Technology Leadership Standard I
Educational technology leaders demonstrate an advanced understanding of technology operations and concept.
A. Demonstrate knowledge, skills, and understanding of concepts related to technology (as described in the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers).
B. Demonstrate continual growth in technology knowledge and skills to stay abreast of current and emerging technologies.
“Teacher expertise is at the foundation of increasing teacher quality and advancements in teaching and learning. This expertise becomes more widely available when accomplished teachers model effective instructional practices, encourage sharing of best practices, mentor new teachers, and collaborate with teaching colleagues,” (York-Barr, 2004).
As a new teacher in the late 1990’s I was mentored by my middle school’s technology coordinator because I was willing to try new things with my classes and already relatively tech savvy. I was encouraged to go to the Alaska Society for Technology in Education conference for the first time in 2000. I also attended early meetings about the Anchorage School District’s Site Builder program, allowing teachers to post and create content for parents and students, and tested out new programs like Inspiration, that allowed students to plan and pre-write using computers instead of pen and paper. All of this early support allowed me the freedom to regularly try new things that supported myself and my students in integrating technology into lesson plans, assessments, and products.
In 2006 I applied for, and received, the Technology Teacher Leader grant from the Anchorage School District. Together with my school’s librarian at the time, Renee Wood, our grant for $10,000 was approved and we were a part of the TTL #4 cadre of teachers. The grant focused on research skills with 9th and 11th grade students though a major aspect of the grant implementation was teaching other teachers in the school about technology integration and backward design, a training trainers model of professional development often used in technology training. “Extremely effective for reaching large audiences,” (Poplin, 2003) because master teachers were selected and then took their knowledge back to their own schools where they teach colleagues. I taught sessions on blogs, wikis, podcasts, iPhoto, and Powerpoint to staff, creating tutorials on all of them that I host on my own website for staff to access later and for student use. In later years I added information about social bookmarking and Twitter to the site.
As my skills and confidence grew, I was eager for more ways to help other teachers and share my ideas. In 2007 I presented a pre-conference session at ASTE on using wikis in the classroom. The workshop format was conducive to sharing ideas and getting a chance to help other educators brainstorm ideas and applications for wikis, focus their content and start using wikis with their courses. I presented sessions again in 2008 and 2011, sharing what I found useful in my own classroom.
More informally, I continue to keep up with technology trends through websites like Tech & Learning, e-mail newsletters, and especially my Twitter feed where I follow #edtech and news about education, technology in education, and new technologies. Following trending topics via online newspapers, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, and my Kindle app give me resources to share with other educators and with my high school students. I can better prepare my students for their technology-drive world after high school if I better understand the changes myself.
This drive to apply technology has resulted in developing new curricula for elective English classes that I teach, namely Teen Issues in Literature and Digital Composition, and helping other teachers in my school incorporate technology into how they teach and what their expectations of students should be. I have been attending trainings and taking classes in technology that are not part of the UAS master’s program. This last year I have attended four full-day sessions on Moodle, learned about MyAccess, a subscription service students use to develop their writing, and this spring took a class called iTeach, learning skills which allow me to teach Anchorage School District online classes. During the spring of 2011 I more formally mentored two teachers in my department and both were really pleased with what they learned and the confidence they gained. English teachers seem to have more difficulty finding a natural fit for technology but, as Ian Jukes (2010) writes, “Computers offer so much opportunity to explore aspects of information creatively.” I was able to help these teachers integrate technology and learn more about how I can help my colleagues continue to thrive in their use of technology.
Jukes, I. (2010). Living on the future edge. 21st Century Fluency Project.
Poplin, C. (2003, June). Models of professional development. T.H.E. Journal, 30(11), 38-40. Retrieved November 14, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID:
York-Barr, J. & Duke, K. (2004). What do we know about teacher leadership? Findings from two decades of scholarship. Review of Educational Research, 74(3), 255-316. Retrieved January 23, 2011, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 744577651).