By Aileen M. Owens
Do Your Teachers Need a Perso
Technology integration happens when we remove barriers, incorporate appropriate pedagogy and instructional strategies, and provide opportunities and support for teachers and students in the classroom. Assisting
teachers in the classroom as they gain the confidence and
skills needed to be successful in sustaining new practices
is a critical element in the integration process.
Therefore, what better place to provide professional
development than in the classroom alongside teachers
and students? This process requires a paradigm shift away
from the train-the-trainer approach to more of a “personal
trainer” method. But how can one instructional technology
coordinator provide ongoing sustainable staff development
for hundreds of teachers without a budget and without a
staff? We found the answer through a partnership with
Duquesne University Instructional Technology Department, which is reshaping and redefining the coursework
for preservice education and changing instructional strategies for our teachers.
Juggling Too Many Demands
As instructional technology coordinator for Mt. Leba-
non School District in Pittsburgh, one of my main
responsibilities is to offer daily technology integration
training and support for teachers before school, during
teacher planning times, at lunch time, and after school.
The process requires a series of 45-minute weekly meetings
(generally four to six depending on the size of the project).
I help the teacher or team of teachers identify a concept
that students have the most trouble learning. We brain-
storm ways to enrich the lesson by identifying available re-
sources, technologies, and instructional strategies that may
increase learning or allow the teacher opportunities to teach
the concept in a new way. Teachers create the vision, and
I support them by researching available resources, helping
them implement the new technologies, creating the project
management plan, and then helping them implement the
lesson in the classroom.
After their first experience, teachers almost always select
a new project, and we begin the process again. The flaw in
Preservice Teachers Learn the Ropes
While Helping Classroom Teachers
Integrate Technology into Their Lessons