If we want to do better things for students, we have to become the guinea pigs and immerse ourselves in new learning opportunities to understand how to create the necessary changes. We rarely create something different until we experience something different.”
― George Couros, The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity
For the past four years I have been both a Teacher on Special Assignment (TSA) for Instructional Technology and now the Instructional Technology Coordinator. Much of my work involves collaborating with teachers and I feel incredibly fortunate that I have been welcomed into so many classrooms. The richness and depth of the quality of student work that teachers are creating constantly amazes me. Having taught for 14 years both in Oakland and Berkeley, I know how rarely we get the opportunity to share the creative work we are doing.
The purpose of this blog is for all BUSD staff, administrators, and families to get a glimpse into the varied ways teachers, librarians and library media techs are integrating technology into their classrooms in order to improve engagement and achievement and to ensure that every child in our schools has equitable access to these new tools. DigiTech, the instructional technology department is comprised of several TSAs (Teacher on Special Assignment) for Instructional Technology in addition to myself and Becca Todd, the District Library Coordinator. We are so lucky to be able to watch these lessons as they unfold and want to share out all the incredible work with instructional technology that we see.
Our one desire is this: PLEASE STEAL these ideas. Read them, reflect on them, let them marinate, contact the teacher if you’d like more information, and then take what you like and make it your own.
Additionally, integrating technology is hard work. There is plenty which can and sometimes does not function properly. As we are all working to help students adopt a growth mindset, using technology in the classroom constantly requires that we have a growth mindset. We’re learning on the fly in most cases and trying to teach with tools that never existed when we were in school. As we embark on this journey to showcase teachers doing fabulous things with technology, we want to stay constantly aware of how much perseverance is involved with putting these lessons together. This video is one of my favorites as a reminder of the role that failure has before ultimately succeeding.
We hope this blog becomes a place you regularly visit, whether you’re BUSD staff, administrator, parent or community member to learn more about how instructional technology is being integrated into our curriculum and reflect on its nuances to make it as powerful a tool as possible for student learning.
– Allison Krasnow, Instructional Technology Coordinator