Tech Director Chat #017 – The State Comes Calling

Up until now, most of what my Tech Director (Pete) and I have discussed during our weekly chats pertains to our school district. We’ve been fortunate to have active enough listeners elsewhere on the web to receive a steady stream of more generic technology questions, but we usually address issues that affect our school district. This last week we were fortunate enough to have a visit from the Michigan Department of Education; they were seeking input on our state’s Technology Readiness Infrastructure Grant (TRiG), a program designed to help better prepare Michigan schools for the digital testing environments coming down the pike. Professional Development, access to survey tools, and a pot of “reimbursement money” for approved device purchases are all part of the program, and it was a good sign that representatives from it have been out seeking input about the program. There’s been some good about the program, and some areas that need improvement (what large program doesn’t have that), so I’m glad to know that someone is paying attention to even us “little guys” that are a part of it.

The rest of the podcast is a hodge podge of technical questions and we briefly touch upon the notion that Curriculum Directors may benefit from being the “go to” person when it comes to technology; not necessarily the tech support, but the driving force for integrated and purposeful blended learning in a school district. It was a fascinating topic that I’d love to come back to with a room full of educators….perhaps at MACUL or some other gathering. I find the more conversations I have on the “tech” side of education, the more I want to have them on the “educational” side as well. If I can continue to produce this show, which has become a rather easy process now that I’ve created an audio template for it, I may add on another one for next year that allows me to explore a lot of educational thoughts that I typically don’t share here on my blog. Here’s to hoping I can survive every project I have going to make it to next year!

Timestamps for this week’s questions:

1:13 What has Pete been up to today?

3:01 Someone from the state Department of Education came calling?

3:43 So what is TRiG, and why is it important to Michigan schools?

6:23 Do you see teachers getting more admin rights for technology, or control shifting to a centralized location?

8:08 People can wipe out their hard drives?

9:00 Matt wants to know, what can I do to my laptop to avoid the “spinning wheel” when switching between apps and websites?

9:35 Pete gives us an analogy, Ben thinks his is better.

13:56 When it comes to graphics cards, Nvidia or AMD?

15:21 Bob wants to know, do you see Curriculum Directors evolving into the “go to” technology people with Blended Learning becoming vital to the classroom?

18:23 Stump Pete!

19:15 Matt wants to know, what’s unique about the drummer from Def Leppard?

Tech Director Chat – The State Comes Calling