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Achieving Excellence: Developing Embedded Educational Technology Professional Development Programs

Below is an extended session description from presenter Urvi Shah, Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, on her upcoming session at Achieving Excellence in CTE: The National Career Clusters Institute. Sign up for this session and more today!

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At Stone Ridge, we have a dynamic, engaged and motivated teaching faculty dedicated to using technology to bring forth the full potential of their students. Teachers utilize technology to teach as well as to encourage deeper student learning.

The educational technology team (made up of the Director of EdTech and Innovation as well as three Educational Technologists) at Stone Ridge has observed that the following four teacher-driven factors influence effective use and application of technology in the classroom: motivation, energy, time and resource. We recognize that the vast majority of our teachers are self-motivated to effectively utilize educational technology and have the necessary energy to put thought into their curriculum planning. However, our teachers were lacking the time and resources (especially in the form of guidance) to explore, experiment with and discuss the uses of technology for teaching and learning.

Based on these observations, the team worked with administration at Stone Ridge to develop an embedded educational technology professional development program called “Tech Sessions.” The purpose of “Tech Sessions” is to embed professional development into teacher schedules.

These sessions, which occur once every 6-8 days for 30 minutes during the school day, are assiduously developed and lead by the division’s educational technologist. The embedded nature of these sessions allows for teachers to receive regular professional development tailored and geared toward the individual teacher’s learning style, subject area and/or grade.

This embedded professional development model serves three purposes:

1) It fosters a relationship between the teachers and the educational technologists.shah1

2) It develops a safe environment for rich discussion and collaboration.

3) It encourages creativity and innovation.

Through these sessions, teachers have been booking the educational technologist to co-teach in the classroom, as well as work with teachers to plan curriculum. Teachers are beginning to feel supported and encouraged in their educational technology endeavors and finding ways to inspire their students to learn deeply.

This presentation at the Achieving Excellence Institute looks deeper into the technicalities of setting up an embedded educational technology professional development program as well as the impact it has on teaching and learning.

Ms. Urvi Shah, Director of Educational Technology and Innovation, Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart

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