Increasing Awareness - @TCEA #TECSIG #txed

When I was a young teacher, a TEA Monitoring visit came to my school. As the only member of the site-based decision-making committee (SBDM) who knew how to create a slideshow (e.g. Harvard Graphics), it fell to me to organize our presentation. One way to organize that presentation--which had positive results for the campus--involved outlining roadblocks and detours around those roadblocks.

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Roadblock #1 - Lack of awareness of TEC-SIG among potential members
"Have you ever thought about joining TEC-SIG?" I asked a group of 20-25 instructional technology directors, coordinators and specialists at an after-hours meetings at TCEA 2015 State Conference. As I listened to the group share about their informal efforts to connect about real problems they were facing, and which I blogged about, I realized that they had no professional organization they felt represented their needs. 

As TCEA TEC-SIG Vice-President/President-elect, my detour around this is increased use of grassroots technologies we now have available to us. Those include, of course, PLNs, Twitter, Google+ Communities, in addition to the TCEA web site. I often consider TEC-SIG as my first Texas Professional Learning Network (PLN).

Outreach through existing members and other organizations remains our best  opportunity at connecting with those who don't know about TEC-SIG, an organization that will be their voice. The question is, Will these potential members believe they need TEC-SIG with access to so many other tools? Some of the groups that we need to make more of an effort to connect with, whose voices need to be amplified include our technical support staff, as well as assistive technologists.

"Miguel," asked a Special Education staff member in my District shortly after I took on my role as Director of Technology Operations, "how does Instructional Technology support assistive technology?" To be honest, I was surprised.  In my experience, assistive technology and instructional technology staff seldom worked out of the same department. How to bridge the gap? I immediately asked colleagues I knew from TEC-SIG how they handled this, and it was not long before I had enough feedback to craft a staffing proposal for a special education technology specialist that was jointly supported by Instructional Technology and Special Education.

My role as Vice President/President-Elect would allow me to make outreach to others a top priority; the richer, more diverse the community, the better the quality of interactions and feedback you can rely on to help you. 

Detour - Make outreach a top priority, involving CTOs, Instructional Technologists and others by inventorying common challenges and bringing them to light.

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TEC-SIG Spring Meeting

April 16-17

TCEA Conference Center 
3100 Alvin Devane Blvd. 
Austin, TX 78741 

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TEC-SIG Membership - $20.00

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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