If you're implementing some new innovations this year, especially with technology, think about how to make this change a motivating experience for your faculty. Great teachers remain the core of any great school.
The keys to transition for teachers
Introducing new technology inevitably involves transitions for teachers, and should likely include a shift in how lesson plans are prepared. Technology doesn’t make a weak teacher better, but it can amplify the ability for good teachers to reach students more effectively. How can you deliver tools to teachers in a manner that enables them to reach students and personalize their instructional design?
Keys to developing your technology implementation strategies:
*Get your "early adopter" teachers on board first, then have a central repository for information, that includes links, videos, apps, and other valuable resources.
* Technology ultimately needs to make the teaching job easier with clearly articulated goals
* It should increase efficiency and opportunities for growth
* The professional development and coaching plan should be clear and motivating
* Collaboration with teachers in the design is preferred over top-down mandates.
The great news is that effectively implemented technology solutions can enable teachers to focus even more on being highly valued advisers and facilitators for students. We all know that learning shouldn't be just about mastering the facts, but also helping students make better decisions and connect the dots. That's the beauty of the school design options you have access to today, with greater ability to impart truth and wisdom along with knowledge.
How time is allocated for formal and informal professional growth is a reliable predictor of the success of your school design. Will you allow enough time in the master schedule for teachers to learn independently and conduct required research? Is sufficient autonomy provided for teachers to own their development? What supports will you provide to help teachers develop their curriculum to maximize the impact of new technologies? Your wise investments in the use of time will make a huge difference in the achievement of your teachers and students.
Over the last few years we have had the opportunity to work with a variety of technology tools that have proven to be extremely valuable in the implementation of blended, student-centered learning. A few that we recommend include:
BUZZ by Agilix is a powerful learning management platform that uses an effective methodology for personalized learning, including links between assessments to standards, content to standards, and assessments to content. It's a bit radical to give students ownership over the pace and path of their learning plan, but the growth results we have seen are well work any risks.
QUIA is a huge network of teachers sponsored by IXL learning, with teacher-produced and teacher-vetted questions and assessments at all levels. This enables teachers to easly pick and choose questions to include on tests or exams that directly correlate to the selected leaning standards and target certain skills in which students may be deficient.
TEACHERTUBE provides an online community for sharing instructional videos. Teachertube fills a need for a more educationally-focused and safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners. It provides anytime, anywhere professional development with teachers teaching teachers. Teachers can also post videos designed for students to view in order to learn a concept or skill. EDU-TUBE is similar web-based resource, and some teachers/schools have even started their own YOUTUBE channel to post materials for your students and parents to use.