Make the Future
Summit 2022
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Professional Learning to Support Technology Integration Practices in Math and ELA

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Monday, June 24, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Location: Posters: Level 4, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 34

Dr. Terri Marculitis   Dr. Katheryn Shannon  
Learn about authentic professional learning community (PLC) work that examines technology integration practices aligned with the ISTE Standards and results in changes in practice that increase deep content understanding in math and ELA. You'll experience and evaluate technology embedded learning activities that were created through this content specific PLC work.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: The following resources will be included in learning activities.



Google Docs:

Google Keep:

Gmail account to access Google Classroom and Google Docs

Focus: Leadership
Topic: Curriculum planning and evaluation
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Language arts, Math
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Empower educators to exercise professional agency, build teacher leadership skills and pursue personalized professional learning.
For Educators:
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will be able to use the provided tool for developing and evaluating lessons to examine and evaluate learning activities for their facility supporting students as creative communicators.

Purpose and Background

The purpose of the study at the heart of this presentation was to examine the implementation of a framework for rigorous instruction to support curriculum and instruction alignment and embeds instructional technology integration practices aligned with the ISTE NETS. With the focus of the latest iterations of the ISTE NETS standards have transitioned from technology use and skills development that can be applied to content area learning to a student-centered engagement of technologies to accomplish the work of specific content disciplines, this work was warranted. The Students NETS (2016) place the learner at the center of engagement with technologies. Recent guidance for technology integration practice supports best practices for instruction and alignment with teacher evaluation indicators and is congruent with a student-centered approach (Hattie, 2009; Magana, 2017; Marzano, 2017; Newman, Carmichael, & King, 2016)

Building and district administrators are tasked with looking for evidence of rigorous instruction and high expectations for student achievement in classrooms. Teaching and learning research indicates that it is not enough to have an organized classroom, engaged students, and an aligned curriculum (Hattie, 2009; Hattie & Zierer, 2018; Marzano, 2017; Newman, Carmichael, & King, 2016). Authenticity and relevance of the academic task must support deep learning for the student (Elmore, 2009). Movement away from teacher-centered, whole class instructional practices and toward personalized, relevant learning opportunities for all students is a research supported reform trend (Hattie, 2009; Hattie & Zierer, 2018; Marzano 2017). Professional learning opportunities that focus on these changes in practice highlight local, state, and national efforts to continue to grow students’ academic performance (Hattie & Zierer, 2018; Magana, 2017).

Engaging classroom technologies to support rigorous instruction adds a layer of complexity to this work (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Magana, 2017). Supporting integrations that will facilitate content instruction and address the ISTE NETS is work relegated to higher education through teacher preparation and graduate education programs and to professional developers serving schools districts. Identifying and incorporating models and supports for ongoing professional learning to integrate classroom technologies in relevant and effective ways can be arduous (Magana, 2017). Thus the research question guiding this study tackles this challenge by asking: Can ongoing PLC work to examine technology integration practice aligned with the ISTE NETS realize increased coherence with the NETS and support deep of content understanding through rigorous instructional practices?


A total of 25 teachers teaching 5th and 6th grade English Language Arts, social studies, and math have been invited to participate in regular professional learning community meetings in two school districts. One in the northeastern region serving approximately 6,000 students and one in the southern region serving over 3,800 students of the United States. Each district has a similar organization for intermediate grades. Student are attend middle/intermediate schools that include grades 5 and 6 in middle school setting. Over 1,750 students are served on these campuses (1,000 in the northeast and 750 in the south). Educators support student learning in the sights on content teams. Teachers in these school have been invited to participate in professional learning communities to support content specific lesson development with aligned and embedded technology integration. The first professional development sessions focused on standards-aligned lessons using the rigorous instruction framework and begin in October 2018 and will continue each month through May of 2019.

Preliminary Results

During the 2017-2018 school year professional learning communities began meeting regularly with the STEM and Humanities Directors. During these meetings a framework for rigorous instruction was introduced. Teachers then developed lessons and employed best practices aligned with the framework. In the summer of 2018, technology integration standards were reviewed and adjustments to the framework were made to embed the ISTE NETS.

Teachers participating in the professional learning communities during the 2017-2018 school year indicated that improvements were made to curriculum and instruction due to their engagement. Several teachers taught common lessons or units and reflected on the indicators included in the rigorous instruction framework. Several teachers have indicated that they would like to continue their participate in 2018-2019 school year and first meetings have been scheduled to begin examining changes to the framework to include integration of the ISTE NETS.

Scholarly Significance

As expectations for student performance continue to account for a large portion of district and school accountability ratings in states throughout the country increased focus on instructional practice dominate professional development offerings. As performance continues to improve the push to maintain gains produces pressure to adjust practice. However, professional development sessions alone cannot sustain expected growth, rather teachers and leaders must work together to continually review and adjust curriculum and instruction to continue to make gains (Dufour, 2004; Wegner, 1999). Integrating relevant technologies with best practices to support content instruction is supported by current ISTE and national content standards, but in order for these standards to be realized there must be ongoing, meaningful conversations by relevant parties to make the changes that improve learning outcomes for students. It is the purpose of this study to determine if the rigorous instruction framework offered and employed in 5th & 6th grade classrooms is a useful tool to support this ongoing improvement.


Content and Activities

The activities included in this presentation are authentic products of the lesson development process by 5th and 6th grade ELA and math teachers engaged in the PLC work described above. Participants will experience and evaluate learning activities that were developed, delivered, and debriefed by educators and leaders within the two districts under study. Feedback from participants will be solicited to continue the process of improving the learning activities to address content standards and nurture development of the Creative Communicator standard.

Engage (5 minutes): Brief video clip contrasting learning activities taking place in classrooms prior to engagement in focused PLC work with activities taking place after the PLC work.

Explore (25 minutes): Participants will work in small groups to engage in a portion of a learning activity that was developed and delivered by an educators participating in the study and use the rigorous instruction tool to evaluate the activity and provide feedback. These math and ELA lesson activities will utilize a variety of digital tools to support creative communication including: Seesaw, Buncee, Google Classroom, Google Keep and Docs, Book Creator.

Explain (10 minutes): Participants will share feedback from their evaluation process and discuss implications for their own contexts. Seesaw will be a platform used to collect this feedback from participants.

Elaborate (10 minutes): Participants will discuss the usefulness of the rigorous instruction tools for supporting supervision and evaluation of educators. District leadership perspectives will be presented and solicited; small group discussion encouraged and feedback requested.

Evaluate (5 minutes): Participants will be asked to provided feedback regarding the session and usefulness of the rigorous instruction tools for supporting standards-aligned, technology embedded learning activities.

Supporting research

City, E. A., Elmore, R. F., Fiarman, S. E., Teitel, L. (2009). Instructional rounds in education: A network approach to improving teaching and learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Dufour, R. (2004). What is a professional learning community? Educational Leadership 61(8), pp. 6-11.

Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Hattie, J. & Zierer, K. (2018). Ten mindframes for visible learning: Teaching for success. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Magana, S. (2017). Disruptive classroom technologies: A framework for innovation in education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Marzano, R. (2017). The new art and science of teaching. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Mishra, P., and Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teacher College Record 108(6). Pp. 1017-1054.

Newman, F. M., Carmichael, D. L., & M. B., King (2016). Authentic intellectual work: Improving teaching for rigorous learning. Thousan Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Stake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Wegner, E. (1999). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge, London: Cambridge University Press.

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Dr. Terri Marculitis, Weymouth Public Schools
Dr. Katheryn Shannon, Southeastern Oklahoma State University

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