This year I’m the Interim Director of Educational Technology at my school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is my 4th year at this school. When I began working here I had a team of colleagues. I’m the only EdTech person at my school now.
Everyone knows this is not the ideal situation. A late resignation in the year by the former EdTechDirector left the school with little choice. I proposed to the Head of School that I keep the ship afloat until a new captain can be found. How could one person possibly support a school of 1,000 students and over 100 faculty? Extreme collaboration? The question I’ve been asking myself, Is it really possible to collaborate to the point where I make up for positions that are not there? Can extreme collaboration be the key?
Our elementary school used to have two tech coaches. In order to support that division I proposed each grade level have a digital learning leader (DLL). A person who will guide their team in learning about and with technology. Regardless, of the change in support, I believe this is a positive change for our ES. Having a team member with the relationships developed and insight into the curriculum who is constantly present is ideal for meaningful technology integration. This also helps in the release of responsibility to the teachers, which has met resistance in the past.
Many of the benefits to this experience this year lie in the learning that I’m doing. Expanding my experience to working in the MS & HS divisions brings new learning, which is very welcomed. Explicitly listing the benefits for me helps fight the feeling of stress and being overwhelmed by an unrealistic ask. Who is doing the asking? The school certainly knows that I’m doing the best I can with what I have. I still have internal dialogues about how to meet the expectations of this position, and where this experience will lead me.