Let me backtrack for just a moment. I've been teaching for over 20 years with the last 10 in gifted education, and the last 3 of those really learning to integrate technology across the curriculum. I went into that last position and was told that my 61 gifted 4th and 5th graders would each be writing and making their own films in a competition that will commence at a district-wide parent-attended award ceremony. What? I've never made a movie in my life! With what technology? Four PCs, two Flip cameras, an outdated version of Windows Movie Maker, and well, that's it. Needless to say that I got better each year, as did the films, but it was my first real venture using real technology with a designed purpose.
As curriculum writers for English Language Arts and Social Studies, my planning partner and I decided that we were tired of our students arriving in our classrooms saying, "Feed me. Fill me with your wonderful knowledge." Yet they couldn't find Google if they Googled it. Enough of that. We turned over the apple cart and changed the way we approached just about everything and didn't look back. I figured that if I, the non-techie, albeit risk-taker, teacher could integrate technology with virtually no technology, then surely anyone could.
Last May, as I'm helping my oldest look for and apply for the few coveted teaching jobs in the area, I saw the job post for a Digital Literacy Coach. My three years of risk-taking, strong curriculum and instructional skills, and staff development experience surely made me qualified, right? Somehow, I managed to convince the district administration that I was the best person for the job, and now I'm beginning.
In many ways, I feel like a first year teacher. This last week, as teachers have prepared their classrooms for their students, I have: lost my iPad, set up computers and microphone for New Student Orientation, learned to install printers on the PC and Mac, become more adept at Evernote (our new initiative for documenting student progress on the iPad), established an electronic way to sign up for our computer labs, sat in my first team meeting at which I only understood about 50% of all that was discussed over 3 hours, became more transparent in my professional connections (more on that later), developed a brochure to inform teachers how the school's Library Media Specialist and I work together, agreed to meet with two middle school teachers to help them Flip their classrooms, and found out I was teaching Kindergarten students every week. (That last one really has me reeling: They don't even know their letters. How will they log in?)
I hope to document the trials, tribulations, successes and stories throughout this first year. Now that I have over 500 students and over 50 staff members, I am hoping I won't miss having my own students, but I know I will. I just want to make a difference, like always.