TIMOTHY R. PYLES
Campus Instructional Technologist
Yo yo ye yo! You can call me Mr. Pyles, or Tim.
I am an Instructional Technologist with the Department of Academic Instructional Technology. I currently serve as the Coach for Mandarin Immersion Magnet School. Before my current coaching role, I taught 6 - 8th Grade Visual Arts (including digital art and graphic design). I have a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from University of Houston - Downtown (meaning I studied a few different things, such as Psychology, Early Childhood Education, and Marketing.) I am ecstatic to be serving the teachers, scholars, and community of the PHENOMENAL Mandarin Immersion Magnet School!
What is an Instructional Technology Coach?An Instructional Technologist (CIT) works with school personnel to help guide and encourage additional technological application in the classroom. This can be as a supplemental aid, an application or LMS to lead the lesson, or a project lead opportunity with active technology use. Then, looking at where the campus staff and students are, we assess how to help others grow. Lastly, we help bring the community we serve into the school, via events, trainings, and technology growth opportunities!
Ok, but what do YOU do?I help my campus (Mandarin Immersion Magnet School - MIMS) in implementing additional technology use in the classroom. I have a design background so part of that is showing both teachers and students how to utilize technology in creative ways to show mastery of content. Then, I have the opportunity to work with families and the community to help establish additional opportunities to be involved with the campus and to see all the awesome things we are doing! When I'm not helping coach others, I am assisting in the student tech team; a student lead organization where we get to learn more about technology and act as technology-forward ambassadors for the campus.
What programs / applications do you like to use?ADOBE!!! Ok, but to clarify, I love to use different applications for different end-products. In the classroom some of my favorites include: Kahoot Quizizz Book Creator Pear Deck (especially for the drawing feature) and Google Suite (Google Slides potential is literally limitless, I've done both virtual art galleries, walk-throughs, and student portfolio journals in here) For design: Adobe (Express, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and After Effects) Canva (Sharing templates to other educators and providing feedback has been seamless in app) PhotoPea (an online free alternative to Photoshop) Clip Studio Paint (If I am working on an illustration or logo) For Modeling (3D Software) Blender (free and amazing alternative to Maya/Autodesk) Nomad Sculpt (ios application)
How does one get started with technology in the class?If you are starting off fresh, one of my favorite apps to begin with is Peardeck or Quizizz, both allow integration of current powerpoints or slide decks so you can easily just add features to current content. Once you are comfortable there let's begin to lead student choice with your LMS system for HISD it is Canvas! In building on that you can have students more actively use OneNote (Microsoft's tool for notes that lets you add your own illustrations and drawings of models, graphs, etc. in app) or Google Slides (one of my favorite lessons as a teacher was a Google Slides digital journal I made for my students to use during a Project based learning lesson).