My name is Nicole Lakusta. Currently I am the Curriculum Educational Technology Facilitator for Parkland School Division. It serves 11,000 K – 12 students and 1,100 employees residing on the western edge of Edmonton, Alberta, surrounding and including the City of Spruce Grove, Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County.
First entree into Division Office
My facilitation is part of a two year Supporting Innovative Classrooms – SLItech (Supporting Leaders in Integrating Technology) Project initiated by Alberta Education. After teaching for 15 years, of which 8 were in an Assistant Principalship context, I am excited to take my passion for learning with technology out to the “masses”. I have the amazing opportunity to work with each school administrative team and some teacher leaders. Understanding the daily leadership opportunities and challenges and taking the time to listen to our administrative teams is a gift I will never forget. As well, having contacts outside the school division with other school divisions who are also involved in the SIC initiative has been rewarding. As we know, implementing emerging technologies in one’s school requires accepting new challenges and embracing new opportunities – and this is not always an easy step for administrators or anyone for that matter!
I believe that the success of technology integration initiatives such as our SLItech Project relies on our educational leaders to excel in supporting, implementing and sustaining school change. There are two critical understandings for administrators (as per ISTE).
1) Administrators must become comfortable collaborating with teachers and students globally.
2) Administrators need to think less about staying ahead and more about moving forward as members of dynamic learning communities.
The next 1.5 year project was the Bring IT project headed by the 2Learn.ca Education Society. There were 4 of our schools involved and then other school divisions when we met as a whole provincial group. Bring IT involved a Principal as well as a core group of teachers who met on a monthly basis with 2Learn facilitators and myself to engage in half day personalized professional learning opportunities.
LTPF Leadership Projects
Parkland School Division was one of ten school divisions who were central to this 1.5 year project. Within our school division, four school sites were represented by an Administrator, and EdTech person and I.T. representation. Opportunities to visit other school sites within the province, create our own Logic Model and Measures, time to move technology implementation and leadership forward and even take in an exciting trip to the Texas Computer Educators Assoc. week-long Conference and Exposition was a highlight!
LTPF – Learning and Technology Policy Framework continues to be the main focus of my work. I now have several years under my belt working from a Division perspective, liaising with other school divisions and organizations. Feel free to follow this blog or other Social Media applications -see my About.Me page – that I share my learning, connections, and advice.
I reflect on the how my parents have influenced who I am and what I stand for, ensuring that what I input here is also connected to their values, their wants and needs for a world that they now see as such a global community. For as they were growing up, my mother (Maman) in a French community west of Winnipeg, Manitoba and my father (Daddy) in a north west community in Germany understood then the importance of being dynamic members of their respective communities. They instilled and continue to instill in my younger brother and I to learn from others, to try our best in whatever we put our minds to and to leave a lasting legacy.
Now for the title of my blog, for those of you who know me before married life….my maiden name is Otto and since I like technology, I couldn’t resist the play on words!!
Anniversary celebration in Lethbridge – see Kurt (my brother) and wife Joy with some of us. Yes, it is ME with short hair.