Looking for Technology-Supporting Instruction in all the Right Places
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October 21, 2011 By: Cheryl Oakes
A few years ago I wrote a guest blog for Wes Fryer as a series of 3 letters.( June 2007 ) One letter to an administrator from a teacher, one to a teacher from the student, one to a student from the teacher . I was thinking about that series and wondered if anything had changed in what I would say today.
Speedofcreativity.org My take away about the Dear Administrator letter is, “We have learned some valuable lessons about how to communicate with parents and our communities. We make ourselves available through email and parent portals for student academic information. We have not fully embraced how to tell our own stories. Many school systems wait for the stories to be published in local news outlets. No longer should educators wait for a story to be published. We need to tell our own story, and publish it when the time is right for our schools.”
Back to our region and what was driving our current technology and pedagogy discussions. Our county superintendents were looking for ways to measure student achievement when our teachers and students use good teaching methods aligned with good technology tools. A group of county superintendents requested that their curriculum coordinators and technology coordinators talk about and share the kinds of professional development we are engaged in throughout our county, then to see if we can share in the delivery, share the archiving, share our personnel or share something we haven't yet thought of.
It has been an interesting process, that has taken 5 months, and finally the outcome looks like it may be a reality. This group discussed how to get some common Professional Development , countywide, for our administrators, specifically looking at supporting 3 minute walk throughs and evidence of embedded technology use throughout classroom instruction. Basically, when an administrator walks through a classroom, what should that they be thinking as they look at the technology use.
We agreed on a Summer Day for Administrators Professional Development where administrators will be immersed in the Levels of Technology Integration, LOTi, tied to the 3 minute walk through. Our group has committed to a day where we will combine technology and good pedagogy, assessments and observations, evaluations with purpose of defining growth for teachers and students.
We will have some instruction about LOTi, a break time to see several technology tools that principals should expect to see in classrooms, a variety of classroom demonstrations put on by several county teachers demonstrating high levels of technology integration, a way to archive the presentations, the classroom demonstrations and the technology tools, and finally follow up days in the fall and again in the spring. The best thing is that this is homegrown Professional Development, designed for our needs, our administrators and our schedule, in collaboration with other educators in our region. What is happening in your neighborhood? Do you see evidence of good instruction and good technology use in all the right places?