Back when I was teaching, I had an intern from High Tech High work for me and helped design one of the computer labs in the school. I dug up this old interview he conducted when interning…old school! Below are some snippets. I edited some parts for privacy reasons.
Howard Chan: Technology Evangelist – A local teacher strives to integrate technology into classrooms.
At a secluded corner on 5th Avenue Downtown, is a business looking building with a canopy hanging over the front door. The lone blue grayish building houses almost 300 students that are looking to reinvent the meaning of “knowledge is power”.
Mr. Chan is the Director of Educational Technology at a local charter middle school in downtown San Diego. He currently teaches all the programs in the BET Design Center (Business, Engineering, Technology) and maintains/supports the school technology infrastructure. Mr. Chan also provides training for teachers and advises instructional technology leaders on a national scale.
Before transitioning to a teaching career, Mr. Chan spent seven years in the engineering industry working for various high tech firms in the Silicon Valley. Mr. Chan’s educational background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University, a multiple subjects teaching credential and M.A. in Cross-Cultural Education from National University.
NM: What subject do you teach?
HC: I teach 5th through 8th grade, I teach business course, engineering course, and technology here at the school.
NM: How many years have you been teaching here?
HC: I’ve been teaching here for three years now, teaching in general six years.
NM: Where else have you been a teacher at?
HC: I taught in San Jose in the Bay Area.
NM: So I here that you educate teachers and other adults about technology, are they harder to teach than students?
HC: Yes, Adults are harder to teach than students. Absolutely.
NM: Where do you teach them?
HC: So we have professional development days every two weeks and we meet once a month as a technology group to get some get professional development in technology integration.
NM: What is the hardest part of your job?
HC: Hardest part of my job is balancing work and personal life.
NM: I’ve seen a picture with you and our California Governor (Arnold Schwarzenegger) how was it like meeting him?
HC: When I first met him he really looks like a wax doll, he had a lot of make up on. Because he was doing his speech live that day. He’s a nice guy, intimidating, big fella and actually nice guy and asked some pretty good questions when he came to my lab.
NM: So I follow you on twitter and your tweets are very informational. So how do you use it?
HC: Most people today associate twitter to a personal, entertainment application. Where I use it as a professional tool and my tweets are professional and I connect with other educational technology, professionals, engineers, IT professionals, and other technologists who tweet about related to technology, IT, edtech, and other instructional technologies. It allows you to connect with a bigger network of people who have expertise in knowledge, resource, and experience with integrating technology in the classroom it helps me grow.
NM: So if you post a question do people reply to you?
HC: If you build enough of a network and you reciprocate information with each other, people tend to reply to you and you build a reputation on twitter. Being a guy that helps others and people tend to help you back.
NM: What are you most passionate about?
HC: Passionate about making a difference in this world.
NM: Was there a teacher that inspired you to become a teacher?
HC: I come from a family of educators. My sister, mom, and grandpa are educators. They are my inspiration.
Recently, there was a tweet about where technology directors of K12 organizations share information on twitter. The #EduIT hashtag has evolved into a stream of conversations and resources for technology directors. The focus of the hashtag usually revolves on IT infrastructures that support EdTech innovations in the classroom. You will probably find cool new IT equipment, tech policies, tips, and hacks that are being shared on #EduIT. There is also a twitter list I have created with over 100+ technology directors who work in K12 organizations. Great people to follow and learn from.