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News from the Superintendent

Posted: April 24, 2020

Pondering Technology

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy writes about how technology has played an important role in supporting students, families and staff.

How are you feeling about technology these days? I have mixed emotions. I miss my colleagues, our students, their teachers, my friends. I long for face-to-face contact, and I don’t mean the kind you get staring into a computer screen. I want so badly to hug a child, high five a teen, pat the back of a co-worker. I miss knowing glances, concerned expressions, reassuring nods.

That said, I have to give credit where it’s due. I appreciate video conferencing, text messaging, email, social media, shared drives, online resources, and all of the technology that helps us stay in touch during these challenging times. This nasty, contagious virus hasn’t kept us from teaching, collaborating, innovating, connecting. Technology sure doesn’t take the place of human contact, but it allows us to do our job. And I am grateful for that.

It’s been quite the learning curve, for some more than others. If you are like me, you didn’t grow up with most of the gadgets we now use on a daily basis. Laptops and smartphones and tablets and earbuds have become the tools of our trade. Who knew Captain Kirk and George Jetson would get it so right. If you aren't familiar with those two characters, you may be a little more comfortable with technology than I am. If you get the pop culture reference, you probably share some of my frustrations as I continue to learn and accept, if not fully embrace, our hi-tech reality.

We’re all figuring this out together, and getting pretty good at adjusting. Our upside-down world is slowly becoming the new normal.

I am happy to say we are doing what we can to help our students and families adjust to this new normal as well, thanks in large part to APS Technology. Working alongside our many community partners, the APS technology team has done everything from making sure all of our families have computers and internet access to training teachers and staff to troubleshooting problems to providing support.

In the past couple of weeks, APS has worked with TIG on purchasing, programming and checking out thousands of laptop computers so that students can stay in touch with their teachers and continue learning at home. They have already distributed more than 11,000 new Chromebooks to families and have a long line of cars at their Lincoln Complex warehouse every day for pick up.  

We have worked with Comcast, T-Mobile and the City of Albuquerque to make sure our families are connected to the internet.

Our Education Technology team is training our teachers and staff, providing resources, and offering guidance for online instruction. They continue to work with dozens of vendors to provide learning resources for teachers and families, often for free.

Our Technology Help Desk is answering volumes of calls and emails, patiently walking staff through a litany of technological struggles and woes.

We're helping each other, too. I can’t tell you how many times I have turned to a colleague to ask for help with a program, a device, an app. I bet you have as well.

While we may not be in a room together, we are still in this together, thanks in large part to technology. And while I won’t stop dreaming about the day when we can meet in person, I will continue to learn to use technology to stay in touch.

You do the same.