Title

The Jenkins County Innovative Technology Teacher Project: Building Instructional Technology Leadership in Rural Schools

Location

Harborside Center

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

An example of advancing academic achievement and leadership is shown within a small, rural school system through the development of the Innovative Teacher Technology Project (ITTP). The implementation of ITTP was centered on “intentional technology integration” as demonstrated through the following three program strategies: (a) purposeful professional learning; (b) provision of needed resources; and (c) commitment to intentional technology integration.

Brief Program Description

Integrating technology in teaching and learning is necessary in today’s society. Learn how a small, rural school system is implementing technology professional development to build technology capacity, ownership, and leadership. A panel of central office staff, administrators, teachers, and a university professor will describe the system’s ongoing instructional technology professional development. The panel will respond to questions from attendees.

Summary

One of the most important school improvement challenges is moving classrooms toward becoming rich environments where teachers and students utilize instructional technology comfortably and freely. Most educators agree that professional learning should be a part of an instructional technology integration strategy. However, the link between these areas has not been adequately explored in regards to implementation within small, rural systems.

The Innovative Teacher Technology Project (ITTP) was created to address the common expectation that teachers should be able to pull technology out of the box and begin appropriate integration. ITTP implementation centered on “intentional technology integration” as demonstrated through the following three program strategies:

· Purposeful professional learning

· Provision of needed resources

· Commitment to intentional technology integration

In conjunction with ITTP, the Jenkins County School System implemented a new professional learning community called the Teacher Leader Network which was designed to develop teacher leaders within specific school improvement strategies. This PLC provided the services of one Instructional Technology (ITEC) Teacher Leader per grade span.

The development of ITTP and the ITEC Teacher Leaders will be presented as a panel session focusing on how a small, rural system was able to address both academic achievement and leadership. The panel will consist of system and school administrators, the system Instructional Technology Coach, the four ITEC Teacher Leaders, and a university faculty member who served as a consultant on the project.

0The system administrator will discuss the need for the project and describe system, school, and community resources devoted to its implementation. The school administrator and Instructional Technology Coach will provide information on the implementation of the ITTP Cohorts and Teacher Leader Network. The four ITEC Teacher Leaders will explain their new individual system projects and how their roles have evolved during this work. The external consultant will discuss his role as consultant and how he has seen the system’s capacity change over time.

Evidence

Hodges, Grant, and Polly (2013) synthesized the literature on teacher professional development and determined that quality experiences include: “(1) active learning, including hands-on instruction (Garet et al., 2001; Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007; Mouza, 2002-2003), (2) alignment with specific curricular content and focus on pedagogy (Penuel et al., 2007; Polly, Mims, Shepherd, & Inan, 2010), (2) collaborations (Vescio, Ross, & Adams, 2006; Rogers, 2000), (3) on-site support and just-in-time learning (Lawless & Pellegrino, 2007; van Es & Sherin, 2008), (4) remunerations (Cole, Simkins, & Penuel, 2002), and (5) sustained learning opportunities over time (Garet et al., 2001; Howland & Wedman, 2004; Polly & Hannafin, 2010)” (p. 4795). The Jenkins County Innovative Technology Teacher Project addressed each of the identified indicators of quality as seen in Table 1.

Table 1

Jenkins County Innovative Technology Teacher Project Alignment with best practices

Best Practice

Jenkins County Example

Active learning, including hands-on instruction

Professional Development sessions were planned as hands-on sessions with teachers using the technologies and included time for individual and group work on how to use the technologies in their classrooms.

Alignment with specific curricular content and focus on pedagogy

Professional development was always linked to the school improvement plans, with specific content areas as the focus.

Collaborations

Professional development was always structured as collaborations between participants. Continued collaboration beyond the sessions was encouraged through “Tech20s” and the use of a social networking site for participants.

On-site support and just-in-time learning

System level - Instructional Technology Coach and Title I Director; School level - Instructional Technology Teacher Leaders; Both - External Consultant

Remunerations

Participants in the professional development were provided with stipends for their involvement.

Sustained learning opportunities over time

ITEC Teacher Leaders provided ongoing professional development through offering “Tech20s”; ITEC Teacher Leader regular meetings with consulting university faculty member.

References

Hodges, C., Grant, M. & Polly, D. (2013). Beyond one-shot workshops: Three approaches to

STEM teacher professional development. In R. McBride & M. Searson (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013 (pp. 4795-4800). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Julie Chance is the Title I Director for the Jenkins County School System. She has earned an EDS in Educational Leadership and is a certified educator in 6 - 12 Social Science. Mrs. Chance has worked directly and indirectly with the Jenkins County School System for the past 30 years and has coordinated the system’s school improvement and professional learning programs for the past seven years.

John Paul Hearn is an Assistant Principal at the Jenkins County Middle / High School. He has earned a BS in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in SS and Science with a Masters and EDS in Education Leadership. Mr. Hearn middle school Social Science for 5 years and has been in the Assistant Principal position for 5 years.

Jean Gay is the Instructional Technology Coach for the Jenkins County School System. She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and is a certified educator in Middle Grades Education and Secondary Mathematics. Mrs. Gay has 19 years of classroom experience, 2 years as a Mathematics Instructional Coach, and 3 years as the Instructional Technology Coach. She is also currently serving as the system’s Title II Coordinator.

Donna Boone is the Instructional Technology Teacher Leader for grades 9 - 12. She is a full time Science teacher at Jenkins County High School and is in her 13th year as a Georgia educator. Mrs. Boone is an expert in integrating SMARTboard technology into daily classroom practices.

Wayne Burke is the Instructional Technology Teacher Leader for grades 6 - 8. He is a full time Science teacher at Jenkins County Middle School and is in his 23 years as a Georgia educator.

Mr. Burke has been integrating instructional technology into his classroom for over 15 years.

Tim Parker is the Instructional Technology Teacher Leader for grades 3 - 5. He is a full time Special Education teacher at Jenkins County Elementary School and is in his 10th year as a Georgia educator.

Renee Hearn is the Instructional Technology Teacher Leader for grades K - 2. She earned her BS in Early Childhood and her Masters and EDS in Reading Education. Mrs. Hearn has taught for 20 years at Jenkins County Elementary School in 1st and 2nd grades.

Charles B. Hodges is an Associate Professor of Instructional Technology at Georgia Southern University. He earned degrees in Mathematics (B.S. and M.S.) before earning a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech’s Learning Sciences and Technologies program. Prior to his employment at Georgia Southern, he was a faculty member at Virginia Tech for 15 years.

Keyword Descriptors

Professional Development, Integrating instructional technology, Building leadership capacity

Presentation Year

2016

Start Date

3-8-2016 4:00 PM

End Date

3-8-2016 5:30 PM

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Mar 8th, 4:00 PM Mar 8th, 5:30 PM

The Jenkins County Innovative Technology Teacher Project: Building Instructional Technology Leadership in Rural Schools

Harborside Center

Integrating technology in teaching and learning is necessary in today’s society. Learn how a small, rural school system is implementing technology professional development to build technology capacity, ownership, and leadership. A panel of central office staff, administrators, teachers, and a university professor will describe the system’s ongoing instructional technology professional development. The panel will respond to questions from attendees.