655 South Monaco Parkway
Denver, CO  80224

 
George Washington High School

 

October 30, 2000

Dear ILT Program Chair:

The process of developing this portfolio has been a valuable reflection tool, clearly bringing out the breadth and depth of my development over the last 3 ˝ years.  I began in the spring of 1997 with IT5110 learning about Job Aids and Systems Development and am finishing with well developed web skills, leadership skills, and extensive project experience.  I plan to continue developing these leadership responsibilities within the district where I work, to be a mentor and supporter of the integration of technology in curriculum, and to inspire students.  The Information and Learning Technologies Program has influenced my professional goals in three areas: expanded and developed technical skills, broadened leadership role, and deepened understanding of pedagogy.

Technical Skills – I have always had an affinity towards technology.  Before my teaching career I was employed as a Systems Analyst, developing financial systems.  Now I teach many different computer related courses.   Many of my UCD classmates mistakenly believed that I already had all the skills I needed given the courses that I teach.  This was not the case.  While I was familiar with a lot of software, I was not skilled in applying it. ILT courses facilitated by exploration of software and helped structure my time to practice and apply my knowledge.   The best example of this was IT5600: Multimedia Web Authoring.  I had no previous web experience, but a semester later have been able to create substantial web sites that are the primary communication delivery for the school and district in which I am employed.  (See 164.92.126.25 for an example.)

Leadership – Early in my career as an educator I was content to stay within the four walls of my classroom and teach ‘my students’.  Many of my teaching peers agreed that this approach was the best way to survive long term in a large, urban high school.  The ILT program and Brent Wilson encouraged me to take a leadership role within my school and district and to become a champion for the meaningful use of technology in instruction.  This led me to volunteer to chair the DPS Federal Perkins Vocational Team, which guides the dispersal of a yearly budget of $750,000.  A significant role of this team was to redesign all Business courses and curriculum to reflect best practices for integrating technology with instruction.  At the school level, I coordinated the development of the technology plan, organized the in-school technical training, off site workshop training and conferences (such as TIE), and developed and provided technical support for a new school web site that is setting new standards for high school web communication delivery models.

Pedagogy – The ILT program has also guided me through the process of re-evaluating my philosophy of education.  Specifically, the IT 5160 course exposed me to new ideas regarding change models (The Principle of Leverage, Shared Vision, and Mental Models) that I have applied and fine-tuned with success over the last two years.     The success of both the web site and the school technology plan is directly related to the implementation of these models.  The basis and rationale for the instructional design and delivery of my courses reflect the pedagogical models discussed in ILT courses. Two examples of this include the units I teach on project management and the use of project-based learning.

I feel the ILT program has provided me with a solid base of skills and opportunities for reflection necessary to be successful. I am now equipped with the skills to challenge others and myself in these areas.

Sincerely,

Peter Griffin

Computer Magnet Director
Career and Technology Department Head