Confessions of a Digital Leader: Migrating Back to A Digital Life

By all accounts, my school district is new to implementing Google Apps for Education. It’ll be a slow and interesting implementation but one that is so necessary, especially in a climate where printed documents are important to so many areas operationally.

It felt good to blow the minds of an entire room of district leaders by placing documents online in a Google Site versus handing them all a folder/binder. It felt even more amazing to quickly create a form to capture data for our Campus principals and have them in awe that such information could be captured so fast.

I honestly cannot wait for the first time that we will collaborate in documents simultaneously outside of email and watch mouths drop to the floor because they always do in those moments. It’s such a surreal feeling and brings me smiles thinking about it.

I’ll be even more excited to turn all of my google ninja skills over to our entire staff and students because that’s who should own these skills, anyway…right?

While these are all google-centric skills, I also cannot wait to show teachers how they can utilize Office 365, Microsoft Sway and Mix to create digital stories and blended lessons or OneNote for our Surface Pro 3 users to create the world in real time. I cannot wait to get a HoloLens for our Minecrafters. Don’t even get me started on getting Minecraft on our campuses. I CANNOT WAIT!

We are not a Google district. We aren’t even a Microsoft district. We have BYOD, which is problematic at times if we are truly honest. Although I will be purchasing devices to strategically put technology into the hands of our students, I can’t commit to ever being called a Chromebook, Android tablet or Ipad district as I don’t see standardized devices as an option either.

We won’t do trainings that are only specific to a tool. We’ll have to start with that, realistically. However, our goal will be to always work towards our mission and purpose. Our teachers want personalization and choice. If we ever want students to have the same, we must do this for our teachers. It’s incredibly thrilling to be creating this option through a plan largely borrowed from my incredible PLN.

What drives our work?

What do we want students to do? How do our students want to learn? What about teachers? Which device supports what students want and need to do?

At the end of the day, we will not be defined by the tools that we use but by how our students learn and what they accomplish along the way.

Exciting times ahead for my school district!

Rafranz Davis

Executive Director of Professional and Digital Learning, Lufkin ISD

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