Gaining the Trust of Administrators and Teachers as a Tech Director
A discussion with Eujon Anderson of Troy City Schools, Alabama
Eujon Anderson is the Technology Director for Alabama’s Troy City Schools. He will be presenting at the 2020 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), coming to Miami in January, focusing on the impact of technology on instructional leaders, coaches, and teachers.
Anderson entered his education career from the technical side. Around nine years ago, he was employed by a district working behind the scenes in network configuration when the district technical director left for a different position. The new job opening was offered to Anderson, initiating his journey as a technology director.
“I fell into [the position], but it was also exciting. The learning curve was very high for me, especially with the direction I wanted to go. Like most directors with a technical background, my first [instinct] was to make certain that we lock everything down [in terms of] access to our network. We know what can happen on the back end when a teacher accidentally enters the wrong thing.”
He remembers a conversation with an administrator during his early years in the role that changed his way of thinking and steered him onto the path he’s on today. The administrator stressed the importance of professional learning in education technology; in particular, the development of strong communication skills with teachers and school leadership. Anderson explains, “As much as you try to support on the technology side, if teachers or administrators don’t trust you, and don’t see who you are as a person, understanding things from their level, you’re going to have a struggle.”
Anderson learned about classroom dynamics by observing firsthand how students were interacting with devices. He began to have meaningful conversations with administrators and teachers to gain a better understanding of access needs from their perspective. It all led to a greater emphasis on professional learning. “Fast forward to now. I believe for tech directors, the push for professional learning has been very key. [The progress] in our role is because of that,” he adds.
Sharing his expertise while learning from others in the education community at a platform like FETC is an opportunity Anderson enjoys. He especially likes giving others hope for their situations by relating success stories from his district. He adds, “By far, FETC is one of my favorite edtech conferences to attend because I’m always finding somebody who is either an administrator or tech director going through the same thing I’m going through. I [can] get pointers. I love going to that conference to share my story and experience, especially as a tech director from a small-to-medium-sized group.”
About Eujon Anderson
Eujon Anderson is the Technology Director for Troy City Schools, located in Troy, Alabama. As Technology Director, Eujon Anderson oversees the daily tasks of managing the network infrastructure of three schools, as well as, technology planning, professional development, and keeping the technology in order in the classrooms. Mr. Anderson currently provides for over 2500 technology devices, in particular, an initiative with Chromebooks 3rd – 12th, called TCS BlendED.
Eujon Anderson currently holds certifications in Google as a Google Certified Educator Level One and Two, a Google Certified Trainer, and is pursuing the Google Innovator. Mr. Anderson is also pursuing his Masters in Instructional Technology from Auburn University in Montgomery.
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The 40th anniversary Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place January 14-17, 2020 in Miami, Fla. Registration is now open at Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)