As part of the reorganization of the district for next year, the building-based middle school technology facilitators are going to become district-based technology integration specialists. It will be a similar role to what was going on in one building, but in the new design, the integrators will be able to help teachers across the district. If I had not moved into my new job as an Instructional Specialist, I would have been one of these technology integrators. On the job posting are “typical work activities,” which I have listed below. In between are my comments on what I think each means.
Technology Integrator Typical Work Activities
1. Assumes leadership responsibilities in district- and building-based efforts to design and implement consistent technology integration strategies to increase the probability of improved student achievement.
- I think the key to this is consistency across the district and within buildings. It is very hard to link technology use to improved student achievement, but consistent, targeted efforts to use technology really should help.
2. Meets with Instructional Specialists and building administrators to determine curricular focus, need, and implementation of pertinent technology integration strategies.
- This is one of the strongest benefits of the new job structure. The ability to plan with district and building administration will be key to rolling out technology. As an Instructional Specialist, I am already planning ways in which I would like to use the Integrators, and get my colleagues to capitalize on them as well. 🙂
3. Assumes leadership responsibilities in organizing, assessing, designing and implementing appropriate training activities to assist faculty in infusing technology to support the curriculum.
- This is the “meat” of the job. Setting up and delivering training to staff is the main and most important job. There will be less direct contact with students, but much more during-the-day and after-school training.
4. Understands and supports technology components of the emerging NYS Reform Agenda.
- The New York State Teaching Standards, approved in January of this year by the Board of Regents, clearly spells how how technology is an integral part of instruction. I highlighted these performance indicators in a recent post (found here). Whether you love it or hate it, the daily professional life of teachers is going to change significantly due to the Race To The Top initiative that New York is a part of.
5. Assists in the development, implementation, and monitoring of the District Technology Plan.
- Like all districts, we have a three year technology plan that drives the overall direction for technology. It only makes sense that the Integrators are a player in it.
6. Stays on top of current trends and research in technology integration, and assists faculty in becoming familiar with new and emerging technologies to solve problems and improve job performance.
- This is actually one of the most fun things to do – keep up with the geeky stuff and show it off! At the same time, it is important to not get caught up in the latest thing just because it is “cool.”
7. Participates in district, BOCES, or other appropriate training to build knowledge and skills.
- Going along with number 6, this is important in order to be able to keep up.
8. Maintains a staff relationship and meets regularly with building Technology Facilitators to discuss hardware, software, and training support for technology integration strategies.
- Since the Technology Integrators are now totally separate from the Technology Facilitators, this is an important connection to the buildings. Each Integrator will be responsible for working with three or four buildings. I think the Technology Integrators should make it a point to be at building Technology Committee meetings each month at their buildings to maintain the lines of communication.
9. Attends District Technology Committee meetings.
- This is an easy one, and very informative. The District Technology Committee oversees the District Technology Plan, so this is an obvious connection (see number 5).
10. Coordinates with the Instructional Specialist for Professional Development, the Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services, and the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction to assist in planning for district-wide professional development activities which support technology integration.
- Once again, this is key to rolling out technology integration. Similar to what has gone on recently in the district, including last October’s Staff Development Day for Technology, the Technology Integrators will be very involved in district initiatives.
11. Works collaboratively to assess and report student technology literacy.
- One of the challenges the middle school technology facilitators have faced each year is how to assess and report 8th grade technology literacy, as it is a required reporting item for New York State. On one hand, it is easy to report “skills,” but on the other hand it is difficult to measure “literacy.” This will always continue to be an interesting discussion.
12. Collaborates with the Assistive Technology Team, as needed, to support students with learning needs, to implement recommended tools/devices, and assist faculty to apply universal design principles when selecting technology integration strategies for lessons.
- We have a model Assistive Technology Team in the district who do an amazing job. In this new role, the ability to work with them more is a very exciting proposition.
The job description is quite detailed, and as far as I can determine, right on. Technology integration revolves around keeping up with what is going on, providing training, monitoring progress, and always staying focused on improving learning for students and staff. This is an exciting position and I am very excited for the people who are going to have these positions!