Leadership magazine March/April 2017 V46 No. 4 - Page 17

technology with the Teacher Induction Program . With support from the Educational Technology and Technology Services departments , new programs have been implemented that maximize the use of technology in order to assist new teachers through their preparation programs , while still offering strong support from coaches and other teacher leaders district wide .
Last year , the state conducted an accreditation evaluation of the district ’ s Teacher Induction Program and Support ( TIPS ) program . Mary developed content aligned to state requirements to place online in Haiku , a digital Learning Management System ( LMS ) that allows content to be pushed out digitally . By placing the cumbersome required documents online , the state auditors were able to see the work in progress and leave feedback as necessary . This avoided sending mass amounts of emails with attachments , then waiting for feedback . When the auditors arrived on site , they pulled the documents up on their personal devices and reviewed them together .
She also implemented Google Classroom as a way for new teachers to turn in their assignments and documents to their coaches . Google Classroom is a tool available through a district Google domain and is similar to an LMS , but without the extended features . It allows instructors to post assignments digitally and for students to complete them and turn them in online . This eliminates teachers having to drive across the district to hand in documents , while at the same time giving them the practical experience of using Google Classroom as a tool to distribute content to their own students . It also provides coaches an easy path to provide feedback , leaving constructive comments directly on the digital documents for the teachers to read . Our teachers have begun using Google Docs with their own students in the same way with positive feedback from both parents and students .
At the end of the year all the induction candidates produced a digital portfolio of their work . With the help of the EdTech team , the Teacher Support team pushed out a portfolio template in Google . The candidates downloaded the template and added their own content . This included linking to
Pedagogically speaking , we couldn ’ t ask for more than for teachers to take their own positive experiences with technology into the classroom . documents , inserting screenshots and pictures of realia and completed work , photos of student work , and reflections on their own work . Again , the teachers were exposed to a new tool building websites and using them as an electronic portfolio . It was a powerful way for instructors to see real student growth over time . It also allowed the students to review their own work and to reflect on ways to improve . And the Teacher Support team has noticed that the new teachers are now building their own websites and creating portfolios with their own students . Pedagogically speaking , we couldn ’ t ask for more than for teachers to take their own positive experiences with technology into the classroom .
This year , Mary and her coaches have added another technological tool to the list – video . They have been using iPads , along with a Swivl camera , to capture several minutes of classroom instruction for teachers to review along with their coaches . Swivl cameras have a moveable base that can follow a teacher around the classroom . The teacher wears a small device that captures audio and communicates with the base . The teacher only has to start the video camera on the iPad and the Swivl will automatically adjust position as the teacher moves . With additional markers and cameras , student conversations can also be captured . Even without a Swivl base , iPads alone can be powerful tools to collect video clips for reflection . All of our teachers have iPads provided by the district to use as an instructional tool in the classroom .
In the next few months the district will be adding an 80-inch flat panel interactive board to every classroom . Each panel will have a dedicated Internet connected minicomputer and a small webcam . We look forward to using the webcams to connect teachers in a new and exciting way . By using Google Hangouts , up to 15 people in separate locations can connect . In a large district with 26 school sites , it ’ s nearly impossible to drive to every site . Our coaches and teachers will now be able to connect online to engage in productive conversations about their work . Additionally , new teachers can make connections with experienced teachers districtwide and request to watch them as they teach , perhaps during their lunch or before or after school . Pairing new teachers with highly skilled , experienced staff can be a powerful teacher improvement tool . Encouraging new teachers to make connections with others can help build lasting relation-
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