Our school system has a Technology Facilitator at each school in our county. We do the double job of helping with the technical updates and repairs of equipment and also facilitate good technology instruction. An Instructional Technologist is a specialist in using technology in instruction. Today I realized that this (tech fac) is like driving my car. I can drive it, but don't understand how it works--I flip a switch and my windshield wipers come on, twist a knob and my wipers will vary the speed. Works for me! My husband and a good car repair shop take care of the rest for me. I'm capable of the basic updates and repairs with the telephone help I receive. This is not my strength, but I can do it. Then there is the instructional end. That's where I can not only understand the instruction, purpose, and goals, but see the applications and new ways to use software and hardware to give students new experiences in learning, and in learning collaboratively. This is where I'm an eager learner, trying to figure it out and move on to extend or create new ways to help learners reach his/her potential.
I've often thought, "I have the best job in the state." I can work with students, staff, and the expert technical people in my county, along with other instructional technologists, technology facilitators, and eager learners to give our students the activities and possibilities in learning that they deserve. We reach out to our state, other states, and countries through our videoconferencing and utilize our wonderful state museums and institutions to give our students the BEST education possible. Then, recommend the simple, yet tried and true ways of experienced teaching -- having students write or reflect on their experiences. Offering to help teachers by blogging this student work, gives the students the opportunity to make the connections, use the new knowledge gained and have the time to connect this old and new learning together into new ideas. Then having the work posted and sharing this experience with families and community who comment on the web work of the students, offers the students yet another opportunity to rethink the information, reorder it, and feel accomplished and proud of the work. This is a building process. Building students who want to learn and be excited learners, and responsible for their own learning. I feel strongly that this is something our students need in 21st century learning.