Collaborate to Support Learning - Digital Promise Verizon Innovative Learning Schools

Collaborate to Support Learning

It is very easy to fall into the “flavor-of-the-day” mentality and follow trends that other school districts are doing. Instead, start with the goals and learning needs of students in the district, and then tie technology to the support of those goals and needs.

This can be done by ensuring technology departments work closely with the teaching and learning team, special education team, assistive technology team, assessment team, teacher organizations, parent organizations, and administrators to understand the needs of all stakeholders when generating solutions.

It is important to constantly reflect on educational pedagogy. Technology cannot merely be inserted into traditional models of teaching and be expected to be successful. Through instructional coaching, instructional rounds, classroom observations, micro-learning, mentoring, modeling, and job-embedded professional learning, classroom practitioners are supported to transform their teaching practice into one that effectively leverages technology toward higher levels of thinking, understanding, and engagement.

In addition, the district’s technology department leadership should ensure that their technical staff has relevant opportunities for professional learning. Essential to the success of the technology department are the following:

  • Soft skills in customer service
  • Collaborative problem solving with solutions in mind
  • Helping IT team members know and understand the importance of their role to student and staff success
  • Technical skills as well as critical thinking skills

By regularly providing learning opportunities for your IT staff to teach, reinforce, and maintain their skills, your team will be at the top of their game. Remembering that new learning needs to take place for your IT staff when new technologies and systems are put in place is also key.

Deep collaboration between instruction and IT will ensure that teacher and learner needs are met, while also creating holistic buy-in from both teachers and IT staff that benefit student learning.

Professional Learning

Professional development for staff—both instructional and technical—is part of the total cost of ownership model to consider when building your long-term technology sustainability plan.

Instructional Roles
IT Roles

Will you fund a coach in each school to support classroom teachers in learning with technology?

What professional learning will school-based IT team members benefit from in collaborating with teachers?

How will you support teachers in pedagogical transformation that allows their students to be successful in the classroom?

What certifications are relevant to the new technology the district is using?

How will you provide sustained support so that all teachers are successful in integrating technology into their teaching practices?

What training would enable IT team members to do more of the implementation and repair of IT systems and tools in-house rather than having to send them to third parties?

Will professional development dollars need to be spent on teacher or instructional coaches learning outside of contract hours?

Has your school district established supportive systems for the use of technology in the district? How do you plan to continue to support and sustain them?

Will your school district support the through line of accountability in expecting that technology is infused into the educational pedagogy? How will that be supported and monitored?

How have you provided customer service training? Have your team members had an opportunity to practice their new skills?

How will you assess and collect data that helps identify the type of professional learning your teachers need?

Do your team members know their job expectations and have the skills needed to complete their jobs?

How will you plan for support that is sustainable beyond the funding?

Have you provided opportunities for your team to collaborate and innovate on old and new practices?

How can you move toward a more diverse technical team? What steps will you take to recruit new and diverse talent?

Instructional Roles

Will you fund a coach in each school to support classroom teachers in learning with technology?

IT Roles

What professional learning will school-based IT team members benefit from in collaborating with teachers?

Instructional Roles

How will you support teachers in pedagogical transformation that allows their students to be successful in the classroom?

IT Roles

What certifications are relevant to the new technology the district is using?

Instructional Roles

How will you provide sustained support so that all teachers are successful in integrating technology into their teaching practices?

IT Roles

What training would enable IT team members to do more of the implementation and repair of IT systems and tools in-house rather than having to send them to third parties?

Instructional Roles

Will professional development dollars need to be spent on teacher or instructional coaches learning outside of contract hours?

IT Roles

Has your school district established supportive systems for the use of technology in the district? How do you plan to continue to support and sustain them?

Instructional Roles

Will your school district support the through line of accountability in expecting that technology is infused into the educational pedagogy? How will that be supported and monitored?

IT Roles

How have you provided customer service training? Have your team members had an opportunity to practice their new skills?

Instructional Roles

How will you assess and collect data that helps identify the type of professional learning your teachers need?

IT Roles

Do your team members know their job expectations and have the skills needed to complete their jobs?

Instructional Roles

How will you plan for support that is sustainable beyond the funding?

IT Roles

Have you provided opportunities for your team to collaborate and innovate on old and new practices?

Instructional Roles
IT Roles

How can you move toward a more diverse technical team? What steps will you take to recruit new and diverse talent?

Moving beyond the substitution level of the SAMR model to augmentation, modification, and redefinition will help students acquire necessary skills for the future, like creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration. (Learn more: Powerful Learning)

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