Building Teacher Leadership Capacity for EdTech Initiatives

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Lesson Planet half-day ISTE 2014 workshop on teacher edtech leadership ‘sold out’; follow-up online seminar announced.

Jen Gibson and Rich Dixon help K-12 administrators plan for teacher educational technology leadership

Lesson Planet PD helps build teacher leadership capacity for edtech implementation. ISTE workshop sold out; August 4 online seminar announced.

The dedicated work of innovative teacher leaders is the 'secret sauce' for meeting the needs of all students in this global, digital age.

Lesson Planet’s Jennifer Gibson and Rich Dixon's three-hour workshop, “Becoming the Solution: Building Teacher EdTech Leadership Capacity,” on Sunday, June 29 at ISTE2014 in Atlanta is sold out. By popular demand, an online seminar on the same topic has been scheduled for Monday, August 4, 2014 at 10a.m. PT/1p.m. ET.

Gibson and Dixon, with nearly 40 years combined experience in classroom teaching, curriculum design, district-level IT leadership, and administration, will focus on how schools and districts can develop leadership capacity among teachers who are integrating edtech. Through their own trial and error, such teachers have the best handle on what works to support student achievement at their sites. They are often already leaders among colleagues who turn to them with classroom tech questions.

“The dedicated work of innovative classroom teachers — working as teacher leaders — is the ‘secret sauce’ for meeting the needs of all students in this global, digital age,” explained educational technology consultant Ann McMullan.

The ISTE workshop and, in a more condensed format, the online seminar will provide strategies and tools to build teacher leadership capacity. Participants will leave with PD implementation plan models, tools and resources to support PD at their sites, and a participant community with which to continue the conversation moving forward.

Digital literacy and technology skills are critical to helping students tackle Common Core standards and be college and career ready. Due to budget constraints, complex staff schedules, and the breakneck pace of edtech change, many districts are looking to blended models of PD to equip teachers for the task.

The first of 10 key components listed by California County Superintendents Education Services Association (CCSESA) for successful 21st century planning and Common Core implementation is “capacity building and leadership development.” In light of California’s shift to the Local Control Funding Formula, the state is in an important position to lead the way on teacher leadership development. “Key to this effort is building the capacity … to better support teachers, to utilize their leadership skills, and to support increased collaboration and professional learning.”

“Having worked in leading the K-12 transformation of learning and teaching through technology for over 16 years, I know that there is no more critical change agent for this process than the classroom teacher,” noted McMullan. “When teachers are given the appropriate support in terms of leadership, professional development, and opportunities for meaningful collaboration, their impact is boundless.”

Empowering teachers to serve as local experts solves three challenges faced by districts as they emphasize professional development to increase student achievement:

  •     External trainers can’t be everywhere at once.
  •     Trainees become passive, diluting their impetus to find and develop solutions.
  •     When external trainers move on, follow-up guidance does too and implementation stalls.

Gibson and Dixon offer solutions to district and site leadership addressing these complex issues. Register for the online seminar on August 4.

About the Presenters
Rich Dixon, M.A.-TESL, brings over 19 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, staff developer, director of IT, and curriculum coordinator. Whether leading edtech courses or launching new schools, he strives to improve the effectiveness of instruction through intentional application of educational technology.

A curriculum expert and professional trainer of 19 years, Jennifer Gibson, M.A. with an emphasis in technology, has presented to thousands of educators on topics including educational technology, English language development, and literacy. In 2010, she won the Santa Barbara County Education Office Crystal Apple Teacher of the Year and Technology Innovator of the Year awards.

About Lesson Planet
As traditional curriculum departments—with thousands of resources and training staff housed in brick and mortar locations—are phasing out, Lesson Planet offers a virtual curriculum department. Busy teachers and budget-constrained schools and districts can find the supplemental materials, online curriculum support, and edtech professional development they need. Credentialed teachers provide resource reviews, ratings, and Common Core alignment with powerful search, and links to 400,000 online lesson plans, videos, presentations, and activities. With anytime, anywhere access to online tutorial videos, and live onsite PD training, teachers and districts can customize edtech learning to meet their needs.

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