Recently, I was speaking with a technology integration specialist (TIS) whose position is new for her district. Her goal is to make it the norm for “teachers to be able to request TIS services for 1:1 coaching with any device or app or curriculum activity”. She is working to make both herself and the purpose of her position known, while generating ideas and trainings for teachers where technology-use lacks right now.
I gave her a few suggestions that I have seen work in my districts. It is such an exciting time to be a new TIS and introducing teachers to technology.
- Send out a weekly “Tech Tuesday” Email with tips for using existing software/programs. This is a “non-threatening” way to disseminate information. The teachers who want to avail themselves of this information will, and those who don’t will delete the email.
- Create a help desk. You don’t have to bother with a full blown piece of help desk software. You can create a Google form for teachers to request help, coaching, etc…
- Promote yourself. Give a presentation on your services at a faculty meeting or other gathering.
- Recognize a “Teacher Tech User” of the Week/Month. You can do a short write-up of a lesson that someone has done (with their permission, of course).
- Meet with Technicians/Tech Director, Principal/Assistant Principal and some teachers. Let them know you are interested in doing some promotion. They may have ideas that you haven’t thought of. They may have ideas of their own that they would like you to try.
- Make use of social media, if appropriate. If your district is pro social media, make a twitter account and send out tips and tricks for tech use.
- Make sure that your technology information is integrated into what teachers are doing in the classroom. For example, if your teachers are using Universal Design for Learning (UDL), you may want to provide them with some of the free technology tools on the CAST website: http://www.cast.org/our-work/learning-tools.html