Become An EdTech Specialist: Do You Have What It Takes?

Over the past few years, I’ve talked to a lot of technology ‘specialists’. On your home turf (school), most of you reading this probably fall into the category of edtech specialist. I’ve been pondering what exactly it means to be an edtech ‘specialist’, and the conclusion that I’ve come to is that it doesn’t always have as much to do with the amount or type of technology knowledge and skills you have, but is more about how you put what you do know to use, and how you choose to share it. Even though many teachers think that they know about ‘some’ technology, they probably wouldn’t consider themselves enough of a tech geek to become an edtech specialist. 

The handy infographic below takes a look at the ‘anatomy’ of an edtech specialist. You’ll see that even in the knowledge section of the anatomy chart, specific technology skills aren’t listed, though they could fall into one of the more general categories. Rather, you’ll see that many of the characteristics highlighted involve being a leader, a sharer, and a learner. Keep reading to learn more.

What Does An Edtech Specialist Look Like?

Personal Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with staff, students, and parents
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Acknowledged leadership and collaboration skills
  • Acknowledged ability to manage change
  • Involved in continuous professional growth and leadership

Knowledge

  • Sound understanding of 21st century skills in education
  • Sound understanding of collaborative planning
  • Sound understanding of inquiry based practices
  • Up to date on current effective teaching practices with technology through professional development

Experience

  • Demonstrate success in using 21st century skills in the classroom
  • Demonstrate success in fostering a range of digital skills and attitudes in others
  • Experience in leading others in a variety of contexts

anatomy of an edtech specialist

7 Comments

  1. Shannon Knapp

    October 27, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I have been dreaming of working as an instructional technology integrator, or ed tech specialist for over a year now. I have always been held back by the thought that I do not have the knowledge or aptitude for the coding or technical expertise. This link gives me hope that I will be able to create work around spreading ed tech proficiency! Thanks!

  2. Rosemary Talab

    October 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Instructional design knowledge is important, as well. It’s not enough to know the technology, one must also understand ways to apply the tools in teaching in a systematic fashion. Technology without curriculum is just gadgetry.

  3. Rose Rothmier

    November 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    This is my “Dream Job”! My school district finally had an opening as an Ed Tech Professional Development Facilitator last year, for which I applied. I was soooo close, but in spite of my past experience with district and staff PD’s, my current principal had never personally witnessed those skills, so could not attest to them. From what I understand, that was the ONLY thing that kept me from securing the position. This year, I am begging for opportunities whenever they arise, to allow me to facilitate staff PD’s while continuing to refine and increase my tech savviness!

  4. Lynne Horiuchi

    November 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    On my 1st day as an instructional tech specialist my manager gave me advice that I believe is the foundation of this job. “It’s all about relationships,” he said. ” We can teach you the tech but it won’t do any good if they don’t trust you. Build the realationship and the tech will come.”

  5. SC

    November 5, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    This looks like the definition of a successful educator, leader, and student. There are fewer and fewer ‘specialists’ in this particular area!

  6. Dave

    November 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Great graphic. But please, please, please can we just call these critical skills, or skills for today’s students? We’re nearly mid way through the second decade of the 21st Century, and that term is a little played out.

  7. Vaikunthan Rajaratnam

    December 9, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Great stuff. Yes love it. Am SME with technology skills and on mission to create digital warriors and gladiators of education