This is my second year to serve in the capacity of the Technology Coordinator at W. R. Smith Sr. Science & Medical Technology Magnet Middle School in Beaumont, TX. There are only 2 Technology Coordinators in Beaumont ISD (almost 20,000 students), of which I was appointed first.
I attended Lamar University for my undergrads specializing in Sociology & Psychology. I will complete my Master of Education degree in Technology Leadership in May from Lamar University after I present my action research project on developing sustainable tech professional development programs in schools.
I previously taught middle school mathematics and science for 7 & 8th grade. I was also a former Future Problem Solving Program coach & judge. I am currently the founder & adviser for the campus’ National Junior Honor Society.
I was inspired to get into education by my parents who were also educators. Both of my parents grew up in Mississippi during the time of civil rights conflicts; both were first in their families to graduate high school and go on to college. They later migrated to Texas to start a family. I am a product of the school district I now am employed by. I left federal employment to return to school and become a certified teacher.
My interest in technology was further ignited when my mother decided to retire after 40 years of being a teacher. She was still effective in the classroom but “didn’t want to struggle with learning anything more about the computer”. I was inspired to create a classroom environment that seamlessly integrated out limited technology into the curriculum, and it was noticed by my campus administrators who then offered me the position of Technology Coordinator as my campus received a $3 million dollar grant to pilot a 1:1 student iPad program for nearly 600 middle school students over 3 years.
Favorite Tech Tool: Picking a favorite tool is hard. The value of the tool is intertwined in how many different ways that the user can employ it to enhance learning and understanding. The best tools are the ones that allow users to change & customize the function of the tool. I am a huge fan of open source digital tools and resources. I also love finding “new-tech” and value the ability to communicate and recommend improvements to the creators.
Some go to destinations that make my job easier are: Google Apps for Education (great collaboration tools) and Twitter (great networking and news aggregation tool). I’m also a fan of educational gaming, and among my favorites are Skoolbo, Lure of the Labyrinth and Carnegie Cyber Academy.
Upcoming Projects: I’m super excited about attending TCEA 2014 Conference. I have volunteered to help with the Region 5 EdCamp in Warren. I will be presenting at the Region 5 Mini-CAST Science Conference. Currently there are neither computer science classes nor technology electives on my campus, so I established a student group called the Tech Aces who are working on their own web page showing their work in establishing digital citizenship and initiate interest in coding for our 1:1 device campus.
As the grant ends in June, I am currently seeking a new position in either the Dallas or Austin, TX area that will allow me to grow in the educational technology community and empower more teachers to embrace digital tools with their students.