Stretching Your Technology Coaches to the Max: Reaching More with Less
Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 28
Participate and share : Poster
Tuesday, June 26, 1:15–3:15 pm
Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 28
Dr. MaryBeth Sepelyak
61,000 students, 44,000 devices, 6,000 teachers, 63 buildings, 30 coaches. Hear how an award-winning district got creative using online PD and knowledge bases, websites, OERs, teacher cohorts, data, online reservations and virtual assistance to meet the needs of its large population. Leave with a road map to duplicate the process.
|Attendee devices:||Devices not needed|
|Participant accounts, software and other materials:||None|
|Focus:||Digital age teaching & learning|
|Topic:||Innovative learning environments|
|ISTE Standards:||For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
Excellence in Professional Practice
~Participants will learn how to leverage online PD & knowledge bases, websites, OERs, teacher cohorts, data, online reservations, & virtual assistance to combat infrastructure challenges to include paucities of human resources, funding, and time.
~Participants will learn how to leverage data to drive their professional development decision-making, capitalize on their available resources, ensure digital equity, and provided appropriate technological interventions.
~Participants will learn how to leverage the G Suite of tools, and best practices (TPACK, SAMR, TIM, Framework for 21st Century Learning) in instructional technology integration to improve practice.
~Participants will depart with a road map and the resources, via a Google site, to duplicate these processes with their division or staff.
The Presenter plans to share the professional development model, data collection methodology, and data-driven decision-making process through which one division proceeds when providing professional development to their educators. Participants will learn how to leverage online PD & knowledge bases, websites, OERs, teacher cohorts, data, online reservations, & virtual assistance to meet the needs of their population. In addition, participants will learn how to leverage data to drive their professional development decision-making and capitalize on their available resources and ensure digital equity. Participants will depart with a road map and the resources to duplicate these processes with their division or staff.
If the purpose of schooling is to prepare students to become successful members of society and that society is becoming increasingly techno-centric, then we need to modernize schools, both in the way we teach and in its content. However, this has not always been the case. While teachers have embraced technology to increase productivity, they have successfully integrated it into their curriculum to a lesser extent. And, when it is used to support curriculum it is most often used to support traditional pedagogies. “Throughout human history, education has been shaped by the societal needs of the societies in which it is set. Education, after all, is the attempt to convey from one generation to the next the skills, values, and knowledge that are needed for successful life” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007, p.1). According to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2016 National Education Technology Plan: Technology can be a powerful tool for transforming learning. It can help affirm and advance relationships between educators and students, reinvent our approaches to learning and collaboration, shrink long-standing equity and accessibility gaps, and adapt learning experiences to meet the needs of all learners. Our schools, community colleges, and universities should be incubators of exploration and invention. Educators should be collaborators in learning, seeking new knowledge and constantly acquiring new skills alongside their students. Education leaders should set a vision for creating learning experiences that provide the right tools and supports for all learners to thrive. (p. 1) This requires that education remain flexible and, as a result, its purpose has changed as a function of society’s progression through the Agrarian and Industrial Ages, and into the current Digital Information Age (Gilbert, 2007; Karolyn & Pains, 2004; Luterbach & Brown, 2011). “A Nation at Risk” (1983), a report on our nation’s schools, called for global competitiveness, higher standards of excellence and accountability, and an emphasis on math and science. This 33-year-old document still defines the dominant trend of the American educational agenda, as we continue to “teach large group[s] of learners a fixed amount of content in a fixed amount of time,” while student achievement remains stagnant (NEA Today, 2013; Reigeluth and Avers, 1997, p. 134; Sancho, 2010). In 1991, the U.S. Secretary of Labor called forth a panel of experts, the Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills , to determine twenty-first century workplace skills and how to evaluate American schools’ preparation of students with these skills. The Commission found that schools continued with the organization and methodologies inherited from a 100-year-old system based upon an industrial model of schooling. Despite cries for reform, this has not substantially changed (Duncan, 2010; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007). In 2002, the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law with a goal of increasing American competiveness globally and closing achievement gaps for economically disadvantaged and minority students. It emphasized increased accountability, school choice, research-based teaching methods, and highly qualified educators. As a standards-based reform, its method to improve student learning was to set high standards of learning and assess ALL students, in grades three through twelve, on their achievement towards these goals. States receiving federal funding were required to establish standards of learning, and those receiving Title I funding were required to make Adequate Yearly Progress toward goals, with all students on level by the 2013-14 school year. Sanctions were prescribed for schools failing to reach goals. It provided for technology funding through its Enhancing Education through Technology provision, and at least 25 percent of any funds allocated were required to be spent on technology professional development to empower teachers to use technology effectively. Vockley (2008), in conjunction with a task force spearhead by the International Society for Education in Technology, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association, stated that our continued efforts to improve student achievement have been largely unsuccessful, and that we need to incorporate technology into educational practice on a regular basis to maximize its impact. In 2009, the U.S. Department of education introduced its Race to the Top competitive grant program for states aimed at improving teaching and learning by raising standards and creating systemic change in order to achieve needed college and career readiness. Applicants were awarded points based upon predefined criteria and alignment with its four initiatives which included the adoption of rigorous common standards and assessments to prepare students for college, the workplace, and to be globally competitive; building data systems to measure student growth and inform instruction; the recruiting, professional development, and retention of effective staff; and assisting the lowest performing schools. At the same time, the Common Core Standards initiative was launched. Led by government officials from 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia, its purpose was to ensure that ALL graduates were prepared for success in college, career and life. Common standards were written for mathematics and language arts and aligned to expectations set forth by employers, training programs, and colleges. The use of technology, problem solving, creativity, communication, and critical thinking are interwoven throughout its constructs. As of 2015, 42 states, the District of Columbia, 2 territories and 1 commonwealth have adopted or were in the process of adopting the standards (Common Core Standards Initiative, 2016). What is needed, in the twenty-first century, is a school that can provide individualized as well as large-scale assessment, rigorous content with real world relevance, attention to the individual as well as to society and the world, the individualized ways in which each student learns, the fostering of higher-order thinking skills and creativity, and opportunities for group work (Hayden, Ouyang, Scinski, Olszewski, & Bielefeldt, 2011; ISTE, 2014; Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007). However, we continue to attempt to “teach large group[s] of learners a fixed amount of content in a fixed amount of time,” and student achievement remains stagnant (neaToday, 2013; Reigeluth and Avers, 1997, p. 134; Sancho, 2010). According to the Department of Education’s 2016 Education Technology Plan, it is necessary for all educational stakeholders to integrate technology effectively to provide authentic learning experiences in order to improve education. Karen Cator, former Director of the Office of Education Technology, US Department of Education, states: Tomorrow’s graduates are growing up in a world where technology dominates various aspects of daily life, from social interaction to data analysis to professional advancement. Their education should reflect this reality, by better equipping them to interact with a digital world, and by using technology to drive student achievement, measure student progress, and create an individualized approach to learning that instills students with invaluable critical thinking skills (Cator, 2010). After all, “The prevailing technologies of a particular place and time have always been linked with education, because a society’s tools are both the subject and the means of its learning” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2007, p. 5). The need for the integration of technology is also expounded by educational and legislative bodies at the federal, state, and local levels as evidenced by their technology plans, technology funding, and mission and vision statements (Trotter, 2007). Most recently, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law and provides, under its Title IV block, the possibility of one billion dollars in flex grant funds that are eligible to be used for educational technology. By 2009, the national ratio of students to instructional computer was 5.3:1, while the percentage of Internet-connected computers was 93 percent (Education Week , 2011). In a 2013 survey of 503 teachers, Ninety percent had at least one computer in their classroom and fifty-nine percent have an interactive whiteboard. Thirty-five percent have a tablet or e-reader in their classroom (PBS, 2013). In addition, Fifty-five percent of public school districts reported students enrolled in online classes (Queen & Lewis, 2011). Thirty-one percent of public schools reported full-time staff whose sole responsibility was to technology support or integration (Grey & Lewis, 2010). Of these staff members, twenty-nine percent assisted with the integration of technology into instruction to a major extent and thirty-four percent to a moderate extent. The 2016 Federal Education Technology Plan stresses the need for a 21st century model of learning that practices engaging, relevant, personalized learning experiences that include collaboration, complex problem solving, critical thinking, and multimedia communication that are incorporated across all content areas. It proposes that educators make a move to online, connected classrooms that encourage collaboration among educators and the use of data to drive instruction. It recognizes that many teachers are not technologically proficient enough to achieve this end when it states, “A digital use divide continues to exist between learners who are using technology in active, creative ways to support their learning and those who predominantly use technology for passive content consumption.” It trumpets the need for technology use that is carefully designed and thoughtfully applied in order to utilize best-practice in teaching. To do so, teachers need to have acquired the necessary skill set. However, “Research on the effectiveness of technology-enabled programs and resources is still limited, and we should build capacity to generate evidence of individual-, program-, and community-level outcomes.” Teacher professional development programs fail to prepare teachers to use technology in effective ways. (U. S. Department of Education, 2016, p.3-5) The Virginia 2010-2015 Educational Technology Plan was updated with its 2015-2017 Addendum. Six years later, it continues the focus reflected in its first iteration that stated, “While preparing children for this rapidly changing world, educators must incorporate technology that helps students better learn the skills they will need to participate fully in the global community.” And, “Virginia’s leaders have prepared the commonwealth to be attractive to companies and investors by providing the technology infrastructure and skilled workforce today’s businesses require. Critical to the commonwealth’s ability to capitalize on this advantage is the extent to which Virginia’s schools prepare the next-generation workforce for knowledge-based jobs that utilize cutting-edge information technology.” (Virginia Department of Education, 2010, p. 3). Over time, little progress has been made in the utilization of technology. In 2000, The National Center for Education Statistics reported that only 44% of all teachers used technology for instruction. Eight years later, less than thirty-five percent of teachers acquiring funding through the United States’ Department of Education’s Enhancing Education through Technology integrated technology at least once a week. And, a decade or more later, Grey, Thomas, and Lewis (2010), in a survey of 3000 teachers conducted under the auspices of the National Center for Education Statistics, noted that fewer than half used computers frequently for instruction, and Govender and Govender (2014) found that, even when teachers possessed the necessary technology skills, 84% failed to integrate technology. Pittman and Gaines (2015), in a study of 75 teachers, found that only 18.7 % integrated technology at a high level of usage. Additionally, little progress has been made in the way in which technology is used. In 2002, Hart, Allensworth, Lauren, and Gladden surveyed over 11,000 teachers and found that 6% highly integrated, 11% integrated, 24% modestly integrated, 31% limited integration, and 49% had no integration of technology into their classrooms. Eight years later, Eteokleous (2008), in an evaluation of one elementary school, found that computer use was sporadic and not integrated into the curriculum. Technology was used, “more as supporting tools or fancy chalkboards than as educational tools” (p. 669). A decade later, in a 2012 study of 2,462 advanced placement and National Writing Project secondary teachers, teachers most commonly used digital tools to have students conduct research online (95%), have students access (79%) and submit (76%) assignments online, create or post work on the internet for classmates or teachers only (40%), participate in online discussions (39%), edit or revise their own work (36%) or others’ collaboratively (29%), and post work to the internet for others to view (22%) (p. 48). One weakness of this report is that no frequencies were provided to demonstrate the number of times each of these was utilized over the course of time (Purcell, Heaps, Buchanan, & Friedrick, 2013). Technology is used less in student-centered practices and instead is used in more traditional ways (Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich, 2013). Rationale for the Study The research presented here argues that teachers still have a way to go before they are effectively and comprehensively integrating technology into teaching and learning. In order to integrate technology effectively, teachers need instructional support and ongoing staff development (Giordano, 2008; Greaves, Hayes, Wilson, Gielniak, & Peterson, 2012; Harris & Hoffer, 2011). Teachers’ use of technology evolves with increased technological proficiency. Researchers have identified several stages through which teachers progress as they become masters of utilizing technology in the educational setting. While they have been labeled differently, they share common identifying characteristics in that teachers move from the acquisition of basic skills to simple use for delivery of instruction to implementation with best practice using customized resources (Hixon & Buckenmeyer, 2009; Mills & Tincher, 2003; Sheingold & Hadley, 1990). The rate at which teachers move through these stages is dependent upon the type of professional development they receive. Technology professional development that is sustained, engaging, individualized, and embedded in curriculum that matches stated objectives is more likely to be effective (Thomas, Hassaram, Rieth, Raghavan, Kinzer, & Mulloy, 2012). Gerard, Varma, & Linn (2011) conducted a meta-analysis encompassing 360 studies and found that for technology tools to be used effectively in instruction, technology professional development needs to last longer than one year, be constructivist in nature, and allow for teacher reflection on pedagogical approaches. The ITRT model of professional development was established by Virginia lawmakers in 2003 in response to teacher needs for professional development in the integration of technology. While having access to technology does increase the likelihood of its use, just having equipment is not enough. Successful integration of technology into the curriculum requires continuous and ongoing professional development (Greaves et al., 2012; Hew & Brush, 2007; Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007; Wei, et al, 2009). When provided with up-to-date technological tools that are accompanied by professional development, teachers are more likely to use technology and use it in different ways than those who receive tools alone (Greaves et al., 2012). This may occur, in part, because providing professional development also addresses barriers involving teachers’ attitudes and beliefs and lack of skills. As stated in Walker, Recker, Ye, Robertshaw, Sellers, and Yeary (2012), professional development should address teacher’s knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors, because these change practice and influence student achievement. A number of different models have been postulated to describe the stages through which teachers progress as they integrate technology into their curriculum. The rate at which advancement across stages is made is directly dependent upon the quality of the professional development received (Mills & Tincher, 2003). Sandholtz, Ringstaff, and Dwyer (1997) identified five stages through which teachers progress as they become more successful integrators of technology. These are entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriation, and invention. At the entry level, teachers use technology in support of teacher-directed activities. At the adoption level, teachers have students use technology for word processing or drill-and-practice activities, and at the adaptation level, teachers have students use additional programs such as database or graphic organizer programs. Finally, at the appropriation level, teachers have students use technology to participate in project based learning, and at the invention level, they use multi-curricular project based learning or individually paced instruction with students (Muir-Herzig, 2004). Lin, Wang, & Lin (2012) developed a model whereby advancement occurs through eight levels. At level zero technology in not used for instruction. At level one technology is used for clerical tasks, and at level two, CD-ROMS or canned programs are used to enhance instruction. At level three, the Internet is used, and at level 4, simple multi-media products are created and used in instructional delivery. At level five, multi-media products are customized to better meet instructional needs, and at level six, instructional applications are created and used. At level seven, one is adept at creating and interweaving multiple technological platforms to provide sophisticated learning environments. Davies (2011) concentrated on skill acquisition alone and postulated three levels of technological literacy, through which one moves. The first is the Awareness level. At this level, one becomes aware of the types, purposes, and functions of available technologies, but is not able to use them. Level two, the Praxis level, involves actually learning to use the technology, and at level three, the Phronesis level, users are adept at learning new technologies. TPACK would describe the intersection, but not necessarily the sum, of where a teacher’s three knowledge bases overlap-- the intersection of their technological knowledge/skills, their academic content knowledge, and their pedagogical knowledge/skills/philosophies (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Morsink, Hagerman, Heintz, Boyer, Harris, Kereluik, & Hartman 2011). One must address all three areas, when conducting technology professional development, in order to bring them into alignment, so as to affect change. Lawless and Pellegrino’s review of the research (2007) found that high quality professional development must be longer in duration (preferably greater than one year) and include follow-up, provide access to new technology, actively engage teachers in relevant activities in context, include peer collaboration and team building, have a clear, common vision related to student achievement, and situated within these three domains for successful technology staff development to occur. As such, this would address many of the perceived barriers to the integration of technology: teacher knowledge and skills, subject culture, teacher attitudes and beliefs, and resources. Institution and assessment barriers generally fall outside the scope of individual professional development for teachers and may not be addressed by this model. According to Lawless and Pellegrino’s (2007) analysis of the body of professional development research, opportunities that are longer and consist of training time plus follow-up are more successful than other approaches. This holds true for technology professional development as well. Those who receive no ongoing support are less likely to be as successful as those who receive ongoing support and opportunities for collaboration or discussion of difficulties (Thomas, Hassaram, Rieth, Raghavan, Kinzer, & Mulloy, 2012; Vavasseur & MacGregor, 2008). Gerard, Varma, Corliss and Lin (2011) conducted a meta-analysis of forty-three empirical studies analyzing the effect of professional development on the integration of technology-enhanced science lessons for 2,350 K-12 teachers. Professional development programs that lasted longer than one year were more likely to result in sustained technology use. Those professional development opportunities that are longer in duration may also address several of the previously identified barriers to technology integration. They may assist with teachers’ lack of knowledge and skills in classroom management or integration and address specific weaknesses in technology skills. In addition, they may also address resource barriers via technical support, and subject culture barriers via time to implement change. According to Lawless and Pellegrino (2007), it is essential to separate and contrast professional development focused on the integration of technology into instruction with professional development focused on learning about technology (e.g., what types of software and tools may be available) or professional development focused on learning how to use a particular piece of software (p. 581). Technology skills are best taught actively, while situated within the curriculum, and attached to instructional design in order to address and align trainees’ TPACK knowledge base and address existing knowledge and beliefs about teaching and learning (Buckenmeyer, 2010; Hew & Brush, 2007; Koehler, Mishra, & Yahya, 2007; McVee, Bailey, & Shanahan, 2008; Thomas et al., 2012). Direct instruction on how to integrate technology into the curriculum must be provided (Peeraer & Van Petegem, 2012; Stobaugh & Tassell, 2011; Zandvliet & Fraser; 2004). In a study of four English teachers, Hughes (2005) found that the teachers’ perceptions of technology as being valuable in providing instruction and learning in the classroom were crucial to developing technology-supported pedagogy. When technology is perceived as valuable, teachers take more ownership over the resources, feel more confident in their ability to integrate the technology, and believe that it will influence student achievement (Kubitskey, Fishman, & Marx, 2003). While this is often the goal, it is sometimes not the reality. Anthony (2012), in a three year longitudinal study of a 1:1 laptop initiative, found that, while teachers valued professional development, it often resulted in limited integration success, because the connection between how to use technology and how to integrate technology was not well developed. The connection was alluded to, but it was not explicitly taught and the training did not emphasize ways in which technology infused instruction was different from existing practice. Direct instruction on classroom management skills in a technology rich environment must also be addressed. This would include explicit instruction on how to design tasks that incorporate technology, classroom layout to facilitate technology use, and classroom management skills in a technology rich environment (Lim, et al., 2003; Rogers & Finlayson, 2004). This type of professional development opportunity would address barriers in teachers’ knowledge and skills with regard to classroom management and how to integrate technology into the curriculum. It would also address teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about teaching, learning, and technology. Finally, it may address subject culture barriers as the bonds between change and traditional practices become weakened. Peer collaboration and community building have only recently begun to be addressed in technology professional development research and their value as tools to transmit TPACK knowledge addressed. Much of what teachers learn about integrating technology is learned from peer networks, which allow for scalability of support as they remove the need for “experts” (Glazer, Hannafin, Polly, & Rich, 2009; Peeraer & Van Petegem, 2012). They also allow TPACK construction to continue over time as teachers collaborate, share ideas and resources, set goals, seek answers, and troubleshoot problems (Brill & Walker, 2006; Glazer, Hannafin, & Song, 2005). On one front, there is mentoring and, on the other, peer collaboration and professional learning communities (PLCs). Teachers, who are mentored, integrate technology more frequently than those who are not (Lowther, Inan, Strahl, & Ross, 2008; U.S. Department of Education, 2016; Zhao & Bryant, 2006). In a study conducted across twenty-six schools, Lowther found that those who were mentored were more confident in their ability to use technology, more likely to use it, and more likely to use it in student-centered practices. Teachers who take advantage of PLCs have been found to experience positive changes in their attitudes toward and an increase in use of technology (Cifuentes, Maxwell, & Bulu, 2011; Hew & Brush, 2007). Glazer and Hannafin (2008), in a study of nine teachers participating in technology PLCs, found that most increased in their ability to integrate technology as a result of their once-a-month participation in a PLC. Similarly, Hughes and Ooms (2004), in a study of five teachers participating in technology PLCs for one year, found that participants also increased the frequency with which they used technology. Established five years ago, the unconference or Edcamp is similar to the PLC. These are relatively new styles of professional development conferences where attendees decide the topics, on the fly, and attend discussion sessions, in person or virtually, based upon their interests. Knowledge is built collaboratively by attendees and created resources are shared and built upon as a community of learners is established. Carpenter (2015) surveyed 95 participants in one Edcamp and found that 85% rated the experience highly, 91% planned to attend to again, and participant autonomy and the integration of technology were valued. One negative experience of note was that not all attendees felt their voices were heard due to the number of attendees in each session. Carpenter and Linton (2016) in a survey of 769 attendees found 94% rated their experience highly and planned to attend additional Edcamps. Twenty percent wanted to learn something new with regard to technology and collaboration, positivity, energy level, and self-directed learning were considered to be positive aspects. Not having all voices heard and not everyone being satisfied with topic choices were negatives associated with the experience. There have been no studies as to the effectiveness of this type of professional development in creating lasting change in practice or carryover to the classroom. Peer collaboration opportunities address resource barriers related to a lack of technical support, time to create lessons, technological skills, classroom management, and the need for help with integrating technology into the curriculum. Troubleshooting issues were not found to be alleviated by their use (Hugh & Brush, 2007). Finally, collaborative opportunities might address subject culture barriers and teachers’ negative attitudes and beliefs about technology. “A significant challenge to schools is selecting the staff development approach that aligns most clearly with the assumptions and beliefs of staff members and produces the results desired for students” (Hirsh, 1999, p. 39). When student achievement is perceived to be positively influenced by the proffered technology professional development, it is more likely to be implemented (Blackwell, Lauricella, and Wartella, 2014; Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Sadik, Sendurur & Sendurur, 2012; Karaca, Can, & Yildirim, 2013; Kim, Kim, Lee, Spector & Meester, 2013; Miranda and Russell, 2012; Pi-Sui, 2016). Likewise, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, et al. (2010) found that teachers may not be persuaded to attempt new student-centered practices unless these have been linked to student learning outcomes. This is particularly true when new methodologies are associated with increased student achievement scores on standardized tests (Geier, Blumenfeld, Marx, Krajcik, et al., 2008). Hughes (2005) found that the power to develop technology supported pedagogy lies in the teacher’s interpretation of the technology’s value for instruction and learning in the classroom. As stated in Ottenbrite, et al. (2010), teachers’ beliefs regarding technology are based upon whether or not they perceive it as supporting relevant instructional goals. When presented, they make value judgments based upon its ability to aid them in reaching goals based upon their import. Indeed, Snoeyink and Ertmer (2002) found that, when teachers perceived the value of a proffered technology professional development to be of use in specific educational purposes, they were more likely to implement it despite other barriers. According to Coppola (2004), technology use is perceived as requiring a great deal of work, so value must be associated with it in order for it to be carried out. Technology professional development that addresses a common vision for student achievement might also address barriers that affect teachers’ attitudes and beliefs. It may also affect subject culture barriers by making sure that the vision and mission for all is unified and aligned with technology integration. There is much work to be done in the field of technology professional development. The literature base on technology professional development for teachers reveals that there is a long way to go in understanding methods of effective practice with respect to the various impacts of these activities on teaching and learning. "We need to move to a more systematic study of how technology integration occurs within our schools, what increases its adoption by teachers, and the long-term impacts that these investments have on both teachers and students” (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007, p. 575). Indeed, this is reflected in the United States’ Department of Education’s Technology 2016 Plan where, “Across the board, teacher preparation and professional development programs fail to prepare teachers to use technology in effective ways” (p. 5). And, recommends that, “Professional learning and development programs should transition to support and develop educators’ identities as fluent users of technology; creative and collaborative problem solvers; and adaptive, socially aware experts throughout their careers. Programs also should address challenges when it comes to using technology learning: ongoing professional development should be job embedded and available just in time” (p. 34).