District Administration March 2018 - 64

DISTRICT CIO

TRANSFORMATIVE TECH

devices, digital learning and other technology to their full instructional potential.
Coaching and co-teaching
The first step in getting teachers to adopt
technology is to make them feel comfortable, says David Chan, director of instructional technology at Evanston Township
High School near Chicago.
"I used to carry a ladder around with
me to fix the overhead projectors," says
Chan, a former chemistry teacher. The
ladder was often a way to establish credibility and build rapport with the staff,
many of whom he didn't know when he
started. "Now, it's about developing a personal relationship with teachers and making connections with them," he says.
When Chan began his new role, he
immediately recognized the amount of
time it would take to integrate technology
into a lesson plan. He made it a regular
practice to co-plan lessons with teachers in
their classrooms.
For example, Chan recently helped
a teacher and her students create whiteboard video animation and screencasts.
Chan's team also creates project-specific
tech help guides for students.
"We are mindful of how we can assist
with preparation, delivery and ultimately
training of teachers so they will be able to
run these projects on their own in a short
time," he says.

"It's invaluable to tell the story of the
investment the community is making in
kids-through the media, school patrons
and going to business and parent groups."
-Christy Ziegler, Shawnee Mission School District

Chan also directs teachers toward
other PD resources, such as professional
learning networks on Twitter. "Twitter is
dominated first by celebrities, and then by
educators," he says. "We understand the
limited time teachers have, so we try to
make the process as easy as possible."
It's not always about computers
Instructional technology leaders also track
how effectively educators are implementing new devices and teaching methods,
says Christy Ziegler, assistant superintendent of innovation and performance
at Shawnee Mission School District near
Kansas City, Kansas.
Ziegler uses the SAMR Model to assess
technology integration. The approach
highlights the four stages: substitution,
augmentation, modification and redefinition. Substitution is just using a computer,
rather than paper, to assign worksheets.
Redefinition, on the other hand, is using
technology to teach a lesson or assign a
project that would not be possible with-

Instructional tech directors
take these steps to help teachers
integrate technology:
* Co-plan lessons
* Co-teach classes
* Conduct classroom observations
* Create project-specific tech help
guides for students
* Assist in finding up-to-date
learning materials

64 March 2018

* Direct teachers toward PD
resources, such as professional
learning networks on Twitter
* Ensure edtech is promoting
collaboration
* Seek grants for class projects
* Meet with community members
to explain a district's tech needs

out technological assistance. "We can't
just bring tech in and expect it to be the
new instructional method," she says. "It's
not a method, it's a resource. Some teachers don't want to be involved in tech, so
you have to continue the discussion and
expand the instructional coaching through
non-evaluative support."
Instructional coaches provide this support by observing a lesson and offering
suggestions, or even co-teaching a lesson
that includes technology.
Coaches can also offer feedback. When
Ziegler visits a classroom, she observes the
teaching and learning, asks students about
what they are learning and why it's important. Ultimately, it's about nurturing relationships with both students and teachers.
"We aren't just going to make a movie
to make a movie," she says. "We have to
a have roadmap of what good instruction
looks like."
Instructional technology directors
should always prioritize platforms-such
as videoconferencing and interactive displays-that allow students to collaborate
on a higher level, adds Dave Eisenmann,
director of instructional technology and
media services for Minnetonka Public
Schools in Minnesota.
But it's not always about computers.
Allison Stephens, curriculum, technology
and innovation specialist at Upper Perkiomen School District in Pennsylvania, has
applied for a $100,000 USDA grant to
buy a greenhouse. It will fund an interdisciplinary program to grow food for the
cafeteria and community.
Barriers and bond measures
Students at Liberty Union-Thurston
Schools in Ohio are creating an app to

District Administration



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration March 2018

District Administration March 2018 - Cover1
District Administration March 2018 - Cover2
District Administration March 2018 - 1
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