Episode 12: Tech Talk with Vero, Artie & Kara
Lowell Public School's has had a commitment to integrating technology into classrooms since the mid-1990s when George Tsapatsaris was Superintendent of Schools and Steve Arnoff was Chief of Information Technology. Eventually each school had an Instructional Technology Specialist and a computer lab. Technology - and times - have changed, but Lowell Public Schools continues its commitment to infusing technology into the curriculum and teaching in innovative ways that support teaching and learning for all.
We had the privilege to speak with Lowell’s three Technology Integration Specialists: Veronique "Vero" Roberts, Arthur Santos, and Kara Wilkins. If you've not had the opportunity to meet them in person, we hope you will after giving a listen to some of the ways these three technology experts are working with students and staff. Their enthusiasm and commitment to students and teachers is contagious - it is no wonder that these three rock stars are called the Technology Dream Team!
Be sure to explore the links in For More Information where you will find some links to examples of Technology Integrations Vero, Artie, and Kara have collaborated on with LPS staff, and where you can find a link to the current technology workshop and course offerings.
Veronique "Vero" Roberts grew up in France and later moved to the United Kingdom, where she lived for over 20 years. After initially moving to the UK to teach French, Vero eventually became enamored with InformationTechnology and worked in that field as a developer and analyst for more than 20 years. Vero returned to France in 2007, eventually moving to the US in 2013. In 2014, Vero started working for the Lowell Public Schools as an District Technology Integration Specialist. Vero is a data and database expert and organizes the MCAS scheduling and training as well as providing coverage and technical support. Vero has developed and provided staff professional development in the use of Google Drive and Google Classroom as well as supporting teachers in the integration of technology. Vero's work email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artie Santos is a District Technology Integration specialist providing technology-related professional development and trainings to teachers across the Lowell Public Schools. In addition, Artie assists principals with implementation and administration of the online MCAS testing. He is currently an adjunct faculty member of Fitchburg State University, and he develops and instructs teachers in required technology courses within Lowell Teacher Academy. Artie previously was a Computer Teacher for Grades 5-8 and prior to that, an English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher for Grade 7.
Artie is a Massachusetts Real Estate attorney and Real Estate broker who has been an adjunct for Middlesex Community College's paralegal program. He is an active member of Lowell School Administrators Association (LSAA) and is proud to serve this union as interim Secretary. Artie's work email is email@example.com.
Kara Wilkins began her career in education teaching special education and then Social Studies to 7th and 8th grade students. She is currently a District Technology Integration Specialist for the Lowell Public Schools. Kara was was named a Google Certified Educator and an Apple Teacher. In 2015, Kara has also been recognized as a Local PBS Digital Innovator for Massachusetts, and in 2018, she became PBS Digital Innovator All Star, one of 30 in the country. She has presented at MassCue and MASCD Leadership Conference 2017, MassCue Fall Conference 2018, and the EdTechTeacher Boston Summit 2018. Kara is an adjunct faculty member at Fitchburg State University and develops and teaches classes for Lowell Teacher Academy. Kara's work email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
For More Information
As we heard in the podcast, Vero, Artie and Kara have a plethora of technology resources gathered to support teachers and staff across the district. Need a tech tool to support a child need ADD support? Or reading materials for a newcomer? Check the Technology Integration resources on their in-house website. Go to the Lowell Public Schools website, make sure you have logged in using your credentials from LPSD, and navigate to “staff links” in the far right of the gray banner. In the drop-down, choose Instructional Technology. Better grab a cup of coffee - you’ll want to linger here.
Google for Education website can be found here.
Thanks to our guests - who we promise will return throughout the school year to share more projects and ideas with us. As always, we thank you for listening to this week's podcast. We welcome your comments and feedback. If you have suggestions for future podcasts, send us an email at UTLStraightTalk@gmail.com. And if you enjoy our podcasts, be sure to spread the word - or share with a friend (or two).