Beginning to Reflect

Beginning to Reflect

I work as a technology integration specialist, an instructional coach if you will. Every year my role is different. The focus keeps changing and it takes on different dimensions. At times I am evangelist, troubleshooter, tinker, researcher, dreamer, clerk, record keeper, obstacle and teacher. As the summer begins I look back on the past year and the work I have done within my district and with educators outside the district. I am beginning to reflect on the highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses, success and failures.

I provide formal workshop/course style PD, informal assistance and one on one consultation with instructional planning and support.  I believe the latter is the most productive and important part of my work. I have been thinking about the educators who make the most strides and whose classrooms are full of engaged, active learners. These educators all have two things in common: they are active learners and place the needs of their students first.  They create classroom environments and experiences that focus on learning. They do not overly dwell on standards and assessments they focus on the young people in their rooms.  If these educators do not have the skills or knowledge they need to support their students, they seek it out and learn what they need when they need it.

I recently read a couple of posts by Ryan Bretag that relate to my thoughts; I Choose Bounding and Education Values Landing. If I use these terms the teachers who seek learning, have success in adapting technology value bounding.  The question is how can I reach those who value landing?


3 thoughts on “Beginning to Reflect

  1. Beth, I enjoyed reading your article. You left us with a question, “How do you reach those teachers who value landing?” I would interpret your reference to landing, as the place that each of those teacher strive to carry their students on a daily bases. You mentioned that these educators may not have the skills or knowledge to support their students. Therein lays your answer. Create IT programs that are easily adaptable to the non-techy teacher. Share with them small segments of technology showing them how to integrate it on a daily bases. Share with them how to train the student to adapt to the new changes that will occur due to the integration of the technology. I visited my daughter’s 3rd class math classroom. In the front of the room stood what appeared to be a free standing white board. My daughter quickly corrected me to inform with that the board was really an interactive computer screen controlled by the student’s actions and a computer that was posed on her desk. These young students took turns going to board inputting information in learning groups. They corrected each other in its use and found math much more fasinating due to the use of technology. They called it a Smart Board. It was interactive, it assisted the teacher in instruction, it provided a visual for the students and yes it was integrating technology in the classroom in an adaptable way. The knowledge has to be shared with the teacher first, skills of integration on the part of the teacher and the student must also be addressed. Technology can be introduced at a pace adaptable to those teachers so that it is non-threatening. Keep in mind, to keep it simple. Beth, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Rosalyn,

    I would agree with your thoughts that small simple steps are important. Having done this for almost a decade there are two main obstacles (1) many teachers do not recognize they may need to make a change and (2) I am only the K12 tech specialist to support about 800 staff. The teachers who seek growth and learning in regards to technology I can connect with. They seek assistance and attend workshops or 1:1 support. If I am not able to meet with them then they look elsewhere to get what they need. They want to learn and will find a way to succeed. In talking with other Tech Integration Specialists in other districts we all face the challenge of trying to connect with those who do not see the need, do not want to, or are afraid of learning the technology literacy skills their students need to learn.


  3. My girlfriend has worked as a substitiute and is currently a few months away from being a teacher. She had often expressed that learningn out of the book is becoming quickly obsolete, because student just arent focused on paper bound boring anymore. so being a teacheer she had to oftne spice things up. hse looked up different methods had diffeernt modules that all had come from the net and technology in general, which she says helps a lot. so therefore i agreee that things maybe more beneficial to the student if the teacher was more tech savy.

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