Technology in K-2 Differentiated Literacy Groups

Professional Development for Technology Use

Meeting the needs of all students is something teachers are doing daily in their profession. With technology meeting those needs with differentiation is a great way for students to reach their goals through personalized learning and student choice. Integrating technology into the classroom is an effective way to connect with students of all learning styles. Technology transforms the learning experience. Students have access to an incredible amount of new opportunities. From learning how to code to learning how to better collaborate across teams and with their instructors–technology empowers students to be more creative and be more connected. New tech has super-charged how we learn today. This professional development allows for teachers to see how using technology for literacy can boost student learning and is an easy way to add something new to the classroom.

Conference Presentation:

With our focus of getting teachers involved in implementing technology for literacy groups we submitted a proposal to the 2019 NCCE (Northwest Council for Computer Education). This professional development is set for a 50 minute session with engaging features to excite teachers who might be new or have little experience implementing technology for student growth in their classroom. Below is our presentation that has many resources for all teachers to try in their classroom. We hope that by sharing our resource teachers and others in education will begin to implement technology or even change the way they are currently using technology to meet the needs of all students.

Link to presentation

Video: 

Below is an overview of our 50 minute presentation. In this overview we discuss the importance of our professional developed for not only students but for teachers as well.

Link to Youtube Video

Meeting the Needs of Teachers

When developing our presentation we used the article Effective Teacher  Professional Development were they reviewed multiple studies to develop a list of what effective professional development includes. They first started by defining “effective professional development as structured professional learning that results in changes in teacher practices and improvements in student learning outcomes.”

Using this methodology, they found that effective professional development incorporates most, if not all, of the following elements:

  • Is content focused: PD that focuses on teaching strategies associated with specific curriculum content supports teacher learning within teachers’ classroom contexts. This element includes an intentional focus on discipline-specific curriculum development and pedagogies in areas such as mathematics, science, or literacy.
  • Incorporates active learning:  Active learning engages teachers directly in designing and trying out teaching strategies, providing them an opportunity to engage in the same style of learning they are designing for their students. Such PD uses authentic artifacts, interactive activities, and other strategies to provide deeply embedded, highly contextualized professional learning. This approach moves away from traditional learning models and environments that are lecture based and have no direct connection to teachers’ classrooms and students.
  • Supports collaboration: High-quality PD creates space for teachers to share ideas and collaborate in their learning, often in job-embedded contexts. By working collaboratively, teachers can create communities that positively change the culture and instruction of their entire grade level, department, school and/or district.
  • Uses models of effective practice:  Curricular models and modeling of instruction provide teachers with a clear vision of what best practices look like. Teachers may view models that include lesson plans, unit plans, sample student work, observations of peer teachers, and video or written cases of teaching.
  • Provides coaching and expert support: Coaching and expert support involve the sharing of expertise about content and evidence-based practices, focused directly on teachers’ individual needs.
  • Offers feedback and reflection: High-quality professional learning frequently provides built-in time for teachers to think about, receive input on, and make changes to their practice by facilitating reflection and soliciting feedback. Feedback and reflection both help teachers to thoughtfully move toward the expert visions of practice.
  • Is of sustained duration: Effective PD provides teachers with adequate time to learn, practice, implement, and reflect upon new strategies that facilitate changes in their practice.

Accessibility:
Accessibility for all learners is important so that all content can met their needs. For our presentation we wanted to make sure we had multiple forms for our learners to obtain information. Our main source of sharing our presentation will be by projecting in on a screen. For projecting our slides, we have picked larger fonts and colors that offer contrast for better viewing. In addition, we will offer print outs that include all extra resources we offer during our session. Finally, we created an overview video including our slides that is presented with Closed Captions for learners who need extra support.

Standards:

ISTE Standards for Coaches

  1. Digital Age Learning Environments Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.
  2. Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
  3. Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments.
  4. Coach teachers in and model use of online and blended learning, digital content, and collaborative learning networks to support and extend student learning as well as expand opportunities and choices for online professional development for teachers and administrators.
  5. Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.
  6. Troubleshoot basic software, hardware and connectivity problems common in digital learning environments.
  7. Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.
  8. Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers and the larger community.

Our presentation meets all 7 indicators of ISTE Standard 3 for Coaches as described below:

a.)We will share information about multiple ways to structure students’ use of digital tools and well as many management tips, both for the classroom environment and the technology.

  1. b) We will provide suggestions for variety of digital tools for the primary classroom.  We will briefly explore a few during the presentation as well as include links for attendees to try out some resources we have shared after the presentation is over.
  2. c) We will provide a lot of links to resources in our presentation. 50 minutes isn’t a lot of time, but we have a lot of information to share and want attendees to continue the learning after the session.
  3. d) We have created a closed caption screencast providing an overview of our Slides presentation as well as been intentional with our choice of  font and graphics.
  4. e) We have included a slide on technology management and also a slide of how to have volunteers and support staff assist when students encounter technology difficulty.
  5. f) We chose to do this project and create this presentation as a team. We also want our presentation to be a collaborative session. We will stop and ask the audience to share anything they might want to add or share their experiences with the topic we are discussing.
  6. g) Our presentation materials (slides and screencast) will be shared on our blogs, available on the NCCE conference website (if we are selected to present), and we will encourage attendees to share any pieces of our presentation with their colleagues once they return home. We will also share our contact information with attendees for follow-up or clarifying questions.

 

Sources:

Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017, June 05). Effective Teacher Professional Development (Rep.). Retrieved August 23, 2018, from Learning Policy Institute website: https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/effective-teacher-professional-development-report
Iste.org. (2017). ISTE Standards For Coaches. [online] Available at: https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches [Accessed 20 Aug. 2018].

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