Big news! I’ve started to leak the word out to a few of you but as one academic year winds down and another begins, I thought I would share some news with you all. This is, after all, a personal blog so I hope that you can indulge me here as I brag about myself.
I am pleased to share the news with you all that, beginning in July, I will be joining the staff of Arizona School for the Arts (ASA) as their Information and Instructional Technology Coordinator. Not only is ASA a nationally recognized school that produces so many wonderful alumni, it’s also the place where I spent my middle- and high-school years (grades 7-12) from 2000-2006.
I’d also know a thing or two about the alumni that the school produces: I am humbled to be leading the school’s Alumni Association as we work through a period of transition and welcome future classes to our fold.
The new gig consists of three parts. I should note that I’m not formally on the teaching faculty; however, I suspect that I’m going to be doing a lot of informal teaching along the way. First, I’ll be making sure that the day-to-day technology operations of the school are working just fine. Think of this one as managing the enterprise IT — making sure networks work, computers process, phones make calls, and so on. The second part is the unofficial Digital Knowledge Architect of the school: researching new technologies as they might pertain to the educational outcomes of the school. What is the school doing well? What needs work? How can we take ASA to the next level…and beyond? The last component is serving as the school’s Technology Advisor. Not only am I the IT person for the enterprise that is ASA, I’m that person for the 750 students that attend the school. Of course, that doesn’t mean that as students have issues with their personal tech, I’m going to fix it. But that does mean that I will be giving grade-specific information on how to be smart with technology, how to be safe online, and how to be good digital citizens.
On a different note, that means that this blog is changing its focus. You’ll see that in the past month, I’ve rebranded it as “Technology for a Digital Generation” and have started to focus on emergent technology. Over the coming months, and especially as I settle into my new role, that focus will take off and this blog will become the home for resources and research that I will be doing. Downtown Phoenix and bicycling will take a backseat on this blog. But don’t worry — there are a number of great fellow “urban philosophers” that will unequivocally fill the shoes I vacate. The last post I pen on downtown Phoenix, at least for some time, will be my “Whither Density” postmodern analysis of downtown Phoenix. Expect that one to come out in a couple of weeks.
The school is such a wonderful place and I’m thrilled to be joining the ranks as a staff person. I’m so excited and I can’t begin to thank my mentors who have inspired me to get to this place. One person that I do have to call out by name is Dr. Colleen Carmean, the current Assistant Chancellor for Instructional Technologies at the University of Washington-Tacoma. I know Dr. Carmean because we both worked at the ASU College of Public Programs and I was fortunate to work with her on several research projects about advancing technology in education. She is also a dear friend and mentor of mine. In this new gig for me, I’m trying a little bit to emulate what she did as ASU CoPP’s Digital Knowledge Architect — and to be that mentor for the students with whom I’m working. If I am even 1/10th of the mentor to my students as Dr. Carmean has been to me, then I should think I’ve done something.
That’s the news from here. To all those who have helped me along the way and on this journey, I say “thank you” and I raise a glass to our accomplishments. Of course, I look forward to many many (many!) more accomplishments and celebrations along the way!