Confessions of a Math Educator Tech Specialist

For 9 years, I directly taught or worked with teachers in math classrooms. Math education is my area of expertise and will always be my core focus. I still believe that a core content specialist, who is focused on student learning, should also be a technology specialist because truthfully our worlds are kind of married. Yet, I’ve experienced a few moments where my “tech” self is met with looks of pure disproval while my “content” self is welcome into conversations. I find that odd.

I have struggled this year with wearing the “tech only” hat especially when working with math teachers. It is almost impossible to not chime in with instructional strategies or methods that I know impact student learning in math. I feel like the kid with the answer to the teacher’s question squirming in the desk because I can’t answer it! I want so bad to help teachers with instructional planning beyond the scope of “just technology” because truthfully nothing makes me happier than helping to find possible moments of impact with math.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love my “tech self” but I love my “student centered learning” self more because in reality, as I stated earlier, those two parts of myself are truly one in the same especially when it comes to math.

I’m really writing this post to say that we’ve really got to stop boxing the “edtechs” into a “tech only” corner and consider that we are also core content teachers who have passions beyond the scope of shiny tools. I don’t split those parts of myself. As a matter of fact, I’m a stronger technology specialist because I understand how it is merely an enhancer of what kids do…a gateway.

The dominant part of what guides how I help teachers is student learning and truthfully, that does not always include technology if we do it right. If we really do it right, the technology isn’t even determined by the teacher but by the student which is how it should be.

It’s funny how this sounds different coming from my “math self” versus my “tech self” when in reality it’s always coming directly from my heart…the culmination of both math and tech combined when applicable.



Comments 2

  1. Rafranz, I love this post! You are right, edtech should never be divorced from content. And because you have a strong background in math, I don’t think you should hold back when you see an opportunity to share that. Problem solving with technology crosses so many areas – pedagogy, classroom management, project planning, etc.

    As much as I love my role as an edtech specialist, I am starting to wonder if what education needs instead is content specialists who are strong with edtech. Your thoughts in this post speak to that very question!

    1. Post

      Thank you Sandy. I hope that one day we can get to this point within these roles. I think that we can definitely help teachers a great deal more in coming from a relatable instructional background.

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