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The Level Conundrum

Well, my first year as a Technology Integration Specialist has nearly come to an end.  It has been a great year, and I have been fortunate to have joined a great team of people in the tech department.  When I took this job, but before arriving, I made a few predictions about the position.

I thought it might be fun to look at a couple and see how I did.  The last one I’ll be especially interested in hearing from others as to how they get around this particular conundrum.

Prediction One: I’ll be terrible in the elementary school and the kids will hate me. – Happily I was wrong on both counts.  The staff here has been so great about lesson planning and being specific to what they want that it has made it easy.  They are still willing to try new things, but their level of organization made the year easy.  As to the second part: I get to walk through the elementary playground on the way home and every day I have kids say hello, ask when the next lesson is and point me out to their parents.  It is fantastic!

Prediction Two: The “less tech savvy” teachers will be the death of me. – So wrong!  In fact, those folks that have a hard time with tech are often, if not always, the most thankful and eager to listen when you come to help them.

Prediction Three: I’ll hate working with Macs – True and False.  I find the Macbooks to be pretty good, user friendly and their main shortcoming is the lack of software platforms we have for productivity.  However, the iPads (we use them from EC to grade 8) while great up until grade 3 after that…well I’d never voluntarily use them.  After grade 3 they lose the functionality that teachers would like, the robust memory and processing power and ease of use as well as the lack of keyboarding skill acquisition.  This becomes painfully true as you move into Middle School.

Prediction Four (Integrationists weigh in here!): The teachers in High School will be hard to work with because they think they don’t need assistance. – SO true!  In fact, this has spread to the Middle School level, creating a bit of a conundrum for me.  Part of it is that our school has a very poor structure for an integrationist to find time to meet with teachers.  I also feel that they believe they either don’t have time, or know (or can figure out) all they need to know.  My plan for this group is to free up time (thanks to a new schedule) and get to department meetings and offer my services.

Any other thoughts out there?

While I am glad to be heading out for the holiday to see friends and family back home, I am also looking forward to next year.  This year has been great, I am much more familiar with how things work here and I can’t wait to see what I can do to help folks next year.

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