Picture this … you’re leading an elementary classroom that’s buzzing with excitement over a new Google Expedition to the bottom of the ocean.
20 virtual reality goggles all set up? Check.
20 eager faces ready to scuba dive from their classroom seats? Check.
20 device connections looking strong? Check.
And then … a technology glitch threatens to sink the entire interactive lesson. Who saves this ship? Kyle Morse from Glens Falls’ IT Department!
“I provide technical support, and also help troubleshoot technology across the district,” Mr. Morse says. “If your computer is having issues, I am the guy who comes and fixes it. There is always something new each day, whether it’s getting my hands on the latest technology, or something as simple as replacing a keyboard — I never feel like I am doing the same thing, which keeps me motivated and constantly learning.”
“As a former student here, knowing I had access to some of the latest technology helped me and my peers become acquainted with it,” Mr. Morse continues. “We’re unlike a lot of districts across the country, where many kids are still struggling to have access to modern equipment. If I can be in the classroom to help make sure everything is running smoothly, I know it relieves pressure on both the teaching staff and student body, which then translates into a less stressful and more effective learning environment.”
The district’s embrace of new teaching and learning styles has brought many new educational technologies into the classroom—along with the need to support them.
“When we had a help desk technician position open up I immediately thought of Kyle,” says Director of IT, Paul Streicher. “I remembered how resourceful and willing he was to try to resolve a problem, even if he did not have previous experience with it. He always had a great attitude and work ethic when he interned with us as a high school student.”
“It’s that attitude and resolve that makes him such a valuable member of the team,” Mr. Streicher continues. “I know I can assign him to a challenging problem or task and he is going to diligently work toward a resolution or fix.”
In the almost two years Mr. Morse has worked for the district, he has taken over the majority of GFSD’s Chromebook management. And he believes that starting kids at a young age familiarizes both the students and the teachers with technology. “The best way to learn is to do,” Mr. Morse notes. “Teachers have been able to incorporate these technologies into their classrooms and even design their lesson plans around it.”
“With over 2,000 devices now, it is a huge task, but he’s come up with procedures and processes that really keep us organized and able to respond to all of the changes we see on a daily basis,” says Mr. Streicher.
As Glens Falls City Schools work toward providing a rigorous, relevant educational program built on relationships, Mr. Morse plays a key role with high school students interested in tech.“The most rewarding aspect of my job has come from the student help desk, which we call, SWAT (Students Willing to Assist with Technology),” says Mr. Morse. “Some students may not have the technical skills in the beginning of the course, and at the end they are teaching me things. Watching them develop confidence and soft skills before they head into the workforce or secondary education makes you feel like you’ve impacted someone’s life for the good.”
Mr. Morse is an alumnus of Glens Falls High School, class of 2016, and says “I never thought I’d be back so soon.” His favorite volunteer activity is the Sons of the American Legion, where he is the adjutant for Post 233 here in Glens Falls. Outside of work, he enjoys watching the Red Sox, traveling, and riding motorcycles. “I am a firm believer in distancing yourself from technology, even if it’s a few hours a day,” he says. “There is a huge world out there — get out and enjoy it!”