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High-tech teaching options

Molly advises a teacher to find out what other schools are doing with technology, and to look into technology coordinator jobs.

Dear Molly: I am a secondary school teacher and I love my job. But I am getting really frustrated with the limitations the school system imposes on teachers when it comes to using technology, especially the Web, in the classroom. I would like to get some kind of job helping to change the system and the perceptions that I see. What kind of job would that be, and how would I find out more about how other schools are using the Web in the classroom?

Molly says: Don’t quit your job just yet–we need all the teachers we can get who love their jobs! Some school systems are ahead of the curve, though, when it comes to using the Web as a teaching tool. If your interests aren’t matching up with the particular school you currently work for, you may find another school in your area that is as interested in technology as you are.

People who help schools make the best use of technology are sometimes called technology coordinators (TC). Sometimes TCs work for a school system and sometimes they are third-party experts called in when a school system wants to evaluate its use of computer technology.

Use the Web and your school holidays to find out more about TCs and learning-related technology. While you are doing that, you may find a school system in your area that is more in tune with your interests. You may end up teaching there and helping them explore further the uses of technology in the classroom. Or, you may end up migrating your career into teaching educators how to use technology or even working as a TC yourself.

Consider attending this trade show if you can: School Tech Expo (Chicago, October 17-20, 2001).

Here are some more Web resources for you to check out: TechLearning, The Institute for Learning Technologies, a Columbia University project, and the Learning Technology Center, part of Vanderbilt University.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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