Monday, May 29, 2006

Background and interest in IT Leadership

Out of high school I earned a Theatre Arts Diploma from Grant MacEwan and then an Arts Degree from Concordia. I graduated with an after-degree in Elementary Education in May 2003. At the end of my after degree I developed a Virtual Classroom Tour for the Microsoft Innovative Teachers program. I’ve been a 2Learn teacher and an Edmontonians magazine “Sizzling Twenty under 30” winner for my use in technology in the classroom. In my spare time my wife of two years and I enjoy gardening, baking, and make our own soap.

Ever since elementary school I have enjoyed using computers now that I am back teaching in elementary it is no different. As an IT leader in a small school I find that my biggest struggles is in directing staff and administration in making the best choices in the purchase of hardware and software. Often the excitement that they bring with new gadgets has more focus on what the gadget does and not on how it will aid or improve learning of students. I have to try to encourage the teachers to look for strong curriculum ties while holding onto the excitement they bring about gadgets.

I am continually trying to get the staff excited about software uses in education. My staff often feels over worked in the area of professional development. My principal is not the strongest supporter of technology. As long as the computers are working in the lab and everyone can get their emails she’s happy. In this kind of environment I feel that I am often struggling alone in the dark to acquire hardware or update and have software installed. The environment is not the best for me to shine in but I am convinced it is an environment where I can make a big difference to student learning in my classroom and in the rest of the school.

I have reached out to students I don’t teach in the school by holding a computer club during their lunch hour recess. By having two sessions during the week I am able to focus on smaller spectrums of ability. Covering different skills and subjects in upper and lower elementary allows me to reach more students more deeply.

I’m not moving mountains but as long as I am reaching out to students and making some turbulence towards curriculum based technology use I am proud of my leadership,

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