school’s media center. This, they claim, is the most difficult component of their jobs. Administration requires numerous rules (for example, no eating in the media center) that the two media specialists do not like to enforce. “I hate being the bad guy when it comes to things like discipline or things like that.” Lunaburg said.

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As the sacred monitors of the media center, Smith and Lunaburg must also check library books in and out, a job aspect that has given them the nickname “the Manbrarians”. The two technologicians argue that this title is incorrect because they are not, in fact, librarians at all. To be a librarian, one must have a degree in Library Science- which the two do not have. Surprisingly, neither of the two have extensive backgrounds in technology either. Lunaburg had been an English teacher for 8 years and developed a fascination for the technological aspect of education. As he tired of teaching, he decided to pursue a career in technology. Smith also had little experience in the field of technology prior to working as a tech specialist. He had always been naturally good with computers and began to follow Lunaburg’s lead when he began his job at AHS. However, with six years of distinct computer problems the two have become even more skilled with solving technology problems than ever imagined. “Students come up with lots of creative problems that are fun to solve.” Smith commented.

While one might assume that being a tech specialist in a school where each student is provided with a personal computer might be strenuous and difficult, it is quite the contrary. In earlier times, teachers having to schedule computer labs proved to be hectic. Lunaburg and Smith also claim that this gives students and teachers far more freedom and it alleviates any class issues by “closing the gap between haves and have nots” according to Lunaburg.

As mentioned previously, the two generally enjoy their jobs. They described the satisfaction of working with computers and the joys of working with each other. The two even went to calling themselves each other’s best friends.