A Teacher Enters #edtech

In the time between when I left high school (in 1983) and I entered the classroom as a teacher (in 1988), computers entered schools in a serious way. Whereas my high school had a small computer room for students to use (I recall four computers in the room which was a converted storage room), my first teaching job teaching middle school science was in a school with a large computer room—for high school students.

I had been thoroughly unimpressed with computers while a high school student, but as an undergraduate using them to analyze data and prepare and present lesson plans, I recognized their importance as a tool for the scientist and science teacher. Soon, my near-obsession with teaching science became a near-obsession with using computers to teach. One school year, a colleague and I spent hours setting up physics experiments in which data were collected via probes connected to personal computers. We spent a summer writing the first technology integration plan for the district, and rewriting our chemistry and physics curricula to use the computers we worked with during the school year.

I volunteered to unpack computers as they arrived in the school; and I was the teacher who supervised study halls from behind a computer screen and I shared what I learned with my colleagues in the science department. I was soon the resident computer guru in the schools where I worked. My science (and then math) students were frequently found using computers, I was leading technology committees, and teaching fellow teachers about computers. Eventually, I left the science and math classroom and became an educational technologist; the term I use to capture my work teaching students how to use computers, managing computers and networks in schools, providing leadership to educators, and researching technology in schools.