Hears my opinion on the issue of the DOE creating standards for Technology Resource Teachers and Technology Coordinators.
The first flaw that the DOE has in planning these two endorsements is the understanding on what a Technology Coord. is and a Director of Technology is and what they do.
I have been working at U32 going on my six year. The day I stepped into this building I knew I was taking on a huge project. With only 50 computers no LAN or WAN, limited Internet access, no technology plan and no technical expertise in the building I knew I had a lot to do in a short time, of which not much of an organized effort had happened before I got here.
Here is a list of my duties at U32 most of these having nothing to do with teaching and this list does not include my duties as District Director.
Phone systems programming/support
Voicemail programming / Support
Professional Development for teachers
Technology Plans and Planning
Student Information Systems Design/Development/Support
Basic workstation Trouble shooting
The list goes on and on.
I do understand the DOE thoughts to develop a system to allow teachers to be better trained to implement technology in the classroom. However thinking that teachers have the time or the skills to handle the technical aspects is nuts. I have 12 years experience in technology with a BS in computer science, MS certification for Networking and Servers, and I am working on my Masters in Computer Science. I have been working on the cutting edge of computers for a long time not only in education but also in businesses.
So where do I feel these standards have failed. I really believe the DOE as failed when they think that our jobs as Coord. Or Directors only deals with educational side of schools. Schools are now businesses and educational institutions. Needing both technical personal and teacher technology leaders. There is not a single teacher in my school who has the technical expertise to run the technical aspects of my job but they have been given the talent and patients to teach and that is what they should be doing.
At U32 we have created technology teacher leader positions to aid in the development of technology in the classroom and in the development of professional development for teachers. I strongly believe that we should be encouraging our teachers to professionally grow in this manner.
Let me put it this way that is straightforward. If you had a heart attack and needed a transplant would you have a surgeon handle the operation or a biology teacher .
We are not just paper pushers. In order to make sure everything is running well you must keep informed and be fixing/implementing/designing/installing things all the time.
I could talk on and on about this issue but since I started writing this email I have had my print server crash and 5 calls about computers that are malfunctioning. So maybe I shouldn't waste anymore of my time.
Director of Technology for U32 and WCSU
From: Vince Rossano
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: 9/24/02 9:51 PM
Subject: Re: WNESU receives $50,000; will hire "Tech Integration Educator"
Congratulations on this impressive award. And thereby hangs an
I'm particularly pleased that this grant will enable you to make a
clearer distinction between the operation and the pedagogy of
technology. The time has passed for most schools when those functions
can be effectively combined.
The talents required for supporting a network and those for educating
students are not necessarily found in the same person. Many Vermont
schools have been lucky in finding individuals, like many members of
this list, who are talented enough to do both, but, in a school system
of any size, how can one person divide his or her time between both
functions and be effective in each? I know many of my tech colleagues
enjoy working with students and I'm sure each of us draws the line at a
different point, but the line must be drawn.
I do have teaching credentials (or did until I let my license lapse),
but I have been steadfast in my refusal to be involved with educating
people about technology beyond occasional one-on-one instruction in
basic operating system and network-access functions. For the most part,
except for email, I don't support the end-user side of productivity
apps. I'll install them and deliver them, but I won't tell you how to
I've just come off a month of working 80-hour weeks getting new
equipment and software up and running and fixing the old stuff that got
broken by the new stuff. (Not to mention shooting myself in the foot
several times.) If past years are any prediction, my two assistants
and I will continue to work over 40-hour weeks just keeping things
running and putting out the fires that develop after "helpful" upgrades
and service packs. In my case, I'm also in charge of the district phone
system. And, furthermore, I spend a good deal of time reading at home
to attempt to keep up with all the changes in the information technology
universe. I just wouldn't have time to deal with pedagogy even if I
was any good at it.
As you can see from my signature below, I've changed my title from
"Technology Coordinator" to "Information Technology Director" Too many
folks see the "coordinator" role as educational and that's not my job.
I think that those of us who are primarily involved in technical
operation and support need to try to make the distinction clear for
school boards and administrators: we're not educators. (And hold the
Ed Dept. licensing thank you; it doesn't apply to me.)
Information Technology Director
Montpelier Public Schools
58 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
Voice: (802) 229-5355
Fax: (802) 223-6146
Email: [log in to unmask]