Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 2 - Year 12: Better (bonus: twins!), Dan Callahan, Pine Glen Elementary School Instructional Technology Specialist

This is going to be a HUGE year for me, for lots of reasons, but I might as well get the most important reason out up front:
Yeah. My wife is expecting twins, who should arrive, if all goes according to plan, sometime in December.
So there’s that. I’m super-excited. Life is going to change in ways that both amaze and terrify me, but I’m very much looking forward to meeting my children.
To answer the question now: No, we don’t know their genders. We’ll find out in December.
But that’s NOT what this post is really about. It’s about the work.
Year 12. Year 4 as an Instructional Technology Specialist. Crazy.
Laura and I are going into our third year of working together as a part of the Library & Technology Center. We’re trying to tighten things up, make some positive changes to the program, and make sure we do a better job of getting the work done.
The biggest shift this year is in the schedule. In previous years, I was completely flexibly scheduled, and the kids had a once a week 30 minute library class. This year we’re changing it up to a 45 minute LTC class. The goal is to increasingly unify our program, and make sure we have enough instructional time to introduce kids to the foundational information and digital literacy skills we believe they need to be independent learners.
This year we’re bringing two more first grade classrooms online with 1:1 iPads, and the whole district will now be 1:1 in grades 1 and 4-12. I did a lot of training last week to try and prep teachers for it, and will continue to do my best to support teachers and students in this new learning journey. Next year we’ll bring the remaining grades in. In the meantime, I’ll continue to support those classrooms with the computer lab and the 60 or so other iPads we have in the building, plus a new handful of Chromebooks.
So what’s this year really about, then?
It’s about Better.
It’s about taking the base of the past three years as a tech specialist, and doing the job Better by focusing on my learning goals for my students.
It’s about looking at the 1:1 program, and using them Better to provide a richer classroom experience.
It’s about focusing the LTC program, and making it Better by more tightly integrating library and technology.
It’s about building Better relationships with my teachers.
Its about building off my professional development experience to date, and seeing how I can provide Better learning opportunities for my staff.
It’s about figuring out how being a parent will make me a Better teacher.
I guess I’d Better get some sleep now. It’s going to be a busy year.


  1. Congratulations to you and your wife, Dan, on the upcoming bundles of joy.... you're both doubly blessed. In the background of my son's recent Senior portrait session was his 8th month old baby picture taken with his twin sister at KMart. Those 17 1/2 years literally flew by! Can't wait to meet your twins!!

  2. Congrats Dan! I enjoyed reading about your upcoming year and wonderful news.