Change is difficult. Choosing a new brand of toothpaste or finding a new dish at your favorite restuarant can be hard enough, but when you start talking about changing a school district's Student Information System (SIS) you can produce enough anxiety to make even the most laid back individuals frought with fear. And we're doing just that! We're currently in the middle of transitioning to PowerSchool, and there are a lot of really good questions coming from all corners of the school district. Pete and I address them as honestly as we can, and even make a few recommendations for teachers to prepare.
We delve a bit into how the school district is responding to the Office of Civil Rights complaint that many districts have been issued in regards to website accesibility, and discuss what we can do to start making resources that teachers provide online more accesible by a wider range of learners. This is a conversation that we will definitely need to revisit in the future, and we will. For now, it feels a bit like trying to "eat an elephant." Plenty of other questions about bicycles, apps, and accordions round out the rest of the podcast.
Timestamps for this week's questions:
0:38 Pete forgets what he does for the school.
1:29 What’s Pete been up to?
2:05 What caused the great “Internet Outage” of 2017?
2:55 Scott wants to know, how smooth will our district’s transition to Powerschool be?
5:15 When is Powerschool supposed to be up and running?
7:49 Bridgit wants to know about Science Apps.
10:47 Nancy wants to know, with the current uptick in website compliance for individuals with disabilities, should teachers be trained on how to comply with this?
17:13 Can para-professionals be given technology to help with instructional needs?
18:13 Is there a person in the district that can assist with technology related grants?
19:10 Nick wants to know, when is Pete buying a “fat tire” mountain bike?
20:03 Stump Pete!
21:05 Nick wants to know, how many keys does an accordion have?
You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter. Our professional Twitter accounts are Mattawan Learns and MCS Technology.