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Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Use the Technology You’ve Got to Improve Instruction

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Thursday, December 3, 1:00–1:45 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Susan Brooks-Young  
Ryan Imbriale  
Dan Morris  

Start from where you are with the technology you have and build to where you want to go. We'll share strategies to expand and enhance effective use of technology-supported instruction and review approaches that encourage effective use of available technology while planning for future needs.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
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: If attendees opt to bring a device, it needs some type of web
Topic: Instructional design & delivery
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have access to the technology and connectivity necessary to participate in authentic and engaging learning opportunities.
Connected Learner
  • Develop the skills needed to lead and navigate change, advance systems and promote a mindset of continuous improvement for how technology can improve learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Despite decades of ‘technology integration,’ we have not seen widespread shifts in how we conduct business in K-12 classrooms. The purpose of this session is to encourage educators to step back and reflect on where they are personally and as educational leaders with the technology they have and then build to where they want to go, within the context of offering instruction during a pandemic.

As a result of attending the workshop, participants will:

1. Acquaint themselves with strategies they can use to expand and enhance effective use of technology supported instruction.
2. Explore approaches to designing learning environments that make the best use of available technology while still planning for the future.
3. Envision professional development strategies that support educators where they are but also empower them to improve their technology-supported instructional design and implementation skills.
4. Identify two to three topics for conversations to have with colleagues back at their sites.


A. Content: Introductions and session overview.
B. Timeline: 5 minutes
C. Process: Speaker introductions: Who we are, where we are from, and one thing we do. Explain the structure of the session and share the link to the Google Sheet.

2. Creating a Vision to Improve Instruction

A. Content: How are educators on your site typically using technology to support remote teaching and learning? This segment offers links to resources in three areas: frameworks and models educators can use when designing instruction; information about effectively structuring online learning activities; and, a lesson planning outline.
B. Timeline: 10 minutes
C. Process: Review the sample comments in the related columns in the Google Sheet (A, B, C). Highlight the following resources (color code in What Are You Doing LiveBinder: Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy, SAMR, T-PACK, Learning Activities Wiki on Instruction tab. Point out Redesigning Schools, Supporting Distance Learning, and Tools for Distance Learning tabs in Getting Remote Learning Right LiveBinder). Share lesson planning outlines linked to agenda.

3. Creating a Vision for Effective Online Learning Environments

A. Content: How have learning environments changed recently? During this segment we will discuss how best to ensure that students can access online content with a “consistent” and “familiar” set of learning platforms and tools. What leadership and expectations should districts provide to ensure there are effective online platforms for teachers and students?
B. Timeline: 10 minutes
C. Process: Digital learning environments are impacted by which technologies are employed and how they are configured. Review the sample comments in the related columns in the Google Sheet (D and E). Highlight resources on the Digital Learning Environments tab. Point out Redesigning Schools, Supporting Distance Learning, and Tools for Distance Learning tabs in Getting Remote Learning Right LiveBinder). Share lesson planning outlines linked to agenda.

4. Creating a Vision for Effective Professional Development

A. Content: What shift have you made to address critical professional development needs of remote teaching? Professional development is consistently identified as one of the most critical needs for successful implementation of any technology initiative, but this has become magnified since last spring, particularly when it comes to effective instructional design and implementation for virtual or hybrid instruction. What are common threads that need to be addressed when working in this environment? How can effective professional development be implemented and sustained when everything is virtual? These and other questions are addressed during this segment of the workshop.
B. Timeline: 10 minutes
C. Process: Professional development is a fundamental requirement when laying the foundation for a successful technology initiative. During this segment, presenters will discuss the design of effective professional development to empower teachers to design and implement effective virtual, hybrid and remote instruction, including the role of coaching, modeling, and mentoring in these challenging times. We will also share resources and examples of effective programs specifically designed to support educators as they work to implement virtual instruction.

5. Wrap-up

A. Content: Time to debrief on session activities and significant ideas, ask participants to add a comment in chat about what discussions they need to be having back at their own sites.
B. Timeline: 10 minutes
C. Process: Ask participants to reflect briefly then add their comment(s) to the Chat.

Supporting research

This workshop is based on the premise that effective instructional use of technology relies on three factors: how the technology is used rather than what technology is used, offering environments that support digital learning, and professional development opportunities that enable educators to leverage technology-supported learning.

Here are a few examples from research that support these factors:
How Technology Is Used

- Even when teachers and administrator staff felt themselves competent in using ICT available at the school, they reported a lack of guidelines that would lead them to successful integration. And, students reported that ICT is not utilized sufficiently in their classes. Gulbahar, 2007.

- "Just as technology is at the core of virtually every aspect of our daily lives and work, we must leverage it to provide engaging and powerful learning experiences, content, and resources and assessments that measure student achievement in more complete, authentic, and meaningful ways." Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology, 2010.

-”Ultimately, a piece of technology is a resource and how that technology is embraced and utilized by the teachers themselves is the ultimate variable of success.” What the Research Says about 1-to-1, Edutopia, 2016.

-“Fluency in the digital realm is more than just understanding how to use technology. Learning must go beyond gaining isolated technology skills toward generating a deep understanding of digital environments, enabling intuitive adaptation to new contexts and co-creation of content with others.” 2017 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition, 2017.

-”Findings from this study suggest that participation in the workshop [based on TPACK framework] resulted in a positive change in behavior, improved technology self-efficacy, and increased ability to overcome obstacles and barriers associated with classroom technology integration among the participants studied.” The Impact of TPACK and Teacher Technology Efficacy on Social Studies Teachers' use of Technology in the Classroom, 2017

-“While educational technology does make learning visible, it is the teacher that makes learning meaningful. How SAMR and Tech Can Help Teachers Truly Transform Assessment, 2018

-“Districts and schools spend millions of dollars on technology each school year, yet in some cases, do very little to support teachers during the implementation process. The result of that lack of support is that devices and web applications are either used sparingly, not at all, or for the wrong reasons.” Technology Has No Impact on Teaching and Learning, Finding Common Ground, 2019

Effective Learning Environments

-”Students are looking for a classroom environment that more closely replicates the way they are using digital tools outside of school to support greater communications and collaboration.” 2014 Speak Up report. Project Tomorrow, 2014.

-“The pervasiveness of active learning pedagogies is requiring a shift in how learning environments are being designed. “ 2017 Horizon Report: K-12 Edition, 2017.

- “Teachers in blended learning classrooms are setting a new bar for transforming learning using technology. For example, 68% report that with the use of technology in their classroom they are better able to differentiate instruction for their students.” Project Tomorrow, 2017.

- “The physical environment is one factor in many impacting on student learning outcomes (OECD, 2010a).” OECD Framework for a Module on the Physical Learning Environment - Revised Edition, 2017.

- “The current takeaway from the research is that there are potential benefits and risks to deploying technology in learning environments. While we can’t wrap this topic up with a bow just yet–there are still more questions than answers–there is evidence that technology can amplify effective teaching and learning when in the hands of good teachers.” The impact learning environment has on benefits is discussed in this meta-analysis of research. Is Technology Good or Bad for Learning? 2019

Professional Development

-“Teachers eager to become technologically fluent need the same kind of support we provide to teachers striving to increase their skills in the teaching of reading, writing, and math” Plair, 2008.

-“Teachers identified five essential elements that they need to effectively and efficiently integrate digital content, tools and resources into daily instruction in their classroom: planning time, access to technology in the classroom, technology support, professional development and consistent, high quality Internet connectivity.” Project Tomorrow, 2017.

-"If you are looking at going to a 1-to-1 or personalized-learning program, whatever it is, there has to be ample time devoted to the 'why' you are doing it and making sure that all of your constituents and stakeholders are actively involved in that process and building their understanding," he said. "Because if you just throw it at them without any training or support or clear understanding of the 'why,' that's when you are going to start seeing the pushback." —Kevin Bushweller Executive Project Editor, Education Week, 2018

“The key to successful 1-to-1 education is more than just giving a student a computer however. As K-12 Blueprint explains, a complete vision is critical to the program’s success. The device itself should only be part of a larger education initiative. The district must have an overarching vision to justify the expense and lead to real outcomes. The ideological vision should influence individual lesson plans, outline parental expectations, and account for technological support needs throughout the district.” Pros and Cons of 1-to-1 Computing, Edudemic, 2017.

-”A new type of school principal, the New Learning Leader, is emerging that is both a digital evangelist at their school supporting new classroom models and an instructional coach providing modeling for their teachers about effective technology use for professional tasks. New Learning Leaders are using data to inform their leadership tasks including providing feedback to their teachers on how to improve classroom practices (89%), setting schoolwide goals (85%) and sharing information with parents (74%).” Project Tomorrow, 2018.

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Susan Brooks-Young, SJ Brooks-Young Consulting
Ryan Imbriale, PowerSchool LLC

Ryan Imbriale has spent his education leadership career focused on how pioneering practices can empower student learning. He’s currently the executive director of innovative learning for the Baltimore County Public Schools where he’s responsible for leading the system’s work on blended teaching and learning, student choice programming and comprehensive educational programs designed to address a diverse student population. Imbriale has been in education for over 25 years as a teacher, high school principal and higher education administrator. He’s also a former member of the ISTE Board of Directors and earned the ISTE Making IT Happen award. Imbriale is a National School Board Association (NSBA) "20 to Watch" honoree, a Tech & Learning magazine 100@30 honoree, Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Emerging Leader and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) 2013 National Digital Principal of the Year. In 2015, he was honored by Intel® as an Education Visionary, an elite group of approximately 40 education leaders from all over the world who are exemplars for global education transformation.

Dan Morris, Colorado Digital Learning Solutions

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