Eric Folks, M. Ed. Tech.
Mobile Learning Specialist, Teacher, and Social Media Manager in Lampasas, Texas
First and foremost, I have three loving, scrappy boys (16, 15, 7) and an amazing, supportive wife of sixteen years, who is also a passionate educator (currently serving as a Curriculum Instructional Technologist).
After eight years teaching English at the secondary level in Canyon, TX, in the fall of 2010, I had the great opportunity to move to Lampasas, TX and become Lampasas I.S.D.'s first-ever, Instructional Technology Coordinator.
Looking back over the last five years, I realize we have come far as a district. Through a combination of district-wide infrastructure changes, upgrades, and software adoptions, we have: gone SMART, Discovery Ed, & Office 365 across the district; gone Google for grades 5-12; gone wireless across the district; reached more of our community through social media; and begun transforming classrooms through what officially became a district-wide 1:1 technology initiative for grades 5-12 in the 2015-2016 school year.
That same year, I was honored to be given the great task of leading this effort, which we're calling the iBadger iPad Initiative, under the new title of Mobile Learning Specialist. Our first year with grades 5 & 6 was a resounding success, and we are excited to be adding 7th & 8th grade for the 2016-2017 school year. We are also expanding our Chromebook pilot program at the high school this year, with plans to add Chromebooks for all 9th graders in the 2017-2018 school year (with grades 10-12 to follow).
To make these initiatives a success, in 2011, our entire Curriculum team completely redesigned our August Professional Development experience for teachers, and we now offer well-over a 100 sessions for teachers to choose from over the multi-day, conference-style, community-vendor supported event.
Our P.D. is ongoing and multi-faceted, and the results of these efforts have been remarkable. When I started, LISD trailed state averages on statewide exams. With each successive year, our district has not just caught up with state averages; in many areas, we now exceed them. Most importantly, there's an undeniable air of excitement & opportunity flowing through LISD classrooms.