As of August, 2013 I am no longer a classroom teacher. I do not have my own set of students, class periods, study halls, grades, parent/teacher conferences or many other things but I do have a whole new adventure in front of me. I am hoping to blog often about my journey as a Technology Integration Specialist.
First, let me state that I did not pick that title. I still don’t know what to tell others that I do since it was so easy before to say teacher or physics teacher. I am a sort of instructional coach that specializes in technology but I am not just someone who teaches teachers about tech tools. My focus is, and always will be, focused on student learning and how we can create the best learning environment we can. But all of that is too long to fit on a business card so we can just stick with Tech Integrationist for now.
The change in my career got started when I was at South Hamilton High School. We went 1:1, each student was assigned a laptop that they got to take home and use in class, in my third year there. I was a resource for other teachers since I was very comfortable with technology and loved to learn how I can use different tools to improve my teaching and the student learning. This led me to apply for the Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Technology program at Iowa State University. I am currently in my second year of the program. It also helped that when the tech director at South Hamilton went to Ames and I followed suite the next year, I was able to be that resource again. It just so happened that Ames was finally ready to push for a 1:1 of its own at the High School. I participated on the District Technology Committee and then the 1:1 Committee. I was very happy when the school board voted 7-0 in favor of the 1:1 learning initiative. Towards the end of the school year I found out that they were possibly going to add the position of a technology integrationist and I applied the second it was posted. I was hoping that my experience in a 1:1 previously, my background in using technology effectively in the classroom and my experience in Ames would help me get the position. I was offered the position and eagerly accepted.
Right after I accepted the position and sent notices to both of the principals I was worked with, I had taught at both the High School and the Middle School, there was a sense of uncertainty that overwhelmed me. This was something very different than what I was used to and I had no idea what the year would bring. But my teaching career has been marked with dealing with the unknown so I knew that I would take any challenge thrown at me and attack it just as I always had. My main goals are still the same, increase learning in the classroom. It is just that now I have the opportunity to affect so many other classrooms and so many other students. Let the fun begin.
(this post and others might seem a little late but I am transferring blog posts from one place to another)