Thursday, October 13, 2011

TEC-SIG and State of KISD address

I am writing this from my hotel room in Austin, Texas. Today and tomorrow are the TCEA's TEC-SIG Fall Meeting and since I am the President of this group, I have been putting these days together over the past few weeks.

TCEA is the Texas Computer Education Association and it is the largest state organization for technology in education. TEC-SIG is one of several Special Interest Groups (SIGs) under the umbrella of TCEA. Our function is aimed more toward technology coordinators, instructional technology leaders and other administrators to advocate for instructional technology in legislation and the TEA. 

Last year I was voted in as Vice-President where I served a year before moving into President. Next year, I will be simply "Past President".

Each year, our SIG puts on 3 meetings where we have breakouts, sometimes a keynote speaker, updates from within our SIG groups, updates from TCEA and updates from TEA. We have a 2-day meeting in the Fall, one luncheon meeting during TCEA convention in February, and another 2-day meeting in the Spring.

We also have a listserv where each day, any member can post a question or idea to share with the group. We collaborate and share ideas. We help each other out. We nitpick sometimes with each other. But generally, we are family because we are all trying to push the giant boulder of technology in education up a very steep hill.

Our meetings are great not because of keynote speakers or fancy door prizes. Our meetings are great because we get to talk to people with the same struggles who are coming in from all over the state. The time we get to spend chatting with people at the same table is time well worth coming to such a meeting.

I write all this to share with my Kerrville peeps because I want you to know that your CTO is putting on a great meeting with instructional technology leaders and sharing how awesome it is to be in Kerrville. We aren't bleeding-edge like some other districts who are doing 1:1 computing or BYOD or Open Source. But we are cutting-edge in that we are consistent in providing flexible infrastructure to support technology in your classrooms.

We are really supported well by district administration and campus administration in our district. And teachers are really spectacular in using technology for instruction in our district. They aren't forcing it or pushing themselves to adapt in a frenzy. Our teachers are working in stride to use resources that support their teaching.

So I am posting this blog to share this as our own micro "State of the Instructional Technology Department Address" for our district. We are doing great! Our AEC Committee is looking into BYOD and other interesting ways we can use new technology and save on funding. We are building a group of internal district technology trainers to provide more interesting (and fun) professional development opportunities. I am continually amazed by the number of invites I get to visit classrooms to see what people are doing and being greatly impressed by what is going on.

People are starting to share more with their colleagues about what they are doing. People are sharing ideas and working collaboratively in our district. And some people are using tools like Skype, Twitter, Google+ and other tools to work collaboratively with other districts in the US and around the globe. I am sure the people here are sick of me talking up KISD so much!

The meetings here are work so don't think I am goofing off while here and I have to get back to posting information for all the other members who may not have been able to come this week.  But I wanted to share that even while I am here, I am learning and adapting ideas to bring back with me to share so we can continue being on the edge.

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