What Does it Mean to be a Technology Integration Facilitator?

What does it mean to be a Technology Integration Facilitator? Or an Integration Technology Coach… or… BTW what is your official job title?

My job as a TIF did not exist 3 years ago at my school. My job still does not exist in many schools across the USA and the world. There are still computer lab attendants and computer teachers that welcome students into the lab and supervise them as they practice their typing skills, do research for a paper that is due in one of their core classes and learn how to use word processing programs, spreadsheet applications and presentation software.

My job is still in its infant stage. It is growing and changing so rapidly that sometimes I wonder myself what my job description is. How can I describe what I do? What are the components that are essential for a technology integrator? (How) Will I survive infancy? How about the “Me, me, me” and “I can do it myself” stage of the toddler years. How will I make it through the awkward tweens and the rebellious teenage years?

Who and what I want to be when I grow up?

I spent the past two days at a non-technology conference with school administrators (principals, advancement, admission, IT directors, etc). Not all schools I talked to or heard about had even a dedicated Technology Integrator on staff as part of their technology team. I was even asked several times what exactly my position was?

How do I see my position today? Into what will it evolve by the end of the school year or next?

  1. Professional development
    1. Lead professional development for faculty, staff and administration
      1. Just in time
      2. 1-1
      3. Small group
      4. Monthly workshops
      5. Bring in and facilitate the presence of outside voices
      6. Create digital How-To guides and step by step tutorials
    2. Present and share at local, national and international conferences
  2. Life Long Learner
    1. Practice what you preach: You want your teachers and students to be learners, you have to be the model.
    2. Continue to take classes, attend workshops, conferences, meet with colleagues, skype with experts in the field
    3. Avid reader of educational blogs, wikis, listserves, twitter, podcasts, professional journals
    4. Stay abreast technology AND education trends and how they relate to student learning
  3. Plan and Co-Teach
    1. Plan regularly with classroom and resource teachers.
    2. Be informed and able to reference curriculum across grade level
    3. Support teachers by co-teaching with them, then let them fly
  4. Teach
    1. Teach at least one class (a tech club or after school activity) to keep it real
    2. Don’t loose touch with what it means to teach real kids and not to just theorize about how teaching and learning should look like
  5. Personal Learning Network
    1. Create, actively grow and nurture your own PLN- local as well as global
    2. BE a part of a personal learning network for others- (you get out of it what you put in it)
  6. Model 21st Century Skills
    1. Communicate and Connect with other educators (local and global) in order to Collaborate
    2. Take active steps to make connection for your teachers and their students around the world to open the classroom walls
    3. Write, reflect, and grow  on your own professional and school blog
    4. Share resources on your blog and/or wiki
    5. Create new opportunities for yourself, your colleagues and students
    6. Be flexible with curriculum or calendar related changes as well as guaranteed equipment failures
  7. Be part of school’s Technology team
    1. Participate in and make hardware and software purchase decisions
    2. Participate in and make budget decisions
    3. Attend Technology Committee meetings
    4. Present to school board
    5. Work closely with network administrator, media specialist and other team members