PDIG: Building Technology Comfort & Capacity - Technical Support Internship

This PDIG is part of a series of projects aimed at increasing Technology integration in WQSB schools.

To participate and make informed decisions in today’s world, students need technological and information literacy skills that include the ability to gather, process, and manipulate data. The struggle is developing an understanding of the fundamentals of information literacy and the tools required to prepare for, and participate in, an evolving information-based society. Students need to have a firm grounding in information technology for their careers, for lifelong learning, and for recreation. 

We are hoping to create the beginnings of a technology curriculum for grade 7-11 students. The Tech Support Internship is a year-long program, which can be done year-after-year, that supports Symmes-Darcy's technology integration plan. One of the goals of the curriculum is to provide students with the analytical, interpersonal, and technical skills they require to be active participants in an exciting and dynamic world.

Students who are in the Technical Support Internship will get experience working in a real-life tech support environment.  The Tech Support Interns have three main objectives:

- To support student technology (computers, etc.) through troubleshooting and repair.
- To support the basic technology needs of Symmes-D'Arcy  staff (projector light bulb repair, etc.).
- To pursue independent learning pathways focused on business & technology (C++, etc.).

TSI is a 1 year course (3 Terms) and is open to all students.  TSI interns can repeat the course up to three times (3 years).  Students interested in TSI must complete the TSI application, commit to attending a one-day TSI boot camp.

Some of the Technology Course Options may include:

- Digital Literacy (graduation requirement)
- Entrepreneurship
- Coding & Computer Repair
- Video Game Design I
- Networking
- Web Design

The TSI program will offer students an opportunity to explore different career pathways, explore different technologies, support their teachers and peers and engage in activities that will provide valuable skills for their 21st century reality. 

By the end of the PDIG Lead teachers will have the capacity to provide relevant instruction and proper supports, to guide students through valuable technology training.


PDIG: Building Technology Comfort & Capacity

PDIG Report                                    PDIG Framework Prezi


This PDIG is part of an anticipated series of projects aimed at increasing Technology integration in WQSB schools.

While many teachers receive Professional Development in the areas of technology and classroom integration, most PD is done offsite. The transition and implementation to the school and classroom is not always executed or supported in a way that is sustainable.

This PDIG will focus on building a model for onsite technology integration with student learning, feedback and assessment as drivers. It will build teacher capacity and confidence with technology as well provide a model for in-school supports for teachers and students. 

In order to successfully implement and sustain technology integration, teachers need to be empowered to use resources from within, not just relying on outside expertise.

In order for technology integration and professional development to be successful, it must be: 
1. Planned and intentional. 
2. Ongoing. 
3. Systemic process. (Staples, A., Pugach, M.C., & Himes, D. (2005). Rethinking the technology integration challenge).

With the effective deployment of this model teachers will: 

1. Gain understanding and competence in implementing the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model of technology use in language and literacy learning.

2. Connect understanding of the QEP to the use of new technologies and how to develop 21st Century skills with available technology already in the school.

3. Acquire confidence and capacity to integrate technology in some capacity within their classrooms to the benefit of their students. While technology is not the solution to learning, it is a valuable tool for proper assessment and feedback, both of which have a large effect size on student learning (John Hattie, Visible Learning for Teachers).

4. Move toward a Growth Mindset as it pertains to technology, believing that while technology is constantly changing, they have the confidence to continually move forward. 

5. Schools and teachers will have many technology ‘experts who will be available to train, support and further the technology vision for a school. 


LCEEQ Grant Application (Application Denied)
 

The project will focus on building an in-house technology integration and professional development framework, in addition to creating a Western Quebec School Board (WQSB) Professional Learning Network (PLN) with a technology integration for learning focus. The expectation is that the PLN will extend beyond the WQSB.

The structure which can be implemented within any school in the WQSB as it will take into account the unique needs of the WQSB. Initial implementation will focus on building the framework within one school, while consulting other schools in the board in an effort to address their unique needs within the framework . It is expected the PLN will be implemented early on in the project in an effort to garner as much feedback as possible.

While many teachers receive Professional Development in the areas of technology and classroom integration, most PD is done offsite. The transition and implementation to the school and classroom is not always executed or supported in a way that is sustainable. To increase effectiveness, the implementation of teacher PD should include the following:

  • Duration should be significant and ongoing to allow time to learn and implement any new strategy.

  • Targeted support during implementation to address specific challenges.

  • Initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but engaging with varied approaches to promote active involvement.

  • Encourage modeling.

  • The content should be specific and targeted to community, grade-level and school.

  • Technology Integration PD should be planned, intentional, ongoing and systemic process.

This project will focus on building a model for onsite technology integration with student learning, feedback and assessment as drivers. It will build teacher capacity and confidence with technology as well provide a model for in-school supports for teachers and students.

In order to successfully implement and sustain technology integration, teachers need to be empowered to use resources from within, not just relying on outside expertise. The framework will include, among others:  one-to-one mentoring, in-class modeling, active student engagement in maintenance of devices and to support teachers and fellow students, educamp training (informal Q&A during staff lunches), Tech Integration training days, and a planned Tech Summit.

What are the expected outcomes of the project?

  • Gain understanding and competence in implementing the SAMR (Substitution,

  • Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model of technology use in language and

  • literacy learning.

  • Connect understanding of the QEP to the use of new technologies and how to

  • develop 21st Century skills with available technology already in the school.

  • Acquire confidence and capacity to integrate technology in some capacity within

  • their classrooms.

  • Move toward a Growth Mindset as it pertains to technology, believing that while

  • technology is constantly changing, they have the confidence to continually move

  • forward.

  • Schools and teachers will have many technology ‘experts who will be available to

  • train, support and further the technology vision for a school.

  • Provide support and suggestions on which technology to access, and potential grants, etc. that will help schools do so.

  • Creation of a student directed technology education curriculum and computer repair classroom.

  • Structure that various schools in the WQSB can effectively, efficiently and successfully integrate technology for learning and increase teacher capacity and comfort.


How does this project relate to the LCEEQ mandate?

The goal of the project is to development an integration model that increases teacher comfort and capacity with technology for learning. An effective model will create learning environments that reflect the needs of students, that adapt when these needs shift and provide opportunities where student develop 21st century skills.

The framework will provide teachers with a website providing resources and training, opportunities for questions, feedback and discussion.

One of the end goals is the creation of a PLN for WQSB staff, and other school boards to share best practices, develop new curriculum and promote student learning with technology.