Supporting Change of Practices
Next Generation assessments will continue to provide baseline and longitudinal data for informing training and skill development. A professional development plan will be based on the data collected from the diagnostic surveys. Subsequent training will build on the existing base of knowledge previously developed through other professional development initiatives, including the HSSD summer technology academy and an ongoing commitment to the Microsoft Coaching Model.
Recruitment and hiring practices are being revamped to attract and retain tech savvy instructors. In partnership with CESA 6, the District intends to implement a semi-automated approach to teacher and principal observation and development. The observation protocol will include measures for effective use of technology that are aligned with the District's Digital Transformation goals. This capability will be an important component of the strategy to systematically develop a new form of instruction.
On site technology integration specialists at each school provide face-to-face professional development to guide teachers through the process of effectively integrating their new learning tools into the classroom. Professional development sessions explore the tools (hardware, software, digital curriculum, and online resources) that will support curriculum standards as well as identified needs. Through their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), teachers will discuss how technology can be more effectively used in their classrooms, integrated into the curriculum and leveraged to design lessons and/or projects to accomplish their curricula goals. The face-to-face professional development will also incorporate Web 2.0 (blogs, wikis, Podcasts) tools that will help teachers reach their curriculum goals while addressing 21st century skills.
Digital curriculum will underpin the personalized learning environment to ensure student engagement is enhanced. Today's digital natives are primed for non-linear and rich educational experiences. Many of them have spent their entire lives immersed in an era of video games and digitally engaging online media content. Instructional approaches, online curriculum, and instructional resources need to appeal to the sensibilities of today's learners. By combining the District’s professional development with our ever-expanding digital offerings, we are positioned to partner with educators and administrators to improve college and career readiness for all students, meet accountability requirements, and assure that all students are benefiting from a 21st century learning environment.
Mobile computing done well has been shown to improve core academic results, improve student attendance, and decrease disciplinary occurrences. As technology becomes ubiquitous, students gain access to educational information any time, any place, and at a variable pace. In turn, both the instructional delivery and the accountability structure are redefined.
To realize the District’s mission of “ensuring that all students have the knowledge and skills to succeed in a changing world”, HSSD students and teachers must have access to a digital high-quality and Common-Core-aligned curriculum. Furthermore, the technical requirements of administering the Smarter Balanced Assessment in 2014-15 demand a level of technology integration previously not required for high stakes assessments.
Again, the District is migrating away from static instructional materials toward technological resources, including ready-to-use online curriculum programs that integrate assessment, instruction, student activities, remediation plans, and lesson plans. Digital textbooks - “e-texts” – bringing teacher and student editions to desktop, laptop, and mobile devices, will soon replace bulky and outdated print materials. In fact, at the time of this writing, Bay View Middle School is moving to pilot Discovery Education’s new Social Studies Techbook during the spring of 2013.
Working with the District’s curriculum and providing updated solutions to support the digital platform, the Teaching and Learning Department, Information Services Department, and building technology integration specialists will support teachers in building a robust digital learning e