Tammy Brown, Instructional Technology Coordinator Jefferson City Public Schools, Jefferson City, Mo
* FIRST, CLASS
Back in 2001, I was teaching third grade when my principal asked if I would be interested in helping to write an eMINTS (Enhancing Missouri's Instructional Networked Teaching Strategies) grant. At that time if you were a third- or fourth-grade teacher you could have your classroom equipped and be trained in the technology. We got the grant anal I realized this really matched how I liked to teach--having information available to my kids and to me immediately.
I could see how technology leveled the playing field: Kids who didn't have any technology in their hands outside of school could leave my classroom with the same skills the more advantaged kids had. After that I would get asked to show other teachers things in meetings and do professional development. In 2006 1 was called about an opening for an instructional technology coordinator; I took the job and loved it.
* BETWEEN TECHS AND TEACHERS
I came to Jefferson City Public Schools in 2008 to serve as a liaison between the technology department anal teachers. A lot of technology hardware and software had been purchased that wasn't being used, from interactive whiteboards and document cameras to student computers. I knew that teachers would use it if they had the training and were given one-on-one support in the classroom. So I just started approaching it like The Starfish Story, helping one teacher at a time.
I knew from my work in other districts how much instruction can improve when the technology is being used correctly and teachers are given support. What's not understood in a lot of districts is that you have to have people in the technology department who know what the end user needs, which takes a desire to reach out and really open up communication; and then you have to have teachers who have the confidence to be risk-takers. …