Driving across her region of Louisiana, Desiree Alexander speaks with passion about her job. Two years ago, Alexander realized that, despite spending 40-plus hours working in education technology each week, she still jumped at the chance to help when teachers asked for it.
“My heart lies with making sure that teachers know the reasoning behind why they want those 30 Chromebooks and ensuring they have the knowledge and skills to use [technology] effectively,” she said.
Her Instructional Technology department is about more than just fixing computers, she explained. It’s about teaching teachers. Since 2015, Alexander has worked as both an instructional technology supervisor for Louisiana’s Caddo Parish Public Schools and program manager for Advance Innovative Education Statewide. Alexander has managed all of these posts while starting her own ed tech consulting business, Educator Alexander Consulting.
Alexander’s accomplishments include creating and leading the Technology Leaders Council along with teaching after-school technology sessions on Google tools that schools can use. This year, she was selected to be a PBS Learning Media Digital Innovator for Louisiana.
Under her leadership, Caddo Parish implemented G Suite from Google, with Alexander training all the individuals at the district’s 63 schools. She also implemented the Ed Tech Checkup program that got the department into schools and classrooms, resulting in increased professional development opportunities.
“An educator should still be the facilitator in the classroom. Technology is not a replacement tool for doing what we’ve always done,” she said. “Technology’s purpose is to enhance, not replace.”
In addition to consulting, Alexander is starting a new job at the nonprofit Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana where she will train teachers all over the state on how to use technology to enhance learning.
“I’m excited because this job will let me build relationships,” she said. “The teachers who come back to me and say, ‘We implemented this today and our students are already in love with it’ — those comments feed my soul because I know I’m doing something right.” — Jennifer Snelling