Monday, May 3, 2021

Elevating Student Learning with Technology Integration Academy

Goodbye one-size-fits-all lesson! See ya to an old mindset of technology use automatically equaling a higher level learning experience! 

HELLO personalized, needs-based & interests-based, choice-filled, differentiatedself-paced instruction! Technology Integration Academy meets teachers, administrators, and librarians where they are with technology integration and provides tangible resources and intentional modeling to elevate experiences for their unique learners. 

"But I'm already using technology in my classroom. Can I be exempt?" One of the best parts of TIA is that it is structured to grow EVERY learner from their current experience as choice is embedded in every module to provide a meaningful and tailored PD. Rather than providing a skills-based checklist where everyone meets the same end-goal, in this growth-mindset course, there is no technology proficiency ceiling, so the sky is the limit with possibilities that meet individual comfort levels. 

A primary goal of TIA is to highlight that technology usage itself does not elevate the learning experience; rather, it focuses on what students are being asked to do with the technology. Listing ideas on a Google Doc might have it's place in the lesson cycle, but are there also opportunities to publish to a larger audience, digitally collaborate outside the walls of the classroom, choose a personalized path or product, or create using higher level thinking? Focusing on the cognitive demand of the task helps to shift the focus from "Does this lesson have an element of technology" to "How can I pick the right technology platform to meet the intended learning goal?" 

The course content is structured around digital learning platforms we support in Northwest ISD, such as Learning Management Systems by grade level and the suite of apps in Google Workspace, accompanied by high impact instructional practices, like collaboration, creation, critical thinking, choice, reflection, and goal setting which are modeled in the course design and supported by participation requirements.

Take a look at some examples to explore the original prompt for various modules paired with unique creations and perspectives that develop as a result of choice, ownership, and collaboration.

To solidify new learning and identify actions steps moving forward, participants have a variety reflection opportunities in final module. Here are a few takeaways from the Spring 2021 TIA Cohort:
  • I have really liked exploring the different opportunities for choice and differentiation throughout this course. It has been nice to be able to pick according to my learning level and not have to be able to review things I have already learned. Another aspect I have enjoyed from this course is being able to be reflective and set goals on how I want to grow in the future. I want to try to incorporate more technology especially with goal setting and student choice. - Elementary Interventionist
  • Opportunities for Choice and Differentiation - I've come to realize that technology can play a significant role in the efficiency of differentiation. Meaningful Technology Integration - Technology is more than just assigning a google doc for the students to complete and submit. It can be collaborative and used to help students connect and enhance their learning. -7th Grade Science Teacher
  • I thought it was important to review SAMR and take a reflective look at the technology integration that I currently use in the classroom. I noticed that most technology I use is on the lower end of SAMR, so I've set a goal of looking at the technology use that allows for even more learning involvement for the students. My goals for moving forward also include being more productive with technology use in the classroom (like using the iPad to be more mobile and keep track of student progress), and for parent communication. -5th Grade ELA/SS Teacher
  • I will say that there are SO many options when it comes to technology use in the classroom. I was amazed at how many choices we have as teachers that are made available to us. My biggest plan is to use the technology to engage my students with presentations. I also want to really start using the IPAD for Doceri so I can walk around my room more. - High School CTE Teacher

Ready to take your technology integration to the next level? 

Enroll in the Summer 2021 TIA cohort today! The course content is available June 1st - August 8th, 2021.

For more information, visit these Technology Proficiency FAQs.

At Northwest ISD, we believe technology enables us to extend our reach and become more effective, relevant, and connected educators. We strive to use technology as a tool that engages our students at high cognitive levels, and this course is designed to reflect that philosophy in every way. This is important because NISD educators are expected to design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and prepare them to be competitive and successful in a global marketplace.

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