NCDPI Region 7 Consultant
Interview: Alan Warren - 1:15
Who is Alan Warren?
What is My Background?
Gardner-Webb University - School Administration - Master's - May 2013
Appalachian State University - Instructional Technology - Master's - Dec. 2010
Western Carolina University - Accounting - Bachelor's - Dec. 2005
My life in Education was not one where I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life as soon as I graduated from high school. I had many ideas as to what I would do and who I would become but I never would have dreamed that within the next year I would have a Doctorate degree. I was a very involved student at Western Carolina where I joined Kappa Sigma Fraternity and served as President and Vice President. I was also the president of the Accounting club and served on an Alcohol Awareness task force. About 6 months from graduating I lost the nerve to be an accountant and I started looking at other options. I had friends who were in education and they all seemed to enjoy what they did. I worked at my local YMCA as a lifeguard and a camp counselor and this field started to pique my interest. I finally knew what I wanted to do with my life and have been happy with the decision ever since.
After I graduated from Western I quickly applied to a Regional Alternative Licensing Center and started attending courses at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Catawba Valley Community College, and University of Phoenix to obtain my teaching license. The 3 year program was completed in a year and a half and I obtained my certification in Business Education. I worked for 6 months as a teacher assistant for Third Creek Elementary. My first year as a Business teacher was at North Iredell High School (alma mater) where I taught Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Computer Applications. After one year at North High I transferred to West Iredell Middle School where I focused on Multimedia applications.
After that year I began a career in professional development as an Instructional Technology Coordinator for Iredell-Statesville Schools. During this time I attended Appalachian State to obtain my Master's in Instructional Technology. Upon completion of this program I completed a Thesis called Website Filtering: Evaluation of Local Education Agencies. Now I am in my 6th year as a Technology Coordinator and 8th year in education. Once I graduated from Appalachian I immediately enrolled at Gardner-Webb University to become licensed as a Principal and obtain my Doctorate. My dissertation is focused on Website Accessibility in Public Education. The research I have completed has further enhanced my knowledge of CIPA, COPPA, FERPA, E-Rate, and various policies related to technology.
Portfolio and Other Tools
Techcitizen - PD developed for Iredell-Statesville Schools - Digital Citizenship
I-SS Web 2.0 Professional Development Practice
- Office/Keynote/Open Office
- E-Pals, Gaggle - Student E-mail
- Google and Google Apps
- Web Design
- True North Logic
- Power School
- Interactive Boards
- Student Response Systems
- Open Source
Instructional Technology Coordinator Responsibilities:
- Serve 6 schools across the county (all levels)
- Coordinate and create staff development (district, high, middle, elementary)
- District Webmaster Representative
- Direct knowledge of COMPASS, IMPACT, ITES, Common Core, Big 6, and The Partnership for 21st Century Skills.
- Extensive knowledge of E-Rate policies for website filtration systems.
- Promote grant writing for teachers.
- Public speaking.
- Troubleshoot computer labs/provide tech support.
Why be a Digital Teaching and Learning Consultant?
The reasons this job is so appealing is that it is in-line with my current role and focuses on my strengths.
- Technology. What more could I ask for than a career that builds upon what I already do? I work with 6 school administrations where I am involved in communicating recommendations to their school improvement plans. I'm involved in making recommendations with the district technology plan and have a working knowledge of how that plan is to be documented and implemented through the state.
- Service. I love to network and see new places. This position would allow me to make contacts in other locations that I haven't had the chance to meet before. This would build my knowledge base on how other districts implement and grow their technology plans. The position would also allow me to share ideas I have with districts that may need a boost to their educational plan regarding technology. I see this as a good way to collaborate with district leaders about what other districts are doing.
- Policy. I enjoy understanding E-Rate, Federal, State, and Board Regulations. I like to know the political landscape of my county and state. I also like to provide interpretation to copyright as well as provide professional development in those areas.
There are many more reasons I feel that I would be a good fit for this position but these are the main areas that I feel at home in. To work with DPI and not have to move is the best of both worlds. I see this position as an opportunity and that will lead to other opportunities in the future. It is upward moving and it is something that I feel will benefit school districts and more importantly students.
What will School Media Look Like in 2020?
Collaborative Environments - Limited use of desks, greater use of space, technology, and studio type place to create and engage.
Simulation (Developers will create stronger types of educational and productive games/simulation)
Project Based Learning
Technology Facilitation vs. Lecture
Standardized Testing will become more Portfolio/Product based.
Individualized Devices (Handheld)
A Truly Paperless Classroom
Social Networking Utilization (Integrated)
Truly Globalized Environments
Personalized Learning based on need not grade level (learning analytics)
Team based Learning
Government, Business, and School Cohesion (Internship and skill development for coursework)
Open Content (University provided free courses.)
What are the Pros/Cons of of the NC IMPACT Model?
- MTAC is one of the best things implemented to school districts from this model. MTAC has encouraged school districts to start a focused conversation on technology which has really changed the tone of technology in my own school system.
Involvement in SIP/SIT
- Having involvement in the SIP/SIT is a great concept and one that school administration should be proactive with including these individuals. It is easy for staff who are present in the school to be on these teams but for those that travel to different schools (like my current role) it is tough to attend and give thoughtful recommendations.
- The assessment piece allows the school level stakeholders the opportunity to identify weaknesses to the district level personnel. This makes the decision making process by the district data driven and identifies the opportunities for improvement within the district.
- Collaboration is a piece to the puzzle that everyone thinks they do but in reality they could go a little deeper and be more focused. The principal has so many priorities at the school that they do not seem to be the lead on this but rather that it falls to the media coordinator to fulfill. Without appropriate direction from MTAC, technology director, media director, or the principal the model can not stand up. I think the media coordinator does a great job at doing what they can but there are processes that seem to be failing at the school level. I think that with the Common Core planning and collaboration practices this will change as more instruction becomes differentiated. This is definitely an area that is improving but needs more time to develop.
- My school system implements Early Release Professional Development days which allow for the media coordinators to meet and plan what types of technology and media need to be implemented. Within this part of the model the media coordinators and my colleagues collaborate to improve instructional techniques. This is a good example of a district providing support to media and technology and allowing them to work together to improve the overall program.
Beyond the Classroom
- In my district there is a push for SAS curriculum pathways and the NCWISEOwl portal, There are other resources that are used and PowerSchool has done a great job implementing these programs. I believe the state and my district are doing well at reaching out to students but I feel some improvement could be made by school systems to reach out to local government and business leaders to provide more relevant resources in the school.
What are the strengths of the new NC Professional Standards for School Library Media Coordinators and Instructional Technology Facilitators?
- Best Practices
- Instructional Resources/Practices
- Promote 21st Century Skills
- Promote Student Achievement
- Promote Teacher Development
- Promote Stakeholder Involvement