Technology Integration Specialists: A Brief Overview

A Preface - From the eTech BETA Survey (Obstacles):

  • Availability of technology (most frequently stated by far!)...

  • Failure of equipment / set-up and problems with equipment...

  • Having the time to plan and implement new activities...

  • Students being more trained than the teacher / We need more learning opprotunities...

"Structure Determines Function"

A traditional approach to technology support is to have a monolithic "Tech Department", where all the network, infrastructure, database, and computer repair personnel are housed. In a school environment, this is highly problematic for the following reasons:

  • Principles of teaching and learning are the foundations for technology use.

  • Technical expertise does not include the pedagogical awareness of teaching

  • Teachers, to truly integrate technology, need to see how technology maps to instruction in relevent, intimate ways.

A structural shift has been established to facilitate both the support of the high-tech initiatives that require technical expertise, and the application of technology in teaching and learning:


Needs for Improvement: Supporting Teaching and Learning Through Technology

  • Technology innovation is happening at a break-neck pace (how do we support teachers in that environment?)

  • Teachers need formal, long-term, job-embedded time to develop their skills and personal vision

  • Integration Specialists ARE NOT to be dictators, we are an idea-oriented team

  • Awareness is the first step in any meaningful, transformative process (Integration Specialist = Tech-vangelist)

  • Un-dying, never-ending, unwaivering support is the very next step

  • Multiple exposures for multiple ways of learning (SPOILER ALERT: teachers are students in adult bodies!)

  • The foundations DO NOT change, the experience ultimately will (but it can't be an "additional thing to do")


The Road Ahead: Concepts and Words Becoming Actions

  • More automation and curricular integration within the gradebook product

  • Longitudinal data for all students, accessible from the teacher's / guidance counselor's / administator's desktop

  • Access to technology integration professional development:

    • Online courses through eTech Ohio (in-house instructors, for graduate credit)

    • Training modules on the TechForLearning site

    • Release-time for curriculum and technology planning

    • District waiver days

    • AM / PM technology sessions

  • Instant access to just-in-time technology support for teachers (Student Technology Liaison Program)