Long-time Royal Palm Beach resident Dr. Adam Miller, the former principal at Golden Grove Elementary School, has taken the next step in his administrative career by becoming the new director of educational technology for the School District of Palm Beach County.
Through his new position, Miller will take an important role behind the scenes to equip Palm Beach County students with the technological resources they need in order to succeed while in school and, eventually, in their future careers.
“I will be overseeing any technology that comes into our classrooms, things such as our projectors, document cameras, Chromebooks and the many different software programs we use in our schools,” Miller explained. “The overall goal is that by the time students graduate from high school, they are ready to go into college or ready to go into the workforce prepared and with the skills that are necessary today, which, of course, involves a lot of technology,”
Miller aims to successfully integrate new resources and programs that will facilitate and encourage student technology interaction, as well as encouragement for teachers to integrate new technology-based lessons into regular curriculum.
“A big thing we are going to be pushing this year is Google Classroom, through which Google-certified educators — [ranging] from elementary to high school — will be trained on the latest educational technology so that they can implement that technology into their classrooms and also share it with other teachers at their schools,” Miller said.
Miller’s priorities in his new position go hand-in-hand with the new wave of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — focus in Palm Beach County schools.
In many ways, this is a major switch from the old paradigm of discouraging students from using technology to find answers, he explained.
“There’s now even the term ‘BYOD,’ which means bring your own device, which allows students to bring their cell phones or tablets on certain days for lessons or instruction that some schools are testing out. Overall, we are starting to look at a real 21st-century classroom,” Miller said.
Along with the incorporation of technology into all schools and classrooms, Miller hopes to encourage student collaboration and creativity.
“This is also a way to encourage students to collaborate more in the classroom,” he said. “Students have more opportunities to work together on projects — especially since they are learning programs like Google Docs and Google Slides from as early on as in kindergarten. On these projects, they will learn how to make projects look exactly how they want them to look, so they will be able to be creative in that aspect.”
Miller has been involved in improving children’s education since he began his career as a teacher in 2001. He later evolved into an administrator and served as the principal of Golden Grove for the past five years. Miller hopes to continue evolving into another resource for students and teachers through which they will have access to a more modern classroom.
“Just like with being a principal, there is a lot of leadership involved in being a director,” Miller said. “It’s not just the technical skills, it’s also about working successfully with a team and effecting change all across the district to move into a 21st-century model classroom.”
In fact, being a principal helped Miller feel confident in tackling this new role.
“At Golden Grove, we actually started a technology program during my first two years there, through which we had computer fine arts classes and also worked with our teachers to integrate technology into their instruction,” Miller said. “The work at Golden Grove really helped me think a lot about and understand educational technology, as well as how we can better serve students utilizing all of our technology.”
Miller, though excited to start his next chapter with the school district, said that it was not easy to leave Golden Grove, but he is happy to get the opportunity to help students, teachers and parents in a new way.
“It’s hard to leave the students, teachers and staff because they really become part of your family,” he said. “I will miss everyone greatly, [but] I am excited to continue helping and training teachers to find the best ways to help our students, which I’ve gotten to do as a principal in the past. I also do hope to continue having parent and student interaction at this new role. That is what originally brought me into education, so I don’t want to lose that.”
Miller looks forward to making technology in the average Palm Beach County classroom more efficient and accessible, while confident that he left the students and teachers of Golden Grove in the extremely capable hands of new Principal Linda Edgecomb.
“Edgecomb and I became principals at the same board meeting, and we worked at schools in Belle Glade that were a mile from one another,” Miller said. “I know that she is a great person and a great leader.”