Mount Tamalpais School Member Spotlight #ATLISLife

Mount Tamalpais School Mill Valley, CA. ATLIS members since 2017

Mike Taverna, Director of Instructional Technology

 

What does #ATLISlife mean to you? 

"My first exposure to ATLIS was when I was working at Stevenson School with Allie Wenzel. I was part of the teaching staff for the Early Career and Aspiring Technology Director’s Institute (ECATD). It was nice to connect with other educators because Stevenson was geographically isolated from the Bay Area.

It was refreshing because of the connections I made through the ATLIS and when I would attend a conference or workshop I would recognize someone. Working at a small school, ATLIS gives me an outlet for professional development. It’s my professional development outlet where I can tap into the pooled resources. I find it difficult to attend conferences and workshops so I rely on ATLIS to tap into best practice and the broader edtech community. I just got the Access Points journal recently. What a great resource! I’m glad to stay affiliated because, without ATLIS, I would miss out on many opportunities."

 

What’s happening in your world that members should know?

"Currently, our most notable project is infrastructure updates. When I started at MTS, the school had been using many in-house tech solutions.  All data was locally stored, and the school had an unstable internet connection. In April 2017, major infrastructure work was done to upgrade the connectivity for an improved learning experience. I was hired in July of 2017. Entering this new role, I had the opportunity to be a part of many improvements and upgrades. Some examples included implementing a school-to-home communication platform (ParentSquare), revamping the school website, switching the SIS, and revamping the report cards. There was a lot to get up to speed in one year. At the beginning of my third year, I’m now evaluating and managing the change of all these new things with faculty. Our Head of School has been great setting the school up for the future. Our motto is ’Tradition Meets Tomorrow.’ We’re working to improve our curriculum and programs. There are many exciting changes, but it also means I’m managing a lot solo. The school is making great strides!  That's what lured me here- to help the school “move the needle”. It's been fun! We're hoping to leapfrog over some of the things that other schools have done- avoid the pitfalls. It's really great because with ATLIS I can call on many different people to help- whether it is a platform or a better way of doing something. Our goal is to maintain real traditional values as a school while preparing students for competitive high schools. There are many schools grappling with the same thing. One exciting capital improvement is a STEM center that will begin this summer. We have a K-4 engineering program and STEM classes in grades 5-6. This new space will be equipped with computers, 3d printers, and robotics." 

How are you using ATLIS throughout your school? 

"The most impacting way was participating in the Technology, Impact, and Efficacy (TIE) Assessment. I benchmarked community member sentiments during my first year. It allowed me to gauge what the students and teachers were thinking about, including their experiences and learning processes. I will use that as a benchmark for further planning. I'm planning on doing the TIE again this year, too. The TIE Assessment allows me to have a great tool for year-over-year comparison to get a pulse on technology at the school."

-Mike Taverna, Director of Instructional Technology

Mount Tamalpais School

Mill Valley, CA

 

Would you like your school to be featured on #ATLISlife? Contact Ashley Cross

 

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