Benson Kwok, Instructional Technology Coordinator
Glendale Unified School District
Member Since 2013
* Share with us – what is one new initiative you are working on in your district?
As part of the Educational Technology and Information Systems Department, I am currently leading the implementation of Office 365 and Microsoft Education tools in our district. We feel that offering Office 365 alongside Google Apps for Education will help meet the diverse needs of our learners in preparing them for a dynamic and fast changing world, while empowering our educators with a variety of tools to enhance instruction. I work closely with our district professional development team and other departments to organize, facilitate and spearhead training across the district. In addition to Microsoft Edu and GAFE we are focused on supporting the Open Educational Resources based math curriculum assembled by our coaches and Universal Design for Learning concepts in grades Kinder through twelve.
* What is one strategy you use to have a more productive workday?
I try my best to focus one task at a time. This is nearly impossible in today’s work environment as we are constantly bombarded with email, text, internet and phone related distractions. I prioritize my task list, choose one thing to work on and to a certain degree ignore other everything else. I often take mental breaks by talking a brisk walk, doing breathing exercise and stretching as I work on a my stand up desk. I find this keep me refreshed and focused on my work.
* Name one thing your “Mama always told you”?
Until you are able to openly admit your mistakes, you are doomed to keep repeating them. I try conduct myself openly and I freely admit my mistakes. Openness and honesty breeds trust.
* When you “unplug” – what do you like to do?
I play ice hockey twice a week, frequent the outdoors on long hikes with my dog, Hanna.
* Where was your last training for NCCE? Tell us about it?
A Conference presentation on “Blended Learning with Office 365” for the California Education Technology Professional Association in San Diego CA. I focused on tools such as OneNote Class Notebooks, Skype, Sway and OfficeMix. Participants were mostly IT professionals that work for school districts in California. I was happy to provide an educators view on how these tools can impact teaching and learning.