This year’s Back to School is packed full of exciting new gadgets, initiatives, and opportunities for all learners. As technology leaders, we tend to assess and develop school startup game plans focusing on areas of greatest impact. When creating this type of plan, it’s important to keep in mind the needs of the students first and leave extra time for the unexpected. During this time consider each day as a new opportunity for you to gain knowledge, build your skill set, and share your enthusiasm for technology.
The effectiveness of implementing new technologies and objectives can be a challenge. At the ACLD Tillotson School, we like to follow the technology trends in education and also try our own ideas. This year we are introducing school-wide, an application called Nearpod. Nearpod is a popular web-based application for delivering classroom lessons interactively for all subjects and grade levels. The initial reaction I received from the teachers was a bit of a shock. The response was overwhelmingly positive and they’re really excited to start using Nearpod in their classrooms. We are also implementing a digital citizenship course through Nearpod where the students will have the ability to enter a lesson using a code on their new 2-in-1, touchscreen Chromebooks. We’re continuously implementing new digital curriculum and platforms throughout every subject. It is very important for our students and staff to have as many devices and resources as possible. A few years ago, we started a 1-to-1 initiative with Chromebooks and this year we are expanded by adding iPads, Surface Pro Laptops, and even a few 3D printers and Apple Homepod speakers. While there are still challenges with multi-platforms and different operating systems in a school environment; there are far more benefits for everyone to learn by reducing the barriers and allowing everyone to use different types of devices effectively.
The start of the school year is an exciting time for everyone, but it can also be very demanding. It’s important to work together and communicate with your peers. Take time to review your communications strategy and ideas as this will be time well spent. Effective communication reinforces your knowledge, skills, and relationships. This is a two-way process as you will learn more when you are listening than when you are speaking. Allow yourself time to be organized and prepared. This time of year, the workload can seem unbearable at times. It’s essential to stay positive through it all and take time to reflect back upon the accomplishments you’ve achieved over the summer. Everyone really does notice that you’re doing your absolute best and they truly appreciate everything you do. The greatest thing you can do is be in the moment and successes will come.
– Brad Klingelhoefer, Questeq Technology Coordinator – ACLD Tillotson School
A note about Brad and Questeq: Brad has been with Questeq since 2005 and has worked his way up through several roles and responsibilities. He started his Questeq career working at the Help Desk. Brad then moved into the Desktop Engineer 1 position, working in several of our customer sites. From there he was promoted to Desktop Engineer 2. In 2017, Brad was promoted to Technology Coordinator at one of our most unique sites, ACLD Tillotson School. The ACLD Tillotson School provides supports and services for students who have complex learning disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders. Brad has excelled in this role and has become an invaluable resource to our company and to the students, teachers and staff at ACLD Tillotson.
We have written about our partnership with ACLD Tillotson School over the years. Check out our past posts here: