You can call it the missing link to
the true integration of technology in
schools: teaching the teachers. All of
the members of this working group
addressed the struggles of implementing
a valuable and cost-efficient PD
program. Most seemed hopeful as they
watch their faculty evolve. Here are
some of their strategies and tools.
Q What professional
We implemented a professional development program called Kyrene Teaches with
Technology Program (KTTP) by starting with volunteer teacher teams willing to
work with master teacher or technology specialists (also known as educational
technology specialists). Team meetings were held on a regular basis where teachers
could discuss the needs of their students and learn about technological tools that
could help them in the classroom. The ed tech liaisons were then available to coach
and support teachers as they tried new things. Over the course of five years, every
teacher team in the school district participated in this program. The individual
and very specific feedback that teachers receive is transforming professional
development into a personalized program.
—David Schauer, superintendent, Kyrene School District, Tempe, AZ
Our summer Technology Academy for teachers is a week-long, three graduate
credit course that we hold in partnership with a local university. It is the only avenue
to get technology for the classroom. All technology in our district is tied to PD. In
just three years we have had 100 percent voluntary participation for all of our staff.
—Paul Sanfrancesco, director of technology, Garnet Valley SD, Glen Mills, PA
‘‘We don’t pretend to know what will work for each teacher. We don’t
declare that “this is the way it should be done.” we instead encourage
Q What technologies are helping
you manage or support the
professional learning process?
Varied learning opportunities are needed for adults, just like they are for children. The “one-sizefits-
all” approach no longer works so we offer options such as traditional, in-person classes, online
classes, and book studies with teams. The iObservations tool provides short video clips that are
tailored to specific feedback given to teachers that demonstrate an element of instruction. This is
now the emphasis of all professional development work with teachers. School and district leaders
are constantly in classrooms using this tool and it is transforming the entire culture.
We use the PDAS app on iPads to help administrators with walkthroughs and observations. This
year, we tried our first “flipped PD” class where teachers watched videos like a flipped classroom
prior to training and then came in to complete work together. This way, they would all be familiar
with the technology and head straight into integration. This fall we have several courses in iTunesU
and are working with neighboring districts to provide a variety of content in that program so we
don’t re-invent the wheel.
—Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes Independent School District, Austin, TX
All of our teachers have district-issued laptops (HP Folios). We have many resources available to
our teachers. Teachers are able to create their own ‘Khan Academy’ videos for instruction and post
them to their websites and share information and successes on network folders and on our website
to provide on-demand access to PD.
—Marianthe Williams, Director of Technology, River Dell Regional School District, River Edge, NJ
is or isn’t good
integration is the
key. Just because
a teacher has a
is showing some
they are using
Where does quality teaching with technology fit in with CCSS? What expectations
will there be in the coming years for teachers to teach using technology?
Being in Texas, we are not a Common Core state; however, the need
for technology integration is still extremely urgent. We have stateadopted
tech literacy assessments that I’ve been working with our state
agencies to develop and embed. The importance of training principals
on evaluating what is or isn’t good integration is the key. Just because a
teacher has a smartboard and is showing some slides doesn’t necessarily
mean they are using technology effectively.
—Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes
Independent School District, Austin, TX
Teachers no longer need to deliver content and their role has shifted
to being facilitators of learning. Science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) help our students use the inquiry
process to solve problems that are relevant to the world in which
we live. Learning in this way has to be experienced by the adults
who are expected to facilitate this for their students. Most teachers
were taught using traditional methods and may or may not have the
depth of conceptual understanding and knowledge needed with this
approach. Therefore, professional development that emulates what it
is we want students to do with STEM is critical and quite challenging
because of time and money.
The CCSS drive the need for the use of media and technology. In
order for students to properly achieve these standards, the whole
range of new media literacy skills and 21st century literacy skills
needs to be embedded into the instructional program. There
is more to technology in the CCSS than the computer adaptive
assessments. Content (or traditional) skills are still required,
but true mastery of the CCSS will require student to also obtain
mastery in new media literacy skills.
—Dr. Themistocles Sparangis, Chief Technology Director, Los Angeles
Unified School District, Los Angeles, CA