The following information highlights how each of the nine strategies support PSD’s educational leaders in their quest to become more comfortable around integrating technology at their school sites.
1) ACTION RESEARCH – The ability to investigate the impact of technology use in student/teacher learning is easier; therefore planning relevant PD is easier. Use of web 2.0 for real-time collaboration allows development of collegial networks. Sharing of knowledge through variety of ways – portal (insidePSD and inside school sites), video (YouTube, TeacherTube, in-house), audio (podcasts, Vocaroo, Voicethread, Smart Notebook recorder) and webpages (wikis, blogs). Post-assessment analysis gives information to review and analyze in order to plan the next steps of implementation.
2) IMMERSION – Barriers of time and location can be conquered in using technology. Use of videoconferencing, Google Talk web chat, email, insidePSD portal, Skype, Bridgit provides access to colleagues, mentors and experts. Being aware of these tools allows for technology to be used for authentic learning experiences. Immersion may not be the answer for all schools in the division, but it does work for those schools that are eager to move altogether in a certain direction in a short period of time.
3) INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING – Administrative guidance and support for administrator, student and teacher use of technology for learning is important. Gaining access to online and F2F PD is available through PSD curriculum and technology facilitators, insidePSD portal, ERLC, ISTE, District Administration (online), ASCD, VCRLN and other educational venues.
4) MENTORING – Administrators are at different spectrums of technology skill development. Mentoring plays an integral role in supporting administrators as they explore the role of technology in teaching and learning. Observation and discussion with other administrators cultivates growth and understanding of the role that technology plays in 21st century skill development.
5) MODELING – Learning from modeling and being the ‘model’ facilitator are hats worn by administrators throughout their careers. To be effective leaders for the 21st century, administrators must ensure that instructional needs, the expertise of teachers, and the ultimate needs of students are considered. Administrators also need to model use of technology to improve teacher learning in the same way they expect teachers to do so.
6) NETWORKING – Powerful support for administrators comes from a combination of different technologies. The use of email, discussion boards, forums, listservs, twitter, blogs, wikis, and the portal (insidePSD) offer convenience and almost instantaneous feedback.
7) PEER COACHING – Workshops as well as peer coaching allow administrators to implement new technology skills and practices. Journaling, observation and discussion of specific practices allow administrators to reflect, change and renew their thoughts and demonstrations of technology integration.
8) REFLECTIVE PRACTICE – Reflective practice using technology frees up time to think about what needs to be thought about. Time is needed to spend on the thoughts, insights and action plans all stored electronically in the form of a blog, a discussion form on the portal, a wiki, a graphic organizer, a mind map, an e-portfolio, in Microsoft OneNote or Word. These different technological means provide a way to see the thinking, the growth, the trail of activities and perspectives over a period of time. Reflection is an effective way for administrators to see the impact of technology integration on student/teacher performance.
9) WORKSHOPS – Basic skill development for technology integration can be offered in workshops. As well, an emphasis on best learning practices (such as TPACK and H.E.A.T.) have a more lasting effective on the development of technological knowledge. Real-time learning can also include school visits with local administrators, videoconferencing, webinars and administrator webcam conversations.
As well, with each identified strategy, administrators had set a description, wrote about transformation, discussed the impact on teaching and learning as well as student learning, the impract on parent/community engagement, impact on policy and technical support, access to resources, hardware and infrastructure and finally the impact beyond the SLItech project itself.
Some strategies are more easily implemented than others. Some strategies fit better depending on the school culture and climate. Each administrator had an introduction to the SLItech group about where their school was “at” in reference to their school culture/climate and even where they themselves stood on a technology integration matrix of sorts. It was an important part of this project to give time, spend time, discuss, play, integrate, review and challenge our thoughts on 21st century learning and skill development.