Council Rock School District, Newtown, Pennsylvania
District State: Pennsylvania
District Website: crsd.org
The development of new edtech PD in Pennsylvania’s Council Rock School District began when a group of teachers collaborated to identify learning targets. To achieve their goals—and keep instruction aligned with the Council Rock Educational Technology Standards—the teachers convinced district leaders to add a pair of elementary school technology integration specialists.
“The specific goal of the program is to promote the use of technology in the classroom across all curricular subjects,” say the specialists, Hannah Pressman and Danielle Udis.
Pressman and Udis assess the learning needs of the district’s K6 staff, organize school and districtwide PD programs, and work closely with curriculum coordinators. They also co-teach and co-plan with classroom teachers, and participate in PLCs and grade-level meetings.
The specialists had a big impact: A staff survey conducted at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year showed the only 9 percent were using technology in the classroom every day. That number soared to 39 percent by February. The number of teachers using tech weekly jumped from 32 percent to 51 percent. Teachers also reported feeling far more comfortable using Chromebooks and other edtech tools.
Though the specialists serve more than 800 teachers and 10 elementary schools, they found it was important to carve out time each week to plan together. They also meet with principals to work on integrating tech at individual schools.
For this school year, the specialists hope to continue to build teachers’ confidence and independence with edtech.