There’s a general rule of thumb when thinking about teaching and learning when it comes to technology. The tools are never the focus and always come secondary to learning goals. I believe this to my core but I have to say that this is a difficult thought to maintain when student device access is close to zero…other than a BYOD. When you know how critical access to technology is…the absence of tools for learning can definitely cloud “rule of thumb” thinking.
In my new role as the Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning for Lufkin ISD, it is my responsibility to ensure that as we tackle this idea of being globally ready digital learners…that the current and future learning experiences of our students drive everything that we do. It’s also important to understand that modeling best practices through choice and personalization for professional development is critical. After-all, isn’t this the type of learning that we want for our students?
It’s not everyday that one is handed a blank canvas and asked to paint it. However it should be the norm that progression isn’t reliant on one person but a collaboration of many and I’m incredibly lucky that in my new department, this is the case.
I have to say that as much as I am involved within the social space of educational technology, being charged with making large scale decisions and suggestions that will impact an entire district is new territory. It’s also different in terms of perspective. It’s one thing to justify doing something because it is a district decision. It’s another thing to have to make that decision.
Luckily my connected life and experience reminds me daily that no decision is mine alone and that part of “buy-in” of new ideas is the involvement of those voices that will be impacted most.
That doesn’t mean that I’m not moving forward with supporting certain ideas that I know work but it does mean that how we move forward can and will lend itself to critical eyes and ears because it matters greatly to do so.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited for the challenge ahead and look forward to sharing our journey from the inside out.