By Dr. Ramiro Zuniga
In Part One, I discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using campus technologists to aid in the integration of technology into our classrooms. I also spoke of the use and misuse of this potentially powerful strategy. In this piece, I will discuss the skills and traits that I believe a campus technologist should possess.
- Positive/Cheerful/Energetic Attitude – This is undoubtedly, the most important trait a campus technologist can possess. Your campus technologist will undoubtedly face resistance and negative attitudes among colleagues. It will take the greatest of attitudes to minimize such negative energy.
- People Skills – A campus technologist will work continuously with campus administration, software and hardware vendors, and teachers which makes peoples skills as the most important skills to possess.
- Creativity – A campus technologists will need to think, “outside the box” when evaluating and implementing technology. This will also be needed when training teachers at different levels of proficiency in using technology.
- Research Skills – It is vital that the campus technologists know how to find reliable sources for technology studies, and updates.
- Technology Skills – These skills, perhaps surprisingly, are the least important. A campus technologist should be able to use technology, however don’t worry if your campus technologist is not an expert. A great attitude and a little training will go a long way. Do not worry if your campus technologist does not know how to install software or hardware. In time, your campus technologist will pick up some skills. Generally, leave these tasks to technicians. This allows your campus technologist to focus on integration.
So where do you find someone like this? Simple. Start by really observing the teachers at your campus. After all, someone from your campus will already have an idea of the proficiency levels. This is a real advantage.
Look to see who is displaying these traits. Talk to your teachers to see who really is excited about technology. Be objective and resist the urge to pick too quickly. Take your time. Don’t panic if you don’t find someone at your campus, you can always hire someone outside of your campus. Again, it’s their attitude that will make the difference.
And now for my unique idea on the use of campus technologists. Make this position a full time position, equivalent to a teacher in pay. In fact, it is preferable that you transition a teacher into this position. I know that there are already full time campus technologist being used in other school districts. The difference is the adherence to the above skills and traits. In addition, work with the campus technologist to develop timelines by which specific tasks can be accomplished. Be sure to provide the necessary support that will allow for your campus technologist to succeed. What is most significant about this role is not focusing on “improving student achievement.”
“Improving student achievement,” is such an overused phrase. It can not apply to the campus technologist. Let the classroom teacher worry about student achievement. The use of technology is a means to an end. Technology is a tool. A different way to look at this is that if all technology disappeared today, the classroom teacher would be responsible for increasing student achievement.
The only reason you need a campus technologist is to assist teachers in integrating technology into the classroom, primarily, because technology is all around us.VFM2QCWXXKKK