Not every conversation about implementing new technology, such as classroom management software, starts at the district level, in fact, a lot of the time it starts at the school level with heavy teacher involvement. We’ve found that principals and building level technology coaches are the closest to teacher feedback and posses the greatest understanding about the problems that 1:1 student devices create for teachers, and therefore both parties recognize the need to have teachers involved in new technology implementations at the school level.
We highlight Jerome Mack Middle School in the Clark County School District of Nevada as an example of technology decisions made at the school level. Clark County is the largest district in Nevada with 326,953 students across 365 schools. We got a chance to ask a teacher at Jerome Mack Middle School how she uses her knowledge and experience as a teacher to implement new technology in her classroom and works with others in her school to make new technology available to all at her school.
Michelle Obregon currently teaches 8th grade English and American Sign Language at Jerome Mack Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Before her time teaching in Clark County, she taught at Title I schools in California for 8 years. Technology has always been a passion of hers, and she was thrilled to find a school that was 1-to-1 with devices and expected daily technology integration. She believes it is important to provide students with access to technology to prepare them for the real world. By attending conferences and participating in professional development sessions, as a teacher she is able to bring new ideas and implement technology at her school, even though it is a part of a large district.
Here’s how Michelle, a teacher at Jerome Mack Middle School, helps implement new technology at her school…
As a teacher, how are working with tech roles and admins on the implementation and use of technology in schools?
In addition to following blogs, podcasts, and keeping up with articles regarding technology and education, I am also an ambassador for Actively Learn and recently presented at an Edutech conference for them. I frequently attend conferences and PD’s on technology and teach my colleagues what I’ve learned.
Technology is constantly evolving, as a teacher how do you stay informed about your school’s technology program?
My school is extremely unique in that we were the first middle school to implement 1-to-1 technology. This requires a lot of innovation on the teachers’ parts. With Pear Deck and Actively Learn this year, I advocated for their use and purchase at my school. I work hard to provide my school with ideas for new and useful technology that will help our students be successful and stay engaged.
What practices (e.g., trainings, edtech days, PD sessions) does your school perform for teachers to ensure your student device initiatives enhance learning?
My school offers wonderful PD opportunities for teachers on anything teachers request. We have weekly PD after school and frequently during our common prep periods. Because technology is such a major part of our teaching, our PD is often tied to it.
What internal and external resources (e.g., LMS, CMS, Websites, Apps, etc.) does your school provide to help teachers maximize digital learning in your classroom?
Google Classroom, Infinite Campus, Pear Deck, Canvas, Actively Learn, Mathia, Prodigy, Flipgrid, Achieve3000, Dyknow, Tutor.com, Language Live, Aleks, Evaluate, NoRedInk, Quizlet, Quizizz… and several more!
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