Technology Facilitator: My New Role

A few days ago, Kim Cofino was wondering about the variations in job titles amongst people doing similar work at different schools.

What is it about technology in education that makes it so difficult to define roles that everyone can agree on and understand? Even though we’ve had technology in schools for decades, it still seems like we’re making it up as we go along.

I missed her original Tweet calling for the different titles or else I would have added my very own brand new title to the mix: MSHS Technology Facilitator.

We’ve been back at school for the better part of a week now and I still am trying to come to grips with what this fancy new title means. Here’s what’s been bouncing around in my head to date:

What I am:

  • I’m there to support teachers, both in the classroom, with ideas on how where our current technologies fit into their curriculum and the best ways to integrate the two, and out, by providing training and support.
  • I’m there to support students by providing co-teaching and out-of-class support.
  • I’m there to support parents by offering workshops to help them understand what their children are doing in our 1:1 school.
  • I’m a filter between the teachers and the tech director.
  • I’m an observer, trying to monitor how teachers and students are progressing with their technology integration and finding ways to advance that integration based on what I see.

What I’m not:

  • I’m not Tech Support (no admin passwords, sorry!) though I’ll try my best to troubleshoot.
  • I’m not a classroom teacher any more.
  • I’m not THE expert.

So far, I’ve been running around putting out fires as teachers get back into the swing of using their Tablets. I’ve also been running some in-house PD on using Outlook effectively and efficiently as well as guiding the staff on what they will need to be showing our students on Day 1 (tomorrow!) when grades 8 – 10 receive their tablets for the very first time. I’ve also run an intro session for our batch of student helpers so that they can help me fight fires over the first few days.

I am absolutely thrilled to be the first person to occupy this position at my school. This position was created because our Admin saw the need for it as a direct result of Jeff Utecht‘s visit last November. I only hope I can fill the already-high expectations placed on this job.

I’m also a bit confused: after 10+ years of getting ready for students on Day 1, I’m not doing that this year. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet…

7 thoughts on “Technology Facilitator: My New Role

  • August 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    G’day Clint,

    Nice post mate.

    I’m surprised to see that you didn’t keep just one class – thought that might be an important element of your role; whether it be for trying out ‘new tricks’ with the kids or just keeping you honest!

    Was this your decision or Admin’s?

    Miss you guys……..

  • August 18, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Congratulations, Clint! Really happy for you. πŸ™‚

  • August 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    @Mike I think it is necessary in this role to have 100% release for support. That gives me total flexibility in order to work with any class or any teacher at any time. Otherwise, any teacher with a prep opposite my class would miss out for the year. I’m hoping, though, that I’ll get into classrooms often enough that I’ll actually be seeing more students, rather than less.

    @Paula Thanks! Maybe I can come consult for you guys over at the Beacon School! πŸ™‚

  • August 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Congrats on the new role. There are days when you’ll be running around and wondering “What did I accomplish today?” and other days where you’ll be doing research for this teacher or that teacher. The important thing is (in my opinion) is be with the kids, either just waking through the halls, in rooms seeing what’s happening and watching how they use the technology, or in co-teacher with a teacher. What I love is just watching kids out of the corner of my eye and seeing what they think of all of this.

    The first day of school is a hard one when you don’t have your own kids…but come grade time….you’ll be the one smiling. πŸ˜‰

  • August 21, 2009 at 10:54 am

    @Jeff Thanks for the words of advice. I’m currently in “Teacher Support” mode since a lot of them are teaching 1:1 classes for the first time. I’m hoping to switch to “Classroom Support” mode sooner rather than later!

    And I agree whole-heartedly about your grade reports comment. I just try not to say it out loud in mixed company! (Wait, did I just say that out loud? It’s okay… only about 6 people ever read my blog anyway…)

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