Instructional Technician or Instructional Media Specialist?

It’s all come full circle now. I’ve tried for the last five (maybe six – I’ve lost count) years to establish and grow a meaningful, technology blog for teaching and learning. I’ve struggled with finding my voice. I’ve struggled with finding a platform. I’ve struggled with finding a name, a theme, a true purpose. Here’s one reason why . . .

I knew that I wanted a way to share my ideas and those of others; give advice and recommendations about educational technology tools; explore diverse, effective, game-changing lessons and activities; demonstrate sound pedagogical practices;  and well, create and share.

Ms. Fix Integrate It

Excuses aside, it’s difficult to write about all of those things when so much of my time is spent on the technical side of instructional technology. I get it. If a teacher’s email isn’t updating and syncing properly, he’s less likely to hear what I have to say about using Google Apps for Education. When the display driver fails on a laptop, another becomes less interested in the many benefits of students blogging in the classroom. Or when the online grade book appears to be crashing the weekend before term grades are due (like it is now), reminders about “required” technology PD due dates fall on deaf ears. I get it.

The other IMS on my campus and I spent the past week distributing new laptops, docking stations, and accessories to 92 staff members. Most were very eager to get their new “toys” as the previous ones had long begun to fail them. So, instead of waiting on the Technology Dept. to facilitate the roll out (December 15 was our scheduled date) as it had for the District’s other 31 campuses, we took the challenge and managed it ourselves. Quite the task. No, we didn’t have to, but getting up-to-date hardware in teachers’ hands as quickly as possible just seemed like the right thing to do. Hence, very little Twitter, little Feedly, little    anything until the job was done. It’s a vicious cycle!

No more excuses. Everyone’s TIME is capitalized on other “duties as needed” some way or another, but rarely do I hear about Instructional Technologists, Media Specialists, Technology Integration Specialists, etc. spending so much of their time being Technicians. Or am I wrong and just can’t keep up with the madness? I’ll deal with being Ms. Fix It and Ms. Integrate It – simultaneously. Onward! Ideas?