What are the benefits of having an IT resource teacher at the elem levels? I work with a small school and if I as a school parent-teacher had extra budget, I would invest it in an IT teacher. Why so? I run classes at the gradeschool level and we do inquiry projects with children. Though I am able to integrate the teaching of basic IT tools to my students depending on the project outputs they are working on, I would want an IT resource to come in from time to time to do more systematic teaching of skills. Though sometimes the kids and I can 'widow' our way through learning, eventually I would want my students to have solid and intact skills they can deliver on call for future project outputs using techtools. When I mean systematic, the IT teacher would be able to breakdown certain tasks to get to the major instructional objectives. The IT teacher will be able to work creatively with the students as well. For example, I will simply say to the IT teacher that "This group wants to produce a short video about Peacemakers around the world. They have done their initial data gathering and expressed interest in sharing what they've learned by producing the video. Can you help them while I work with the rest of the group?" The IT teacher will also be able to individualize teaching in a separate class period which may be included in the class schedule or an afterschool program. This is because the IT specialist teacher also has knowledge of skills and understandings which grade level groups need to be able to arrive at while I as main teacher mentor them through their project planning etc. For some teachers(tech savvy digi-migrants), it can be quite easy to learn IT tools and blend these naturally in their classes. Still others, are in that phase of grappling to get comfortable with technology before they can use IT tools with students. These teachers may end up not using tools at all. An IT teacher will be able to give that support, encouragement and spirit to the team. From the admin point of view, you have the IT teacher to ensure that these areas of learning are covered while you get busy managing and mentoring teachers in other subject areas who also need attention. Perhaps present part time and fulltime loads for the IT teacher or do a survey of tech skills and tools your fellow teachers know, have used in their classes, have mastered or not even (you can do this via google forms, right...to generate the stats). You can also pose an alternate route: have professional training for selected teachers who can eventually become IT resource teachers at per department level. Do some cost comparisons and eventually you will still have what you need for your school. I hope my response didn't complicate matters for you. All the best!
Of course a technology teacher is needed. I teach high school. In this day and age most people assume that students know what they are doing on the internet. They do not. I have high school students who have no problem finding and accessing face book and twitter, but have no idea how to make and/or use a power point, nor do they know how to find information that they need on the internet, or even how to key board. They also have not a clue how to print out, how to save or many of the other basic skills. They know how to find the social sites and how to find shopping sites and do not have any other basic skills.
If students start in elementary on computers (and if they do then a technology teacher will be needed) then they will not get to high school without these basic skills. The sooner they start on computers in elementary, the better prepared they will be by graduation time. I started my own son on computers prior to kindergarten, and he is now paid for his computer skills. However, my own high school students do not have these same skills as they were never taught basic computer skills. Just because they grow up in the computer age does not mean that they automatically have the skills. Someone has to teach them. As such a technology teacher in elementary is necessary. If students are to be ready for exit at graduation, then computer skills are necessary starting in elementary. One cannot function in this society without some basic computer skills.
I think it is important to have a teacher dedicated to teaching tech skills but it is even more important that the tech teacher be able to work with classroom teachers. If the tech teacher is not willing to drive project based learning with the teachers, the children will end up playing education games on the internet during tech class. Education is moving toward a technology facilitator or coordinator who helps the teachers integrate technology into the core subjects
As with any investment, the earlier you start the greater the rewards years later...
I would have to agree with Amy on this one. Having a tech teacher is great, but in order to make it work it is essential that the work well with the teachers.
Yes, I too agree it is extremely important that a technology specialist can be there to solve technical issues, but also connect with teachers to help drive and seamlessly integrate technology into the curriculum. I recently read a study that showed many teachers do not feel they can rely on their tech specialist for integration questions, and instead go to the most technologically savvy teacher in the school for questions. The tech specialist should definitely be able to close that gap.
I agree with my colleagues that a technology teacher is a great benefit to a school. In addition to helping teachers and students, a technology teacher can be accountable for care and use of the expensive equipment the school receives. Without someone devoted to this, equipment often ends up collecting dust in a storage closet. Eliminating the waste of letting technology lie around should save thee school money.
I am at a school where we only have a part-time technology person that doesn't teach but works on repairing technology and installing software/running updates. I wish that we had a technology teacher because they would know the ins and outs of great resources that students could use and make all of the teachers' jobs easier. I know of counties that have technology teachers and they are very fortunate.
This is my second year as a K-5 technology integrator. Before that I was a second grade teacher. I work in four elementary schools in Maine. Every teacher/class has 40 minutes with me a week. This allows for consistency throughout the district. Students are gaining the same skills, however, they are varied in the ways that the skills are used and integrated into the curriculum. I work closely with teachers. They come up with what curriculum they want to integrate and I come up with how that works with a skill that students should acuire. In my second year, I have found that teachers need me less and less and are coming up with their own ideas, but with ever changing technology, I think that my position will still be around for quite some time. I highly recommend hiring an integrator that has been a classroom teacher, and even better if they already worked in your district and know your curriculum. This year all 2-12 grade students have a gmail account, very valuable.
An elementary technology teacher is needed because their speciality and focus in their career is technology and would benefit the students learning, the teachers learning as well as the functionality of the school's technology. They could fix the technology, show the teachers/faculty how to use the technology to better assist their teaching and main line, to assist children to use technology in a way that helps them learn best or at their own rate. Helps the children learn to use on of the fastest growing areas in our culture today. And there is another point! They will/should be up on their technology and be responsible for keeping up throughout the years to give updates to the teachers on programs and tools/devices to help teach or help their children learn. I hope this helps!