The last half of twenty-first century witnessed tremendous advancements in technology that ushered in new inventions at the beginning of this millennium. Chip technology led to introduction of multiple user computers customized to suit specific demands. Similarly, the diversity of computer technology field meant creation of various professions to handle different aspects of the new developments at different stages. One of the career opportunities created required the attention of technology coordinator. The person in this position deals with correspondence (electronic mails), research, event and conference coordination as well as examining new technologies. In brief, a technology coordinator is the person who manages technology depending on its application.
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Due to the wide range of functions required of a technology coordinator, people usually view them differently, particularly in relation to their job. As such, this essay intends to support the view that the job of a technology coordinator is easy. The basis of this argument derives from the key competencies of the individual in this position, the nature of his or her organization notwithstanding. For purposes of clarity, the essay uses the case of a school-based technology coordinator to argue views for this position in the rapidly expanding computer technology industry.
Technology coordinator in practice
As a career in the computer industry, technology experts view this position as one of the most critical in technology application. The fact that it deals with applications of relevant compatible technologies in different environments makes it even more appealing to many technicians because their knowledge coming in handy in the final stages of computers assembly. Arguably, without their intervention, computers may be limited to few functions or new technologies may turn out to be obsolete! In most organizations where computer-aided activities are the order of the day, technology coordinators make a team of respected professionals whose role is in monitoring and maintaining local interlinks in the relaying various information channels. Across the nation, a stipulated salary of a technology coordinator ranges between $50, 000 to $110,000 per annum. The pay varies from one state to another. In addition, it depends on the level of the skilled coordinator. As a professional in the Information and Communication Technology industry, my job as technology coordinator involves managing networks, advising on how and when to integrate technology in a lesson and research for implementation of technological needs of organizations (Holloman &Sugar 66).
Requirements for a technology coordinator
Different institutions have their requirements for a technology coordinator. For example, Clarksville Montgomery County school system has certain minimum qualifications for such a position. The criterion lays emphasis on interpersonal communication, data concepts, intelligence, verbal aptitude as well as numerical and spatial competencies. The basic qualification includes a degree in computer science and computer education (William 3).
This career needs a person with good communication and interpersonal skills; you encounter different kinds of people from various cultures. Young and old alike, the computer users served from our databases show their curiosity to know the basic concepts of running the programs in the their computers. Therefore, this job demands a mix of flexibility and dynamism from the character of any person that wishes to work in this area. Consequently, the daunting task of integrating new systems into older versions of computers would be extremely easy and simple.
Besides, it takes long-term practice to establish the navigation skills necessary in performing various commands in newly developed programs. However, with each new program come technological changes that accompany its implementation. Therefore, an experienced coordinator would find it easier to assess the quality of the program before advising for its use.
Responsibilities of a technology coordinator
In the Clarksville Montgomery county school, the coordinator is charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing school computer manuals, the implementation part of the job simply involves evaluation of existing technologies and periodic adjustments in the working schedules. The most interesting bit about this job is that it allows you to integrate your natural skills to interact with the community. in this regard, the job of the coordinator becomes relevant to the school when he links parents and other volunteers to the school administration for meeting the needs of the school in important functions such as fundraising, computer aids and technical assistants. In essence, the school depends on the networks developed by technology coordinators to link potential supporters with the school.
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Annual hardware acquisition is yet another important school activity that requires the intervention of technology coordinator. It is rightfully believed that technology coordinators know the best sources for computer hardware and specific spare parts that are compatible with the computers the school in using. Consequently, I help in budgeting for the gadgets the institution needs when it is critically in need of the machines and accompanying peripheral fittings.
Much of the work of a technology coordinator in the school aims at improving the general stand of education in the school. As such, I undertake the duty of informing the teachers about the use of new technology and develop programs that inculcate technological skills in the students.
Challenges for a technology coordinator
In most cases, the school lacks adequate ultra-modern facilities for teaching computer programs that are newly developed in the market. Sometimes, the desire to satisfy the curiosity of students and teachers in the school by setting up a new local network system is deterred by lack of necessary equipment. In these cases, one cannot improvise any component to substitute for parts used in the connections. The conflict of developing and maintaining new technology in a school setup often results in frustration when you consider that, college training proceeds under all necessary facilities in operational condition. On the contrary, what one finds in the job has many loops to be workout. This presents extra work for the coordinator.
There are several instances where integrating new technology in old version computers takes significantly longer times than expected. This may amount to stress when the program is intended for urgent use. However, experts in this area find it a little easy to convert important codes of the program into the existing software. Similarly, it may require someone to master a variety of codes and scripts before fully embarking on this job. While, many teachers and students may not understand some of the underlying concepts employed in systems analysis, it always remains a food for thought when as a coordinator, I fail to explain why some plans work the way they do (Groff and Mouza 42).
I will encourage the private sector to fund technology in education as part of their corporate social responsibility. This will improve the quality of education. This will also benefit the private sector that will get to employ well-trained employees. I advise the school to provide on-site technical assistance. This will enable teachers to get help on demand. This is extremely useful when introducing new technology to prevent user frustration and resistance to new technology. Another method that works in getting teachers interested is by starting small. I took a small number of interested teachers who are technology conscious and motivated them to get interested so that they draw others. This group, who are usually early adopters, will help to sustain the interest of other teachers when they face difficulties.
First, teachers can discuss with me their technical capabilities and limitations so that I know how to assist them. Respect the rules and regulations I recommend. For instance, I may restrict downloading of software when there is high network traffic. Be respectful to the coordinator despite my age.
Staff should make an effort of attending all training. Whenever teachers feel that there is a need for training on a course, they should feel free to inform me.
New technology coordinators need time to adjust to their career schools should encourage integration of staff in the new programs. School staff and students should understand that a technology coordinator might not know everything. Technology keeps changing hence exchange and free flow of ideas is encouraged to make this job easier.
The technology coordinator needs to define a comprehensive protocol that incorporates the views of both the students and the teachers. A circular that contains the protocols may be distributed to all members concerned to keep them enlightened with the new developments. He should educate the school decision-makers so that they are aware of your activities, and to enable them understand capabilities and shortfalls of whatever system is available. The school administration should remember that technology integration is more than just purchasing software and hardware They will also understand staffing needs for instance, when a staff member is strained and when staff members need retraining (Wang 53).
Technological assistance in different dimensions is necessary
This includes training staff on expected challenges of new systems, practical demonstrations and low-level system maintenance. The technological coordinator can encourage the technology change process by encouraging donors and financers to give teachers personal use of computers. Teachers attending computer classes may get computers as motivations. This will encourage teachers to use computers at his or her own pace and time. This will make teachers feel responsible to learn the use of technology. When you give a gift (a computer in this case) in your house, you want to utilize it to the maximum.
The technology coordinator can improve technology use through limited recourses. Some possibilities include enhancing the professionalism and image of IT operations by building a process that encourages communication, feedback mechanisms and by defining expectations of the operations (Prevost 3).
The technology coordinators
This career presents a wide field for exploration in the future. The use of electronic correspondence is one specific area that is gaining acceptance by the day. In the education, electronic learning (e-learning) has to turn out as the most suitable way that schools are reaching the masses. This mode of teaching allows schools to expand without spending much money to expand their physical facilities. Demand for conveniences may ensure security of technology coordinators on their job as schools and various organizations depend on their services for efficient functioning.
To date, technology coordinators boast putting the final touches in the vast state of art equipment operational in schools, hospitals and theatres. Therefore, I would like to encourage students to join this career because there is a growing demand for technology coordinators in America and even beyond. Each new development in software or hardware technology presents with itself great interest for research in this field. In this regard, I owe special acknowledgments to Clarksville Montgomery county school for their regular feedback. Besides allowing for the adoption of new technologies, through the school management support system, I have been able to enhance much of the acquired technology and customized more than half tailored toward computer-aided studies for the students.
Holloman, Harold & Sugar, William. “Technology leaders wanted: Acknowledging the leadership role of a technology coordinator.”TechTrends, 53.6 (2009): 66
Groff, Jennifer. & Mouza, Chrystalla. “ A framework for addressing challenges to classroom technology use.” AACE Journal, 16.1, (2008): 42.
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Prevost, Lee. “The Unique challenges facing the IT professional in K-12 education.” Journal of I.T., 20.3 (2008):3.
Wang, Chien-hsing. “Technology leadership among school principals: A technology-coordinator’s perspective.” Asian social science 6:1 (2010): 53.