Here at Gann Academy, I am thrilled to NOT be the lone voice in the forest for technology integration. While there are lots of challenges and ideas, we are moving forward thoughtfully, if slowly. In the past, I have been the lone champion and grant writer for integrating technology. Here at Gann Academy, many have been bitten by the technology bug, and we have a wonderful technology department to support us. One of our “issues” is getting everyone to come together so that we may move forward together.
It is a new experience for me to need to coordinate movement forward in technology integration with others, and I am excited to be a part of the team. The challenges are different, and the stakes are higher. No longer am I the crazy librarian getting a laptop lab and teaching the tenth grade social studies class how to use wikispaces while the rest of the school is only pencils and books. No longer am I teaching seniors how to change the font in the word processing program for their college essays, as they have not learned or needed this skill in that school before. No longer am I scheduling the one television and DVD player that work down to the minute so two different classes can show audiovisual materials.
My conversations now are on which device to present ebooks, which databases to add to our digital collection, and what the alternatives are to encoding AV materials so that they can be used from the teachers’ laptops and projection systems in each classroom. Still, despite being farther down the technology integration path, impasses remain, challenges present themselves, and collaboration and agreement can be momentarily elusive. There are still gaps – between those who are made nervous by the thought of technology integration and those who would conduct virtual classrooms, between those who would like to go iPad and those who would like to stay Windows, between those who would bring the school quickly forward in this process and those who proceed slowly, responsibly, carefully, creating pilpul about every decision so that it may be examined thoroughly.
Here I sit in the library, with all these decisions and issues swimming around me. I am happy to help when people ask, I am happy to adopt when we are ready, and I am happy to participate in all the discussions. It is very exciting. Coming to this conference to collaborate and see how others are doing their integration process is valuable and timely, and I am thrilled to be a part of it!