I am so excited to be working with Dr. Lori Vinson! Dr. Vinson is the Instructional Technology Specialist for Spartanburg County School District One. She also teaches graduate educational technology classes at Converse College and USC-Upstate. We had our initial meeting this week, and have come up with some interesting opportunities for me to serve my district. The first that I am most excited about lacks a key focus - training adult learners. She and our district technology head want to pilot two new devices (we are due for a refresh of our Chromebooks). They have suggested that I lead the pilot at my school across one grade level. They have already been given the go-ahead to purchase the devices. My job, besides leading the distribution at my school, is to evaluate each device to offer a recommendation at the end of the pilot period for which device they should roll out to all grades (3-12). This will necessitate a lot of data collection from wear and repair statistics to productivity analyses and feedback from teachers and students. There is a second opportunity in our district as part of a tech team meant to provide additional content-specific professional development for our high school teachers. The team will be made up of three teachers from each of our district's two high schools and probably the district curriculum coach. Leading the team will be Dr. Vinson and ME! We will conduct needs assessments at each high school and will locate and/or provide technology resources to the team, train them how to use the resources, and then they will roll out to their schools (think train-the-trainer.) Thirdly, there is a school-level initiative that I can be a part of - Hapara Workspace. Our school piloted Hapara as a management tool for our teachers. They can monitor what their students are doing on their Chromebooks, lock down tabs, close tabs, etc. It was so successful, that the district purchased the program for all of our schools. Now, they want our teachers to start using Hapara's Workspace feature. My job, again, would be to conduct a needs analysis and to conduct PD sessions on this specific product. If successful, my training materials could be used next year in the other schools in our district. All of these are great opportunities for me - too great to turn down. Since I have the support of my district and my principal, I'm going to do all three of them this school year. In addition, as part of my new role as Dr. Vinson's "intern," I'm going to help recruit teachers and students to share technology tools on Dr. Vinson's weekly "Tech Tip Tuesday" video segments that are published our on district's YouTube channel and distributed by email to all faculty and staff. She has also asked for help in finding technology solutions for physical education, music, arts, and special education teachers. Realizing that their needs are different than our traditional content-area teachers, she is seeking to tailor tech PD specific to their needs. I am so excited about all of these opportunities. Now, on to choosing just one as the focus of my field study!
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Middle School Librarian and student enrolled in Coastal Carolina's Ed.S. program in Instructional Technology.