On the New Job Reflections - Life as a Technology Staff Developer

It's been a whirlwind these first 2 months as Technology Staff Developer at ETHS. Here are some of the projects that have been keeping me busy:

Tablet PC Rollout/USB Wireless Installations: We've rolled out over 250 Tablet PC's to our staff with almost every department involved. This past summer, Humanities (English and History) along with Fine Arts teachers received the Lenovo X61 Tablets (I'm loving these especially when they come wtih XP and not Vista as their Toshiba M300 counterparts do). I've been training teachers on how to get started with the Tablet, basic inking in MS Word and PowerPoint, followed by how to use MS OneNote. I've also been installing Atlona wireless units to projectors so that teachers can connect to their projector wirelessly from their tablet.

Microsoft SharePoint: Since our web developer left in mid-September, I quickly became the SharePoint guru, so I've been learning a lot by trial and error. I've gained some appreciation for what it can and cannot do, but I am proud of the fact that the number of teacher web pages has increased dramatically and that I have helped set up over 20 sites in these first few months. I remain interested in obtaining some official training via class or book and possibly certification in SharePoint applications.

Teacher Access Center (TAC): Also in September, our online gradebook specialist was on medical leave for a few weeks. Thus, many of the teacher questions involving setting up gradebook came to my phone and email. Similar to SharePoint, I quickly learned some of the in's and out's, though my experience with the program from the teacher point of view definitely eased my learning curve.

Clickers, SMARTBoards, Discovery Streaming, Moodle, Quia, Google Apps: These have all occupied some of my time during recent weeks as the TAC and Tablet chaos have started to die down. I am excited to train myself on the SMARTBoards after using it to give a workshop in the lab one day. I was only scratching the surface (figuratively, not literally) of what they can do when I used the touch capabilities. Google Apps is the next major rollout project for us. I am anxious to organize and coordinate a pilot group of teachers to use the suite. I am also excited to apply for a position in the upcoming Google Teacher Academy in Washington, D.C.

OK, that's it for now. I promise to get more detailed in future posts. It's just been one challenge after another, leaving me little time to reflect and write. However, after just 2 months, I can say that I am loving it, and I am truly thankful to have this opportunity.


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