As part of my work responsibility, I serve on the Indiana Connected Educator (ICE) board as the Indiana Department of Education representative. Both of my directors had served in this capacity prior to my taking the seat in 2012. The ICE organization has accomplished a great deal in the last five years including realigning itself to meet the needs of every classroom teacher (rather than just computer educators as it was formerly branded).
ICE also committed to supporting the edtech coach role, which was emerging when I joined the organization in 2009 as a new elearning coach. We recognized the shift from technology integration specialists, which were in place for the last two decades (and longer in some districts), to embedded professional development providers focused on coaching. Historically, integration specialists filled the role of tech support and trainer-essential elements of creating successful technology initiatives in schools, but not intended to shift pedagogy. Bridging that transition forced important discussions around the role and responsibilities of coaches.
We know that technology in schools needs to be like oxygen as Chris Lehman, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, stated in his 2011 closing keynote for ISTE (of which ICE is an affiliate organization). In order to reach the state where technology use is ubiquitous, necessary, and invisible, requires pedagogical and cultural shifts. This is the work ICE engages in.
It is exciting to see long terms goals we established in my first year on the board begin to take fruition. The 2018 conference theme is Voices and the organization is launching the new year with a social media campaign encouraging educators to share their edtech resolutions with the hashtag #ICEindiana. I encourage you share to share your voice. You can blog along with me each Monday in January, or simply tweet out your resolution.
This year, I will try to be consistent in my concrete reflections around the work I do on behalf of the ICE organization, in service to Indiana’s educators and learners, and in my personal commitment to digital citizenship and leadership. Years ago, I started an INeLearn Blogger community of Google+. It’s been nearly two years since we’ve been active. It was through that community that I got to know and respect principal Brian Knight. He blogs at Leading and Learning. Several great educators are in that community. We recently had requests for new membership, which I hesitated to accept. I thought perhaps I should close the community, that the time of its death had come. After all, all communities of practice die-a theory from Wenger, White, and Smith that completely unsettled me in grad school, but that I’ve come to realize is true. Instead I accepted the requests. Part of me wonders how they found us. I will TRY refreshing the community as part of my commitment to being better at blogging. I look forward to seeing who, if anyone, steps up as stewards of the learning and sharing.