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III. ACTION PLAN:    A. Technology Access    B. ICT Literacy    C. Professional Development    D. Community Involvement     [Data]

ICT Literacy Toolkit
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Introduction
1. Standards
2. Research
3. Case Studies
4. ePortfolio Support
5. Presentations
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Effective Projects Case Study

 

Power Brokers at Hampton School District

www.sau21.org/ha

 

This is a story about a project that started 9/1/2007.

For more information, please contact: Cathy Brophy at cbrophy@sau21.org.

 

The Power Broker Project is a continuation of a technology professional development mentoring program begun 4 years ago in order to improve teacher technology proficiency, increase technology integration in the classroom, and increase student access to meaningful, technology integrated lessons.

 

Funding: This project was supported by $10,000 from NCLB Title II-D (Educational Technology) and $5,600 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal funding supports ďProfessional development to all staff - Supporting ongoing, sustained, intensive, high-quality professional development for all staff focused on integration of technology into curriculum and instruction.Ē The project addressed the following grades and content areas:

PreK-2 Gr3-5Gr6-8††† EngLangArtsMathScienceSocStTheArts

 

The Setting: The Hampton School District, comprised of three schools grades PreK-8, includes a4:1computer: student ratio, as well as 1-3 computer labs per building. The Power Broker Technology Staff Development Program, now in its fourth year, incorporates a technology mentor methodology in order to improve staff proficiency in the integration of technology skills and concepts in the integration of technology into the classroom in order to improve student learning.Through Title II D funds, Power Brokers are supported in their quest for increasing their own level of technology proficiency so that they in turn, may train and mentor their peers.As these technology Power Brokers increase their own level of technology proficiency through participation I workshops and hands Ėon training, they become teacher leaders in the area of technology integration.

 

The plot: The biggest challenge during our planning phase was overcoming the absence of our District Technology Coordinator who had been out on medical leave for a year. She had been our fearless leader and visionary in the implementation of the Power Broker projects the past four years. She was also a great facilitator and team member who organized tech staff meetings and had access to staff and administration in all three of Hamptonís schools.Since we had procured the grant funds and we were dedicated to following through with the project, our challenges were multi-faceted: We needed administration approval of a new Grant Manager and Project Coordinator; we needed to get the word out to administration and staff; and we needed to persuade a skeptical staff who were clearly seeing the effects of a diminished technology staff. We faced several challenges in implementing our Power Broker Program- the grant deadline being the largest hurdle we faced. Fortunately, we were able to enlist 12 excellent teachers representing all three of Hamptonís schools, and all grade levels, including music, language arts, reading, second grade, world language, art, physical education, and middle school math. Each of these teachers volunteered to take on the additional responsibility of learning new technology software, hardware, new teaching techniques and technology concepts, in order to improve their own level of technology expertise, as well as improve learning for their students.The second challenge was in communicating the projectí s history and purpose to administration and a new district technology coordinator anddistrict grant writer, in order to allow the purchase of software, and equipment. We also needed to coordinate Power Broker meetings around the schedule at all three buildings.The third challenge came as we ordered software and hardware form vendors. In spite of our best research efforts, our technology coordinator is new and does not have a background in the education industry.Receiving accurate quotes from vendors to secure the best price was frustrating. The Purchasing process in our district is cumbersome at best. It took several months for this process to be completed, believe it or not, due to a host of other district technology related issues that were of a much higher priority.However, persistence pays off!We were finally able to purchase our software and hardware, and schedule our meetings and hold training sessions with our Power Brokers.

 

The teachers: 12 teachers were directly involved. This yearís Power Brokers for the Hampton School District include the following classroom teachers:From Hamptonís Pre-k-2 school: 1 art teacher, 1 music teacher, and 1 second grade teacher. Of these three teachers, 2 are new to the district and 1 is a former Power Broker.From Hamptonís 3-5 school:1 PE teacher, 1 music teacher, 2 fifth grade teachers, and 1 reading teacher. Of these 5 teachers, 2 are returning Power Brokers.††† From Hamptonís 6-8 school:1 World Language teacher, 2 math teachers, 1 language arts teacher. Of these, 3 are returning Power Brokers.This yearís Power Brokers were excited to be learning how to use the districtsís 3 interactive whiteboards, that had been purchased several years prior. Since the purchase of these white boards, interactive whiteboard technologies have improved dramatically. We were hoping that these teachers could learn some of these new technologies and software, and bring their enthusiasm to their colleagues. Other Power Brokers were interested in learning how to use a collaborative learning environment such as Moodle. And still others, were excited to be learning how to incorporate podcasting, animation, and virtual field trips into classroom lessons.

 

The students: Elementary Music:Teachers at each elementary school learned to use an interactive whiteboard with interactive music software and websites to engage all learners. Students in grades K-5 were able to actively participatein thelessons in order to learn new music skills and knowledge, while learning about interactive whiteboard technology.†† Another team of fifth grade teachers worked to create a fifth grade electronic portfolio building process. Two classes of fifth grade students were actively involved in the portfolio process, including learning how to use digital cameras and scanners.†† Four other teachers volunteered to learn to use Mimio interactive devices along with interactive whiteboard software in their classrooms. Two of these teachers teach seventh grade middle school math; another has a self contained second grade classroom, and the fourth is a reading teacher for grades 3-5.All teachers are looking to increase their repertoire of technology integration tools in order to motivate and inspire their students, with the hope of improving student learning. As well, these teachers have taken on the added responsibility of conducting workshops for their colleagues.For the first time we had a Physical Education/Health teacher volunteer to be a Power Broker. This teacher researched appropriate grade level websites where students could research nutrition information and set personal healthy lifestyle goals. By incorporating technology into the health curriculum, this teacher is hoping to make a lifetime impact.Our K-2 art teacher Power Broker used technology to research artist websites to create and project large art slideshows for her young students, using an LCD projector in her classroom. This had never been done before at the Pre-k-2 school.Our 8th grade Language Arts teacher is developing a virtual field trip lesson plan to be used with her 8th grade students. She will use the virtual field trip to enhance an 8th grade Social Studies/Language Arts/Technology integrated unit on NH history.Our World Language teacher learned how to use animation software and podcasting to enhance studentsí literacy skills in the teaching of Spanish and French to middle school students. At the same time, students experiencedaninteractive hands on approach, learning to use digital cameras, video cameras and animation software, as well as audio editing software.

 

The data: Due to our late start, all but two of our teacher/ Power Brokers are still in the process of teaching and collecting data in the form of student observation. Two teachers will be surveying their students prior to teaching their lesson, and again following the lesson, to determine if studentsí learning was enhanced through the integration of technology. Our fifth grade electronic portfolio Power Brokers will survey their students in May to determine the impact their project had on student learning.As a district, we also use the LoTI, given each May, to determine teachersí level of technology implementation. We also created a Teacher Technology Self-Evaluation two years ago, which teachers complete in June. We use the self evaluation to determine teacher professional development needs for the following year.

 

The difference: No formal testing took place during the months of the project implementation. Standardized testing will occur in June 2008, and all students will be surveyed by June 2008 as well.†† Other outcomes, however, were observational. Teachers observed enthusiastic, excited, involved studwnts when usiing technology in their classrooms. Other observational data include teacher observations of student learning, and observation of teacher learning. It was extremely exciting and motivating for teachers to see how excited their students were to be using technology in new ways in the classroom.†† Learning how to present or prepare a lesson for the first time is challenging on so many levels. Attempting to incorporate a new technology into a new or existing lesson for the first time, is even more daunting. The success is in the implementation and in the self reflection. All Power Brokers are asked to submit a self reflection on their project following their project completion. Power Brokers are asked to reflect on their initial goals, any professional development opportunities they participated in, the actual lesson or activities that were presented, successes, failures, and plans for future technology use in the classroom.

 

Essential conditions: As always, the essential conditions necessary for our projectís success are willing teachers, supportive administrators, supportive technology staff, and time for training.

 

Changes for the future: Ideally, the timeline for the project would coincide with the beginning of the school year. This allows for a natural beginning and ending to the project. Because we depend on our teachers to carry out the project in that we expect them to learn new skills, develop new concepts, methods and opportunities for integration, AND we expect them to mentor their peers, teachers would be able to begin the training in the fall, and then be ready to teach their students by December or January.†† The nature of some teachersí goals was also a factor in that some teachers had a goal of 1 lesson or unit, while others focused on a year long goal. Teachers whose projects required a year long commitment were not ready to evaluate their project in the middle of the school year. In the future, all teachers and students participating in the project would complete a pre-assessment of skills and/or attitude toward technology and learning.†† All teachers involved in the project would give their students a pre-assessment, as well, to determine their knowledge of the technology skills and their attitude toward learning.

 

Recommendations: This project has been highly successful in improving teacher technology proficiency based upon teacher needs, school needs and instructional needs. Because teachers are allowed to create their own project based upon their interest, technology level, and curriculum, it is a departure from the one size fits all form of professional development.†† Technology training is hand tailored to meet the needs of the teachers who have volunteered for the project. Because the initial Power Broker concept has been continued for four years, teachers are familiar with the project, there is a sense of confidence in the project, and the project is improved upon each year.†† In its initial years, only core curriculum classroom teachers were asked to be part of the project. Now in its fourth year, we have teachers form the core content areas as well as the arts, demonstrating the need to integrate technology into every aspect of studentsí learning experiences.To ensure successful replication of the project it is important to widely publicize the project in its initial stages. The plan and goals should be determined by a team of educators involving administrators, the technology team, and the teachers themselves. It is important to ask the teachers what they feel they need to learn and what their students need in the classroom.For this reason, some sort of self assessment or needs survey is critical.We also recommend opening training opportunities and workshops up to all staff members. The Power Brokers are not only mentors, but ambassadors for the integration and use of technology in the classroom. They are our best advertisement about what is new and exciting and what works!

 

Telling our story: We have shared the impact of our project within our district and within our SAU at administrator meetings and at school board meetings, which are televised to the public.

 

Documents to share:Power Broker Powerpoint,Power Broker Report,Course Offerings,Power Broker Contract,Power Broker Planning Matrix,Sample Timeline,Questions for Power Broker Follow Up,Tech Self Assessment,Technology Professional Development Survey