The New Gig

Aug 23, 2006 by

Here I sit in my new computer lab, in a new school building, in a new school district, and so far I have to say…I’m impressed. Obviously having a room full of 30 brand new desktop computers installed with Open Office and few signs of Microsoft products helps, but more importantly the technology coordinator for the district has been very open to expanding the boundaries of educational technology in my building. Blogging, wikis, podcasting (if we can secure some microphones) are all good, and I’m especially looking forward to having a projector installed next week to make demonstrations much easier for the students.

I don’t mean to go on, but thus far this has been one of the most open, helpful, and ed tech-dedicated school communities that I’ve had the pleasure to work for. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had wonderful experiences in the past as far as tools available to me and an open mind about the use of technology in education, but this may very well be my first position in a school where both new technology and open-mindedness have been blended and balanced for an extremely productive environment. Sure, Blogger, Blogspot, and a few other social sites have been blocked, but there are many more educationally based blogging sites available, and will help focus students to work productively with fewer distraction. I’m also fairly certain that other educational pieces of software can be installed at my request, and I’m looking forward to having Google Earth, Sketch-Up, and a few other choice pieces of software up and running by the end of the year.

Not to give anyone the impression that I’m all smiles, but so far the answer to most of my questions about the use of new tools have been very positive. We’ll see what the year brings, and how hard the tech staff has to work in order to keep up with the typical beginning of the school year demands, but I’m hoping everything should run smoothly. More importantly, I’m looking forward to discovering and sharing many more resources this year as I’ll once again be expected to cover a wide range of benchmarks and subject areas here in the computer lab. Being able to feed off of lesson plans and ideas from the general classroom teachers should also prove to be fruitful, as well as all of the wonderful resources that the community here provides throughout the school year.

So here’s to the new school year, wherever you may be; Laugh often with your students, discover new worlds, and most importantly, play on the computer whenever you have the chance – you’ll never know when you’ll discover something fantastic!

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2 Comments

  1. Meredith205

    Wow, this sounds like such a heathy school environment. i am working on my degree right now, and i only hope when i become a teacher that i can be in a school enviroment such as this one. the way you described that not only is the up to date technology avalible, but it is also encouraged to be used. i am wondering if you found this to really help your lessons? could you acomplish more, and further the lessons? do you think that students were more involved because of the technology? and lastly do you think this new technology really helped you students learn better? i think it is helpful to explore this because then you can really see if you are using the technology the right way.

  2. Ben

    Thus far I’ve found the open environment to be very conducive to planning lessons. My teacher workstation is unlocked so I can install what I need, when I need it for demonstration purposes. I have yet to request an application to be installed on my machines, but I’m hoping that it can be done with a simple reimaging, which takes about 12 minutes for the whole lab (or so I’m told). I’m going to ask to have Google Earth put on the machines next week and we’ll see how that goes. As far as students getting involved. The technology helps, but if your lessons stink, the technology won’t do anything for you. I’m not sure if the new technology will help my students learn any better, but I know that it means we have faster and more reliable access to learning tools, which is always a plus 🙂

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