prepare the content of each Technology Wizard training session to be applicable across technology platforms.
We were fortunate to have an
advanced level of expertise and a
variety of knowledge on our team.
Throughout the year, every member
of the department had to either lead
or facilitate a training session for the
technology wizards. Diahann Ouly,
T.J. McKeon, Anthony Newberry, and
Mike Cichocki each fill a special niche
on the team, and their commitment to
making technology an integral part of
the learning process has been a driving force for the program.
At this session, students worked collaboratively on self-selected projects
after a brief introduction to iMovie.
We offered the PC user group a choice
of learning options:
• Participate in an instructor-led training to learn about Movie Maker
• Work in small groups with video
tutorials (created by Intermediate
Unit Department members) and a
PowerPoint handout to discover the
essentials of the Movie Maker software application
• Work individually with the video
tutorials and a PowerPoint handout
to learn the specified essentials of
Following the initial learning period, we gave students in both sessions
the task of working in teams to create
a one-minute persuasive commercial
that would convince teachers of the
benefits of using multimedia in the
classroom. (Find an example of the
commercials at http://eschool.cliu.org/
The PC video editing session was
an absolute revelation for all of us
as educators. Not a single student in
the PC session chose to work in an
instructor-led format; every one of
the students chose to work in teams
or individually to learn through
hands-on experience. Everything
about the session was a break from
the traditional classroom setting. The
students worked in teams grouped
about the room. There were no neat,
tidy rows of students working at
desks. The noise level was quite different from that of the traditional
classroom. However, as one of my
colleagues said, what we heard was
the sound of learning. There was also
the exuberance and enthusiasm of
the students as they were all engaged
in the task.
At the end of the video training session, students completed an exit pass
form in which they identified three
new things they had learned and how
they had learned them, two things
they still wanted to learn about video
editing, and one question they had.
The data revealed that 80% of the students identified working together in a
hands-on practice environment as the
most effective method of learning.
The Sound of Learning
One of our greatest concerns was the
delivery format. For years, the Carbon
Lehigh Intermediate Unit had been
an advocate of differentiated instruction, understanding by design, and
teaching to the multiple intelligences.
It was of utmost importance that the
program content be delivered in a way
that would model best practices for the
educational theories that we promote.
We had to be sure that we could walk
the walk—not just talk the talk. If we
could successfully model the theories
in action as part of the Technology
Wizard training sessions, the participating students and teacher advisers
would be equipped to return to their
home schools as advocates. They
would be able to speak to the teachers
in their home schools about firsthand
experience in the successful application of these educational theories.
The design of the video editing session is an excellent example of content
delivery in the Tech Wizards program.
We differentiated the session on several levels. First, we separated the
group according to PC or Mac users.
This allowed us to provide training on
iMovie for the Mac users and Movie
Maker for the PC users. Because
the Intermediate Unit is entirely PC
based, an instructor from an educational partner led the Mac session.
The Technology Wizards program
has succeeded in reaching an audience beyond the students or teachers
involved. Each group of participating
students has instituted some form of
student-led professional development
in their schools. One group offers
Tech Tuesday each month. Tech Tuesday training consists of a 45-minute
period before school begins. Teachers
interested in expanding their technology knowledge attend the session led
by technology wizards with the help
and support of their teacher adviser.
Another group has established a
Technology Academy. The technology
wizards stay after school to offer training and support to faculty members
who attend the academy. Still another
group has initiated student-teacher
technology training appointments.
Teachers approach the technology
wizards with a request for training on
a particular technology or help creating materials, and the students set up
appointments after school. The group
teacher adviser commented on an interesting and unanticipated result—
although teachers have no qualms
about breaking appointments with
other teachers, they will not break
their appointments with students.
Even when the Technology Wizards
program was in its first year, we were
able to measure its effectiveness. Tech-
It was of utmost importance that the program content
be delivered in a way that would model best practices
for the educational theories that we promote.