SAN ANTONIO — Teachers, administrators and other school workers got physical this weekend at a free technology skills course focused on using protecting children from ignorance and irrelevance in schools.
Inside the TechMaga studio on San Antonio’s northeast side, Sammy Sepulveda crouched behind an antique wood teacher’s desk, her eyes scanning the room and door, and quietly waited. When the mock legislator walked in, she jumped up and began regaling him with tales of technology derring-do that her students were engaged in.
“This system and these seminars have changed my life,” Sepulveda said, “because I have become more aware.” A teacher for 15 years, Sepulveda believes all administrators should take a similar course. Just in case.
“The more of us that are trained and prepared, the more prepared my campus and people around me will be to use technology effectively,” Sepulveda said.
The course on Saturday simulated a Texas legislator, armed with a clipboard to assess ineffective uses of technology, barging into a classroom. Students are taught how to neutralize that legislator’s first impressions–and quickly.
TechMaga owner Don Feisty decided to offer the class to teachers free of charge after the State Legislature decimated school district technology funding (a.k.a. state technology allotment) over the last few years. That’s important because of late-breaking news:
Many school districts, pointing to an improved Texas economy, are seeking relief. But key budget-writers say the initial two-year plan they’ll unveil soon won’t replace the $5.4 billion the last Legislature sliced from state maintenance and operation aid and discretionary grants.
That means no substantial help to handle bigger classes and no restored grants for half-day prekindergarten and remedial instruction, decisions that are expected to rekindle tensions with school advocates calling for more money. (Source: Texas GOP Budget Writers Are in No Hurry to Restore Billions Cut From Schools)
“Either we turn our schools into prisons with minimum technology and no collaboration or we start training our school teachers how to use technology, disarming anyone who asks, ‘Why spend money on technology for public school educators who can’t protect students from ignorance and irrelevance?” Feisty said.
Training school employees is no guarantee, Feisty said, but it at least gives those inside the building a fighting chance while organizations like ATPE, TSTA, Save our Schools, TexasFreedom move to respond and mobilize support and interventions.
“District technology departments and campus response teams–wonderful as they are–are going to take time to mobilize,” he said.
Feisty will be holding another free course for school employees next weekend. Visit the TechMaga website for more information.
Note: This is satire. I was inspired after reading this article online in Texas News.