Several months ago one of my parents approached me with an opportunity to apply for a grant through the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Unfortunately we didn’t make the final cut. Undaunted, Lisa Cvijanovich kept searching for available funds to support a multimedia production studio (MMPS) at Knox Gifted Academy. And thanks to Subaru, our dream of a work space full of 21st technologies is quickly becoming a reality.
After some unforeseen red tape, the money is here and Lisa and I, with the help of another 5th grade parent, have finalized our purchase order from Apple. Without going into the gory details and to keep myself from bragging, this MMPS is going to kick butt. Who am I kidding? Of course I’m bragging. We already have the iPads, probably the most important tool in the system. But adding a 27″ iMac with the new fusion drive and a souped up video card. We’re purchasing a bunch of mics and speakers and headphones, plus we’re adding Final Cut Pro and several other apps on the iPads and iMac (i.e., GarageBand).
The reason for including this post in the etmooc category is obvious: teachers and students will use educational technology to enhance state and Common Core curriculum standards. Yet there is another reason to share this with the etmooc community: the need for digital leaders on school campuses.
Right now I am the go-to guy for all things tech. Now I’m not officially trained in anything tech; I’m just a tinkerer, a let’s-figure-it-out-together kind of person. But because of my passion for edtech I am the person others call upon. And I don’t mind. But as our school keeps expanding, more and more people need to take on this and other technology roles at my site. Which is why I am so glad we spent the money purchasing Joint Venture from Apple. This allows up to eight staff to attend workshops on specific Apple products. It also allows quick access to Apple Geniuses and techs to troubleshoot issues we might be having with hardware and software. But the digital leaders don’t only have to be certified staff.
I just read Daniel Edward’s (@syded06) post “Digital Leader – Why you need them in your school?” Edwards argues for a team of students who become the digital leaders of not only a specific classroom, but for the entire school site. These leaders help organize the digital world in your classroom. They help peers set up accounts, troubleshoot computer problems, and participate in and lead training.
A culture of student digital leaders already exists in my room. Students are sharing new workflows. Students are finding workarounds Students know who to go to in times of trouble. But with the addition of a tricked out Apple production studio, I will need to develop an extension of this culture so that I can fulfill my obligations as a teacher while encouraging and expecting the use of educational technology by everyone at my site.
If you’re in Chandler, AZ and want to play in our MMPS, just stop on by. We’d love to learn with you.