Teacher Technology Competencies & Training
To effectively implement and use technologies, teachers must be provided with just-in-time and as-needed training. The Greenwich Public Schools is implementing a comprehensive professional development program that includes the use of technology for instruction. In 2005-06 a variety of multi-session professional learning workshops were offered to teachers in areas determined as critical by a needs assessment. Needs assessment to determine the topics have included self-assessments and workshop evaluation data. Topics included productivity software, emerging technologies such as SmartBoard use, digital video, use of project-based learning with multimedia and WebQuests. In addition, a new online system to plan and register for workshop sessions was introduced this past year. The professional development strategies to improve teaching and learning with technology is only part of a district-wide plan to support curriculum and school initiatives. To support the goals of the Technology Plan, the areas targeted for staff training in the upcoming three years will include teaching and learning, assessment and communication.
Teaching & Learning:
- Use of multimedia and digital video resources and programs to differentiate instruction and enhance learning.
- Use productivity software including electronic graphic organizers, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other programs to create high quality materials for teaching.
- Use of project-based and problem-based learning to enable students to participate in authentic, meaningful activities to engage them in deeper investigations. Provide opportunities to write curriculum units to address information literacy process including formulating a probing question, accessing and evaluating information, synthesizing and producing a presentation to display their work.
- Use of quality online resources and research modules either purchased or created by media specialists or teachers to guide students in the research process.
- Provide training on curriculum planning to include integration of technology.
- Use of web content management system to provide a 24/7 communication with students and a tool for collaboration and sharing ideas with other teachers.
- Use of new online Library management system to access standards-based, grade-level appropriate resources for teachers and students.
- Use of emerging technologies such as podcasting to motivate and infuse technology in creative ways.
- Use of classroom tools such as interactive whiteboards to enhance daily instruction.
Use of Telecommunication:
- Review the use of online portfolios to save and evaluate student work.
- Use a data dashboard system to assess student performance data and analyze ways to differentiate instruction to close the achievement gap.
- Share student achievement reports with parents.
- Use of telecommunication services, discussion boards, blogs and other methods to share and collaborate with experts and educators.
- Use of web content management system to improve communication with parents and community.
- Participate in e-learning opportunities and virtual schools through the World Wide Web including global projects.
Professional development opportunities are provided through a comprehensive district-wide effort as well through school-based efforts. Each school strives to supplement the district offerings with its own professional development opportunities developed through a variety of venues including:
School Technology Teams – These teams will work with the district to ensure that the district Technology Plan is implemented successfully at the school level while determining professional development needs of the school.
Library Media Specialist – The Library Media Specialist and media staff provide the school with leadership on new technologies as they are continuously trained in the use of new systems and programs. The Library Media Specialist and Media Technical Assistant are uniquely able to provide just-in-time training on emerging technologies. In addition, the Library Media Specialist will be able to provide curriculum technology integration coaching and with the help of the classroom teacher will create guides for student learning.
“Peer Leaders” – Each school will identify experts to help colleagues with new systems, programs and emerging technologies. By providing in-house experts, the school community will benefit from collegial sharing and the building of capacity.
Technology Standards for Teachers:
To successfully implement the learning standards for technology, teachers must feel comfortable with the use of technology. The expectations for teachers will follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers developed by ISTE (International Society for Technology Education). The six standards include:
1. Teachers demonstrate a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts.
2. Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology.
3. Teachers implement curriculum plans that include methods and strategies for applying technology to maximize student learning.
4. Teachers apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies
5. Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice
6. Teachers understand the social, ethical, legal, and human issues surrounding the use of technology in PK-12 schools and apply those principles in practice
Teacher, staff and administrator training are integral elements of the Technology Plan and the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers and Administrators will be included in district offerings targeted to the use of technology in teaching and learning.