From Typing Class to IT Director: My Technological Journey at EC
From Typing Class to IT Director: My Technological Journey at EC

From Typing Class to IT Director: My Technological Journey at EC

by Director of Technology Tyler Runnells '93

EC has long been my home away from home.
My mom was the head librarian at EC during my freshman year at the Newport campus until I graduated from college. I interned at EC during my junior year at the University of Washington, shadowing the IT director until I graduated. EC hired me as a full-time IT assistant after graduation and I was eventually promoted to head of the IT Department. To further my career and be closer to friends and sunshine, I moved to the Bay Area, where I worked for eight years as director of technology at De La Salle High School. Several moves later, I rejoined the EC community in 2017.

Back home once again.
Much has changed since my school days and throughout my career in IT. As a student at EC, we didn’t have internet—we had computers used for typing classes and playing simple 8-bit programs like Oregon Trails on Apple 11e computers. I’m sure many parents out there can relate to those days and how technology wasn’t as integrated into our lives then. 

The three most significant changes since my school days are mobility, access to information and cyber safety and security.

With these changes, I see great opportunities. Increased mobility means increased flexibility, and easy access to data means information is at your fingertips anytime you want—at school, at home or even in Antarctica with the right service! Improved cybersecurity leads to better outcomes for student safety. 

Technology is everywhere! From curriculum to school operations to athletics to clubs and activities. And the technology that we utilize is thoughtfully and thoroughly selected by our dedicated team. The EC EdTech Team, including myself, carefully evaluates new educational tools to ensure they match the curriculum now and in the future. We ensure EdTech tools meet our standards, initial environments are configured appropriately and our systems can accommodate the tools as designed. 

Our families should know that EC’s investment of time and money in IT and EdTech resources ensures that we are on the leading edge when using technology in the schoolhouse.

Curriculum drives technology change, not the other way around. We use technology to lead to a particular outcome in our classrooms. We seek to design classrooms to be mobile and completely wireless. We want to optimize the educational environment to be socially interactive and create a better teaching environment and collaborative experience for our students. Classroom technology has shifted—large LED TVs, wireless casting via Airtame devices and OWL cameras for remote learning. Classroom management is extensive, with teachers better able to control access to information to keep students on track and safe. Local and online (SAAS) educational services and subscriptions are heavily used at the school with additional services being added at a fast but controlled pace. 

Students today have a world of possibilities at their fingertips.

I’m grateful to lead a team of individuals to support and ensure our desired educational outcomes on campus, in the physical classroom and if needed, while learning remotely.


When Tyler isn't helping students and staff with their computer issues, he can be reached at trunnells@eastsidecatholic.org.

Reprinted from EC Magazine.
 

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