I enter into EC&I 830 having taken EC&I 831 with Alec and Katia in the Fall of 2013 (you can read all about my adventures in that class here). I can’t believe how much has changed for me personally and professionally in these past two and a half years! At the time that I was taking the Social Media and Open Education course, I was in my fifth year as Technology Coach for Regina Catholic Schools. In this role I had the privilege and pleasure of working with teachers and students across the school division to support the integration of technology in the curriculum. I had the opportunity to attend numerous Educational Technology conferences, such as FETC in Orlando, and IT Summit in Saskatoon, where I listened to esteemed keynote speakers describe the benefits of technology in education and ways to successfully implement the use of technology in the classroom. I was asked to develop various webpages, support documents, and digital citizenship resources to assist teachers as they explored ways to infuse the use of technology into their teaching practice. I frequently provided professional development presentations to teachers looking to try different tech tools with their class. I was asked to test-drive technology hardware and software, and to provide training and support in the use of these tools, and in the pedagogy surrounding the use of technology in learning. Most enjoyably, I had the opportunity to work with hundreds of students from K-12 as they explored ways technology could enhance their education. For five fantastic years my entire professional live revolved around contemporary issues in Educational Technology. But, all good things must come to an end…
A few courses into my Masters of Education Administration degree I felt it was time to apply for an administration position, and in September of 2014 I began with my first appointment as Vice Principal of St. Gabriel School. What a change. Previous to my 5 year stint as Technology Coach I had been a Middle Years homeroom teacher for 12 years. As VP, I found myself teaching a wide range of grade levels, and all in the area of Physical Education. I looked for ways to incorporate technology into my PE teaching, but found it to be a bit of a struggle. The demands of the administrative role left little extra room for creating the technology infused lessons I had become accustomed to developing. At times I felt hindered by some of the “realities” associated with teaching: Wi-Fi connection issues; broken hardware; double-booked devices; acceptable use policies; absent students; and differentiated learning. I found myself quickly feeling like a bit of an outsider in the world of educational technology.
Gradually, I began to recognize that I am now wearing a different hat. As an administrator, I find my focus has shifted to supporting the teachers within my school as they look for ways to incorporate technology, while respecting the needs and concerns of students and parents. However, having been out of the Technology Coach role for nearly two years, I feel I lack some of the most current knowledge in this area. I am looking forward to EC&I 830, and am hoping to consider the contemporary issues in educational technology from the perspective of my administrative role, and I look forward to learning from the many different roles and experiences I know will be shared by fellow classmates.
My hats continue to change in other aspects of my life as well. This year my wife, who is also a teacher, took on a new teaching assignment at a new school. Having spent the previous five years teaching Pre-Kindergarten and EAL, she felt it was time to shift gears. She is enjoying the challenge of teaching a Grade 1-2 split this year. I also will be moving to St. Bernadette School as Vice Principal this September, and will need to once again establish relationships with students, parents, and staff. And our children will experience change too, as our daughter makes the transition from elementary school to high school this Fall, leaving her brother behind as the oldest and only member of our family at his school.
It is my hope that during this course I can reflect on the various hats I have worn (past and present), and try to consider the issues regarding educational technology from a variety of perspectives. I never know what hat I may be required to wear next!