30 Minutes @ Work in 90 Seconds

Jul 16, 2011 by

I’m a teacher, an educator, an educational technology coordinator, an instructional technologist……I work for a school. That’s usually how I introduce what it is I do to people these days, as my true job is actually quite difficult to explain. Not just from the standpoint of everything I’m involved with, but more importantly, there’s a large portion of the non-educational world that simply doesn’t understand that school staff consists of more than just teachers, principals, lunch ladies, bus drivers, and janitors. Quite common in many schools (budget permitting) you’ll find reading specialists, interventionists, instructional technologists, and a whole host of other instructional coaches and subject specific specialists that support teachers in ways that make education much more meaningful, efficient, and effective. So as I attempt to explain what my role is, I usually explain about how I help coordinate video conferences, work on special technology projects for the district, lead professional development sessions on using technology, and help facilitate a monthly technology leadership meeting. That is, when school is in session.

During the summer? Well, that’s a different story, so I captured 30 minutes of what I do on a typical summer day of work when the teachers and students are on break.

I know what it looks like, and while I don’t spend my entire summer e-mailing, blogging, ordering teacher books on Amazon, and tweeting with colleagues, a large portion of my time in the sumer is spent on lots of communication. Communicating with principals about upcoming professional development for the fall, making sure the ISD has all the paperwork in order for teachers to earn credit when they take said professional development, coordinating a 2 day tech conference for our district, and a host of other forms of communication take place during the summer so that the school year can run much more smoothly. Which in a way is both exciting and deflating; I get to help plan, coordinate, and communicate about fascinating opportunities and events, but I don’t get to prep a classroom, or plan how I’m going to make the upcoming school year the best ever for my students….because I don’t have students anymore. Which, in a way, is alright; I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now, helping teachers create video story problems, or participate in monstrous video conferences.

So in a way, it was nice to reflect on what I do on a typical summer’s day at work for 30 minutes, especially sped up to 2000% it’s original speed. For those curious, that’s as high as iMovie can increase a video clip’s speed. I found some music from the most excellent ocremix.org website, added a quick title, and viola! I now have a brand new video assignment for ds106!

Whether or not you’re a part of ds106, I think the “Speed Up Your Work Day” assignment would be an awesome way for a teacher to break out of the mold of the mundane “what I did over summer break” assignment, or maybe as a way for students to share a bit of their life outside of the classroom in a way that forces them to concentrate on a particular aspect of their life, without necessarily having to find something exceptionally compelling, because when you speed video up so that 30 minutes goes by in 90 seconds, almost anything seems pretty interesting, even typing on the computer!

12 Comments

  1. S.Brazzell

    I like your vimeo clip!

  2. It looks a lot like what you do at home too.

  3. I wish I could get the internet to resolve web pages that fast everyday.

  4. That was perfect! Also, glad to see I’m not the only fan of ocremix around here.

    • I’m currently rekindling my love for video game remixes. I used to listen to ormgas.com, which was a radio stream for OC Remixes, built around an awesome community. The stream still exists apparently, but the community doesn’t, which is really why I listened.

      Still glad the site is around as many others have gone away, including the once great vgmix.com.

  5. In addition to good use of OCRemix, I’d like to say that I wish I could type that fast XD

    Excellent work. Looks like you send out a lot of emails during the day.

    • I could easily spend 3 to 4 hours on email alone each day if I was putting my heart into it. Unfortunately, in the education world, as I’m sure in the business world as well, not a lot of people have time to read many messages that are longer than a paragraph, so I usually have to be concise in my communications.

  6. Cool vid, lots of email. I laughed when I spotted my avatar in your twitter feed! What is it about your job that makes it difficult to tell others what you do?

    • It’s not that I have a difficult time telling people what I do, it’s that a lot of people have a hard time understanding what it is I do.

      For instance, when I talk with a lot of people outside of the education world, they have the notion that I’m like one of those super boring corporate technology trainers (you may have run across a few of those). They think I just show people how the technology works, and then leave it at that. While that’s certainly a lot of what I do, it most definitely is the least challenging of my duties.

      When I talk with other teachers in my district (the ones I haven’t spent much time working with yet) some are astonished that I was a teacher for 7 years. Even then, when I tell them 6 of them were as a technology teacher, some immediately nod and say “oh, so you didn’t really teach in the classroom, you were in a lab”. Which of course is the farthest from the truth, unless of course you count band instructors, choir directors, art teachers, and every other non-core subject matter teacher as “not teaching in the classroom”.

      It’s really difficult to paint a complete picture of what it is I do so people I talk with have a true understanding of my role. When someone says “I teacher 3rd grade”, or “I teach high school algebra” almost anyone can immediately conjure up an image in their heads that would most likely be very comparable to what others might think of as well. When I say “I help teachers understand technology, lead professional development, coordinate learning opportunities, and do lots of other “awesome” stuff on the side” it’s really hard for people to have a common idea of what that means 🙂

      • I totally get that. I teach in a quasi-industrial classroom and while I don’t have a lot of the same burdens of other classroom teachers, that doesn’t mean I don’t work in a “real classroom.”

  7. Kathleen

    Super cool, Ben!

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