Alabama ASCD

Technology Innovation Experience

Enterprise City Schools has made a commitment to providing digital resources and learning opportunities for teachers and students to acquire the skills needed to integrate technology for authentic, real world experiences. One way our school system is making this commitment is by hiring a Coordinator of Technology Integration & Innovation, Beth Sanders. Ms. Sanders has created teams of teachers at each school called TIE or Technology Innovation Experience teams. This has been the impetus for connecting professional development and teacher practices in the classroom with integrating technology for authentic purposes.

Below you will find information about how Ms. Sanders has created the TIE teams to support the vision of Enterprise City Schools.

The overall vision of Enterprise City Schools focuses on ensuring that every student is prepared to not only live but to also thrive and contribute in an ever-changing, globally-connected world. To most effectively achieve our vision, we are committed to creating an equitable connected learning environment in every classroom and building. To guarantee this innovation is effective and sustained our 5 elementary schools, 2 junior high schools, and 1 high school will all pilot and participate in the Technology Innovation Experience (TIE) during the 2015-2016 school year. TIE will expand to our kindergarten school during the 1st semester of the 2016-2017 school year. Each TIE community of learners is composed of 5 teachers (the high school has 14 due to the population size and a student cohort as well to promote leaders of their own learning and empower student voice), 1 Instructional Partner, 1 Instructional Leader, 1 Media Specialist, and 1 Coordinator of Technology Integration and Innovation. Each teacher member will be provided with 7 Chromebooks, personalized professional learning support, access to a committed professional learning community on the school, district, and digital level, and an opportunity to develop into a connected teacher leader to help sustain and further develop the innovation. Teachers will be expected to commit to co-created non-negotiables, community norms, and achieving 2015-2016 school year goals related to innovative high impact teaching and learning. These communities of learners will be simultaneously working together to develop themselves as teacher leaders while also developing their students as leaders of their own learning. The true innovation of these groups will be seen in their own classrooms, in their interactions with each other, in the ways they affect and sustain change on a district level, and most importantly in the long term effects they will have on preparing every student to be future ready.

Our “why” for the Technology Innovation Experience is grounded in creating a collective unit of digital teacher and student leaders modeling learning environments that highlight high-impact instructional strategies in technology integration and innovation. These digital leaders’ classrooms will become spaces of learning for other adult learners to be engaged, inspired, and provided support to shift their own selves and classrooms to this level of teaching and learning. Technology is the means not the mission. Everything we do in TIE is grounded in teaching and learning. The first questions are always, “Who are the learners, and what educational challenges are they grappling with — both teachers and students?” We don’t start with the goal of creating the most flashy project or a viral sensation. Nor do we emphasize using technology for the sake of using technology. Instead, we choose the medium or technology that delivers the most effective learning experience for our specific learning goal. No previous computer science or technology experience is required to join TIE, only a passion for harnessing innovation and creativity to improve educational outcomes for all learners and a commitment to help get every person in our district to this level to ensure we are providing truly “future ready” learning opportunities for every student. Our ultimate goal is that we become a collective unit of digital leaders creating a model that can and will inspire the change that we need to see in our teaching and learning district-wide to ensure every student truly is college, career, and life ready.

As a part of our 3 year 1:1 Chromebook Classroom Future Ready Rollout Plan during the summer of 2016, in preparation for the 2016-2017 school year, all TIE teacher classrooms will become 1:1 with Chromebooks. TIE teachers will participate in 3 days of summer professional learning focused on device/classroom management, digital citizenship, and blended learning management. TIE teachers will also be given the opportunity to co-facilitate professional learning sessions with future TIE teachers who will be joining their TIE teams during the 2016-2017 school year.

Here’s what some of the Technology Innovation Experience (TIE) teachers are saying about their experiences:

Teacher 1-

The TIE team

  • has grown my capacity for effective instructional practices using technology.
  • has shown me how to incorporate higher DOK with students through my study of SAMR and PBL
  • has increased student engagement across my school
  • has given me knowledge of new ways of assessing learning rather than through “multiple choice tests”
  • has helped us develop model classrooms so that we can learn from each other
  • has enhanced the professional collaboration at my school

Teacher 2-

TIE has had such a profound impact on the classroom and students that it should not be limited. It should continue to grow to include teachers with a growth mindset, teachers who are not afraid to experiment and discover new ways to teach. This process of growth and training will only improve the success of students and better enable them to be 21st century citizens. All of this leads to recognition of achievement and success at the school, district, and community level. I believe can only lead to a more cohesive and connected environment.

Teacher 3-

I think TIE has helped me be more of a risk-taker and try new things. I feel having an administration that supports TIE also helps me know I can do such things without feeling tied down to following routine. I know the things we are learning as part of the TIE are the ways of teaching that will benefit 21st century learners. My children have benefited greatly from this experience. They have expanded their knowledge of technology and how to use it to better their learning. Not just a toy! I feel TIE is what we need to start the change our schools and district need to be on the cutting edge of the best practices in education. The education of students is our main focus and TIE helps make it easier to provide the best education I can for my students.

Teacher 4-

1.) The TIE has been responsible for my personal and professional growth. For my first five years of teaching I had become complacent. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought simply substituting technology was being innovative. I was definitely mistaken. I have been challenged through TIE to develop ways that my students can use technology to own their learning, and to redefine the learning that happens in my classroom through the power of technology.

2.) TIE has been the gateway to many changes in my classroom. My students are so excited when they hear of a new project. They love the fact that technology is being incorporated in meaningful ways and not simply used to be used. Their engagement during these times is through the roof!

We are excited about the work Ms. Sanders and our TIE teachers are doing and how this will impact all of our teachers and students. These teachers have gotten out of their comfort zones to be sure our students are learning 21st century skills. Kudos to our TIE teams!

Dr. Teri Prim, Principal

Hillcrest Elementary School

Enterprise City Schools

Author: Alabama ASCD

Alabama affiliate of ASCD and CLAS

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