Something has come loose. Not sure of the impetus, but I believe the Google Docs article that I floated out among my steering committee members (Oregon will save $16 going to a statewide Google Apps method–with over $1.6 million per year thereafter) seems to have been partly responsible for the raft of emails.
Now, finally, a serious and collaborative discussion has begun around educational technology and its place in the district. Maybe this wave will go as far as receiving royal assent from the board (although proper funding would be better). Their official recognition that a key component to education in the 21st century is appropriate use, support, and funding of technology. Hopefully, this will come to fruition after guidance by the district technology steering committee.
But, yes over the past two weeks emails (I’m not sure why we’re not using our SD8 Ning for this) have been firing back and forth among the eight or nine of us ‘techheads’. The map of dialogue has heated up: What will the future of technology in SD8 look like? Cloud-computing? You bet? Ubiquitous wireless in all facilities? Yup. A switch to Google apps (or other similar technology)? Why the hell not. The use of netbooks and the leveraging cell phones and other hand-held technologies will come to be THE preferred method among our teachers? Oh yeah. Apple is very sexy and the support and products they offer are very conducive to education, so should be look at their options. Indeed. Do we need more time for technology-helping teachers and district technicians for support, but on the back of the district? A hard sell, but worth the argument.
So, with all the banter over emails the face to face meeting happening next week I feel a sense of uneasiness and excitement. Both good for obvious reasons. But, only one-half day to discuss the future of technology in the district? I say, it’s not long enough. But all the players will be there, and as a group, we are committed to envision, planning, and implementing this thin through. We have to. We don’t have any choice.
Start circle the wagons, now.