Tech Integration Specialist: Lab-based or Circulation-based?

February 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Posted in Shift, Tech Integration | Leave a comment
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QuestionMarkIn a perfect world, the tech integration specialist is meeting with grade level teams and individual teachers frequently, co-planning and co-teaching in the classroom and/or lab, and providing ongoing planned and spontaneous professional development. This person is curriculum-based and collaborates, inspires and facilitates growth within a school. And eventually, that position is no longer needed. In a perfect world.

I have observed that there are two basic approaches to this position.  One approach is where the specialist co-plans and co-teaches with classroom and specialist teachers as well as provides related general support and professional development. In other words, an open schedule that is filled with planning, meeting and co-teaching with classroom teachers, as well as fulfilling other tech and curriculum related tasks.  Teachers are encouraged and nudged into thinking and approaching the curriculum in a more progressive manner.

Another approach is for the tech specialist to lead weekly tech lessons for all classes in the lab and also provide support in the form of professional development and planning with teachers. This means the Tech specialist has less time for meetings and PD with staff, but all students are engaging in relevant curricular activities using tech tools at least once a week.

I can see benefits and negatives in both approaches. Is there a best approach, given that schools differ and vary in their levels of development? What is your experience? What are the best and poorer aspects of your environment?

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