An Unexpected Path
The primary purpose of this blog will be to discuss Wi-Fi technologies and their impact on educational environments. I think that in order to understand why I’m starting this I have to tell you about my unexpected path into wireless technology interest.
Technology has been an interest for me for as long as I can remember. The personal computer came into it’s own as I came into mine. I had Macs in my elementary school. I had a PC in my home all throughout my school years and in High School I took a business applications class where we learned how to use Microsoft Office. Any chance I got to learn more about emerging technologies I would take and I had teachers asking me to troubleshoot their computer issues.
Although I always had an interest in technology I ended up pursuing my Bachelors degree in Human Performance and Wellness with an emphasis on Athletic Training. I had an aptitude for listening to patient complaints, understanding symptoms, hypothesizing a possible malady, utilizing proper tests to verify my hypothesis, and then implementing a treatment plan to remedy the issue. It turns out that this is a troubleshooting methodology that is quite useful in systems administration.
After I finished my Bachelors I went back to school to get my teaching certificate in High School Social Studies. I know… I told you it was an unexpected path. I have an aptitude for troubleshooting and methodology, but I have a passion for education. I believe that education is the number one thing we could change in our society that would bring about all of the other social changes that we all argue about every day. You want to end poverty, start with education. You want to decrease unemployment and underemployment, start with education. You want to reduce silly, tribal, over-emotional, social media arguments, start with education.
Also believe that education is a couple of centuries behind the rest of the society. A wise man once told me that the education system in 2017 is twentieth century teachers, teaching twenty-first century students using nineteenth century methods. I recognized this as a problem within the first year of my teaching career.
I wanted some methods to change this so I decided to pursue my Master’s degree in Information and Learning technologies. What I learned most from this degree is that technology is, obviously, the tool, but the real change comes from within the teacher. Helping teachers to change the way they think about education and the way they think about themselves and their profession is the key to changing how education works.
Teachers need technology that helps them transform their classrooms in a way that helps them meet their standards while also being easy to implement, highly repeatable, and entirely reliable.
I left my teaching job and became an accidental systems administrator at a school district. It wasn’t a move that was supposed to stick. I thought that I would use my technology aptitude to get my foot in the door at a school district and then get a teaching job again. But it turned out that my aptitude for methodology and problem solving technology combined with my passion for education uniquely suited me for providing teachers with devices that helped to take that first step toward easy, repeatable, and reliable.
This is where I was first introduced to Wi-Fi as a technology (and not just a thing that made my things work). There were a multitude of times that I just knew that the issue was not the device, but an issue with the network, but I was unable to conceptualize or explain why that was the case. From then on I was determined to learn how Wi-Fi works, why it works, and how to figure out what’s wrong when it isn’t working correctly.
So here we are… I achieved my CWNA in August 2017. I’m hoping to complete the remainder of my CWNP certifications by the end of the year. I’ve caught the Wi-Fi bug. And I’m hoping that I can learn how to eliminate network as a barrier to technology integration for teachers.
I hope that this blog will be a place where I can successfully merge my aptitudes and passions and that can help other people who are interested in the same.