I am a generalist and a specialist

Working with our Buildings and Grounds Department this summer on a major project to renovate classrooms in one of our buildings, and meeting with them and contractors yesterday to discuss technology in a planned new fitness center, I got to thinking at how my role on campus is that of a generalist who must know much of all kinds of technologies. I not only advise faculty on integrating technology into their teaching–as most Instructional Technologists do–but also advise on what technology to purchase or put in a classroom. I am the primary system administrator for Blackboard and our Google Apps for Education domain, as well as the primary admin for our WordPress server. Among our User Support Team in Information Services I am the subject matter expert on all kinds of software, being a certified Microsoft Office Specialist. I also do all the technical training on campus for faculty, staff, and students. When it comes to technology I am pretty much a jack of all trades.

This tends to keep my job interesting and exciting. I get to do all kinds of things, from removing old equipment to introducing new faculty to our various systems. Sometimes I’m crawling under a desk to check a connection or climbing up on a desk to turn on a projector with a missing remote control. It always keeps me on my toes.

As the only Instructional Technologist on our campus, a member of a small Information Services Department, I’d say such dynamics are par for the course. And I thoroughly enjoy it.

(Although it can be overwhelming at times. So I’m looking forward to having student workers again to help me out.)

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