I’ve been in education for 22+ years now and since my days of student teaching I have been integrating technology into my every day life as an educator. During my student teaching I remember facilitating the making of a HyperStudio stack with 3rd grade students on a Texas history project. Little did I know at that time years later I would be serving as the Director of Instructional Technology.
Through the years I have leveraged technology to help in many areas of my job and have provided countless hours of professional development for staff. Though I’ve helped many people with programs that make them more productive and efficient in their jobs, my hope has always been to focus more on instructional software that will help students be successful academically.
This past year that changed dramatically for me personally. I was commissioned to lead my district in implementing a new safety management and communication app called CrisisGo. The app is fantastic for organizing all your safety management resources such as checklists, maps, tips, and bully reports. The most important features it offers is the ability to quickly alert staff during any emergencies such as fires, active shooter, or tornadoes. The app works on multiple devices and provides a means to quickly communicate during various events.
Implementing the use of this app has once again challenged me to provide training to ALL of our district staff including bus drivers, custodians, teachers, administrators, etc. Most of my professional development is typically for teachers so this was interesting and challenging to see how different groups responded. Thankfully after a few weeks of training and various drills I feel most of our staff is prepared to use the app when needed.
Normally I would be thrilled with the opportunity to provide professional learning experiences for every single staff member. However, this is one of those times that I’m heartbroken and hope we never have to us the app. Sure, I see the value in this app and feel it’s an excellent tool produced by a great company but it’s a shame that our society needs this tool.
I pray that our schools can be safe places for students to learn and we spend less time having to prepare for the worst. I’m happy to provide our staff training and support on this app to keep our students safe but lets spend more time raising kids to love one another and make sure they are provided services to deal with the pressures of life that lead to such violence.
What are your thoughts on school safety? Share them in the comments.