Well it’s finally here. Time to trade in my swim suits for my work suits. School time has hit all of us educators like a ton of bricks. However, I have been working pretty much all summer to prepare my staff for their upcoming arrival. This is my second year as an iTech or Instructional Technology Specialist and this year I am a little older and hopefully a little wiser. I am still learning my position but I now feel more comfortable with my role.
A lot of the newbies (new iTechs) have asked me “How do you do it”? I didn’t really have a straight answer but one thing was for sure, I made sure that I opened my mouth and asked questions. I made my position my own and tried to establish a standard for what I wanted on my campus. I told a lot of my newbies that what I did was show and model. Meaning I showed all my educators how to do and fix their technology while modeling at the same time. It was very important to me that I still had connections with the kids and that I wasn’t just the guy that fixed computers. I let everyone know that I go beyond fixing and that I help integrate learning with technology so I can prepare students for the real world. Honestly in the back of my mind I was hoping everyone would take it all in. I kept asking myself do they receive what I am telling them. One could only hope.
Within the first 2 weeks of teachers coming back and school starting I received my answer. My administration team wanted to become paperless because last year I modeled how not to use paper. Using a paper was a foreign concept to me last year and I modeled how you can share and not use paper when it came to documents. The result in the beginning…...teacher handbooks for our campus are now online. We are attempting to have shorter meetings by flipping the faculty meetings. Teachers are now looking at slide presentations at their leisure with exit tickets instead of watching the administration team view and read slides in a meeting. Questions about topics on campus are being asked not by email but on online forums. I have an assistant principal that wrote a story/poem about a character using technology (without me asking). QR codes are being used and my principal reminds us about important events using…..that’s right REMIND.
Is it all perfect….of course not, but that’s why I am here to make technology integration more comfortable for my staff and students to use. This year it is still about showing and modeling, but now I am leaving it up to the staff to integrate. It’s time to see my staff stop crawling and begin walking. I see a lot of teachers already thinking about other ways they can create assignments and run their class using technology and they are open to learn. To me that is half the battle. To all of my new iTechs I think that you are very lucky. There are avenues such as Google+ and Hangouts where it is easier to communicate with each other. The instant feedback is great and we are using email less.
Like I said it’s not all perfect and I still have a lot to learn, but it is great to see that I have the support of my team and that they are open to learning new things. In the end, that’s all I really want. I hope use this blog as a sound board as to what I am learning and doing in and outside of the classroom when it is concerning education. I can’t for you guys to follow me on this amazing journey.
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