My name is Daniel Baker and I am the instructional technology specialist for the College of Education at Georgia university. I have been in the role for just over 5 years and came from the private sector. I am a first generation college graduate who went to working at a Fortune 500 company as an IT Project Manager until I was laid off as they were downsizing the department. Before being laid-off I had wondered if I really want to do project management for the rest of my life, even though the salary was great, I did not enjoy sitting in a cube farm teleconferencing and sending emails everyday. The layoff, though hard at first, allowed me an opportunity to search for a position that allowed me still be in IT and being able to interact with people. I landed a position as a desktop support technician and though I learned a lot and gained a lot of responsibilities, my salary didn’t come anywhere close to reflecting that.
One of the most important professional accomplishments I’ve had was advocating to my dean and associate dean to have a technology lab for students to be able to come to a centralized location for equipment check-outs, technology support and to work on their videos for their assignments and for the EdTPA portfolio. Originally, the “lab” was made up of 6 computers and just this year expanded to a bigger location with 16 computers. Since the lab opened, we have continuously had more students come in for support and use the resources we provide.
I have always wanted to continue to learn and felt that if I stopped learning that I would fall behind. In my career, I continue to learn to see what are the upcoming technologies are emerging in public school and see if that is something we need or want to implement in our undergraduate courses. I also work with our IT department to make them aware of the goals of our department and to be able to lean on them when I need their assistance.
My hobbies include cars, photography, computers and other technology that I can barely afford. My five year-old daughter calls me the “fixer” and believes that I fix things in my job, which she isn’t completely wrong.