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!