Below is an e-mail I am sending to my entire faculty to explain my new position as the Instructional Technology Specialist next fall. I have also included a link to the survey I am sending to gather information about technology use in the school. I am hoping to clarify any confusion with my role next year and to gauge the comfort levels of my colleagues. Please leave your feedback, comments, and suggestions about this post. Also, if you are currently an ITS or have worked as a Tech Coach, please share your experience.
NOTE: Please feel free to access the survey, but do not submit any responses. Thank you!
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Next year you will have an Instructional Technology Specialist in the building. Wait…we have a what-now? You heard it right. Next fall I will become – not physically transform – the Instructional Technology Specialist for the entire school. So, what does that look like? What can I do for you? What is my role at Boys’ Latin? Marcinek is a Specialist? These are all valid questions and I am writing this memo - sorry for lack of TPS cover page - to answer your queries about this position and explain what my position entails.
In short, Help me, Help you
I am not the technology czar. I am your technology integration friend, your resident nerd. It is my goal to help you integrate technology with the content you are already teaching and not force you to try anything you don't feel comfortable trying. I will develop a technology integration plan for each teacher and each department. We will work together to develop new ways to use technology to present rich content to our students. By no means am I asking you to change your way of teaching, simply rethink lessons and assessments.
For those that exclusively teach freshmen, this does not exclude you from the fun. In fact, I could still manage this position without any technology in the classroom. As I said before, it will be one of my goals to take rich content and put a new spin on the way you present and assess it. Also, we have access to two COWs (Computers On Wheels) that we can integrate into your classes for various projects and assignments. No smartboard? No problem.
Starting in August, I will meet with each department team and each individual teacher. We will work together to develop a technology (or 21st century skills and assessments) plan. Each plan will have three year long goals that focus on technology and 21st century skills and assessment integration. I will help maintain those year long goals and assist both inside and outside of your classroom.
If you have any questions about my new position or would like to brainstorm some ideas for next year please don't hesitate to ask. In the next few days I will be following up with a quick survey to gain a clearer understanding of your needs and wants for technology. I will also be sending out a regular EdTech newsletter that focuses on new educational platforms, websites, links, blogs, student work, etc. I will be revising my website to focus on my new position,this page will have a calendar in which you can sign up throughout the course of a week to schedule time for me to work on a project with you and your class or to schedule time outside of class to design a project or unit plan. I am here to support your teaching in any way possible.
Again, if you have any questions concerning my new position or how I can support your classroom, please ask. Let's start the conversation and see what we can build for next year.