Over the next few weeks, Education Dive will be profiling individuals who have been selected for the Education Dive A-List. The A-List is a set of distinctive voices on Twitter who are helping to push the industry forward, and have been chosen to show up in Education Dive's "Trending" section.
A-List Member: Chris Christensen
Twitter Handle: @christensen143
What is your day job?
I am the "Tech Guy" for Addison Community Schools. My official title is Network and Systems Administrator and I've gone by Technology Director as well but everyone calls me the "Tech Guy" so I've embraced that title.
How did you get your start in education?
Originally I studied to be a Secondary Education teacher. I majored in History and minored in English. I got a job as a long-term substitute teacher in a small private school in the suburbs of Detroit, Mich. While I was there I took my hobby of "breaking" computers and put it to work improving the technology in the school. I left the education field for about eight years to work in the corporate world and returned in 2008 to take over the reigns at Addison Community Schools.
What do you think will be the biggest trends in education over the next year or two?
I think technology that is used in a learner-centered classroom will continue to be big. The iPad is gaining steam and offers a lot of tools that could reduce the cost of having things like a "smart" board in the classroom. A sleeper to the game is the AppleTV which allows the iPad to be an interactive part of the classroom. Every student can project their iPad on to the screen giving them each a "smart" board at their desk.
What is the one Twitter account that you would recommend that education professionals follow and why?
There are a lot of great people on Twitter to follow and I think reducing it to one person is a mistake. If anything I try to teach people to use back channels and chats. Start using a client like TweetDeck (free) and have a column dedicated to #edchat, one to #edtech and then take a look at all of the great chats and back channels available on http://www.cybraryman.com/chats.html that apply to what you do. Everything from special ed (#spedchat) to early childhood education technology chat (#ecetechchat) is available. Twitter is truly a personal learning network.
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