Michael is the Director of Regional Educational Media Center #1 which serves students and teachers in a rural and remote area of the Upper Peninsula.  Michael is connected by Merit Network

1) Which of your current endeavors are you most passionate about?  What is the biggest challenge you face?

Centralized automation.  We work with many small independent schools across a large geographic region.  The ability to leverage connectivity to remotely deploy, install, patch, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair technology is crucial with ongoing budget and staffing cuts and concerns.  Many people still perceive the need for hands-on, face-to-face repairs, which while great for rapport, are time consuming and inefficient on a regular basis.  Perception, understanding the need, and time to implement are some of the many challenges as we slowly move forward with this initiative.

2) Who inspires you these days?  

Students do.  Watching a student as they grasp a new concept, as they explore their latest interest, and as they share their passions with others is amazing.  Being there to enable that, to encourage it, and to observe it is a privilege, not just with my own kids, but with all the students we support.

3) Imagine a world where you are unconstrained by bandwidth.  How would it change what you do and the people you serve?  

Bandwidth is a constant issue... not just in-district, but between districts, and globally.  We have made huge strides and improvements in local bandwidth, ensuring fast access to district resources, and now to regional resources, but users want more all the time.  More devices, and more access (increasingly through wireless) mean more appetite for content.  We have already seen the shift from static media (VHS and DVD) to streamed media... we see more interactive content everywhere... and we are creating more.  I think bandwidth is more an incremental change than a drastic one.  We'll see more consumption of what is there, we'll create more, and we'll enable new demand that will drive new technologies that have been too constrained to be realistic before.

4) You are in an elevator.  How would you describe what you do?

I am the director of a non-profit department of the Intermediate School District, that works with the educational community in the area of technology. We provide centralized technology support services including network, internet, security, compliance, reporting, and many others.  I help our local schools collaborate more effectively, and enable them to acquire better quality technology through economies of scale, at less cost.  My team works with our teachers and staff to better implement and utilize educational technology to support teaching and learning.