I’m a ‘technology specialist’ in a school district, and I think the job title conjures a lot of different emotions within educators. Some teachers hear technology and feel anxiety. Others feel indifference. Some teachers are excited about the burgeoning web based tools available and want to share the latest, greatest software programs they’ve discovered.
My role has different titles depending on the school district. Sometimes it’s ‘Teacher on Special Assignment’ (TOSA). Other times it’s ‘technology coach’, ‘instructional coach’, or even ‘Chief Technology Officer’ (CTO). Whatever the name, the main purpose should be the same:
The point of a technology specialist within a school district is to diminish while teachers’ technological expertise increases.
My position isn’t temporary, but I think it won’t be necessary forever. The same goes for all the other tech specialists out there. There are a couple reasons for this:
- As teachers learn, they don’t need as many official or ‘district-sponsored’ professional development sessions because they’ll all learn how to learn about technology on their own.
- Web based programs are making it easier to create teacher accounts and populate classes with students. Eventually, it’ll be possible for most software platforms to be populated by teachers and students (ex: Kahoot, Edmodo, Socrative, Google Classroom, Front Row, etc.).
It’s possible that at some point, all teachers in my school district will be able to manage their own students’ accounts, use the programs effectively by blending their instruction, and answer each others’ questions. Heck, maybe they’ll even put on professional development sessions for each other during prep periods, PLC sessions, or after school. Meanwhile, I can transition back into the classroom, knowing that I used my time as a technology specialist effectively so the ultimate result occurred: All teachers have become technology specialists.