My school district is currently looking at adopting a baseline of technology skills that all teachers must have. At this point, we are brainstorming ideas and eventually will have a document/checklist in place that will help drive our technology staff development time. My question is: Are there school districts out there that already have such a checklist? If anyone would be willing to share, that would be great. Most searches I have done reveal only state or national standards which tend to be fairly general. We are looking for specific computer/technology skills that teachers need to have to function in today's classrooms.

Tags: standards, teachers, technology

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If it were mandatory and they got paid and tested on it, then there would be no choice but to learn it. But what other industry is there, that requires it's staff to learn something, but not provide them the training / funds to do so? Since this is not directly tied to their teacher certification, I think it should be something that they should be paid for (this goes for all staff). Schools that have a good staff training program, are usually the ones making the most progress. I do feel on top of the training, that there should be a testing procedure. To make sure that people aren't just taking up space. May they get paid after passing the test (no testing out) ? The cost of proper training is actually much lower than not training. One estimate that I saw, said eight hours of training on a program, could save fifty hours or more of time per year. Think of how much more efficient a computer grade book is over a hand one! This is the kind of savings that could be realized with proper training and use of technology.
...and training needs to be more than 4:30-7:30 one day after school or in the summer. In our district there is no followup support.
We are actually looking at hiring technology coaches that would be able to work directly with teachers in their classrooms. That would take care of the issue of follow-up support. We already have literacy and math coaches. Why not technology coaches, too? Hopefully, this idea will survive the upcoming budget cuts that we are facing.
Sounds like a great job and a great add. Good luck in implementing it. Our technology 5 'trainers' teach in the three hours after school and on inservice days but I don't know if they ever go to a classroom to help a teacher. Always thought it would be nice.
I see your point. We are required to earn 12 hours of Continuing Education Units each year in order to renew our certificates. I was giving them an hour credit for each workshop (even if we only stayed 30-45 minutes.) They wouldn't have to go to something during the summer if they'd attend mine. But, a lot just don't want to stay after school. I guess I can't blame them. :-) I would personally rather give up a few afternoons after school than a whole day of summer vacation!
When I came to this district, I couldn't figure out how to make the lights work. If I wasn't far enough into my classroom, the sensor didn't pick me up and the lights wouldn't come on. Nobody bothered to tell me that one!

Seriously though, technology skills are important here and the district is willing to back it up with equipment and training. Our challenge is to get teachers to pass that on to the students!
I have been a speech pathologist in various school districts in NM the past 11 years, and just recently moved to Texas. My current school district, which I love, is committed to ensuring the staff models life-long learning through continuing education. They offer a variety of district-sponsored workshops, all after school hours, and pay you to attend them. I'm currently participating in a Web 2.0 23 Things course which is opening my eyes to all that is available to the 21st century teacher! It's true that we have to be knowledgeable, skilled, and enthusiastic with technology to engage the students in true learning.
All: here's a thought...if there were student standards at the state level that had to be met would teachers have to know enough to make sure student standards were met. Would that work?
In our system, we're fortunate enough to have a position for computer lab (me), so our teachers just rely on me to teach the technology skills. Maybe if they were also required to teach them...
That is what I do, too. I cover most of the technology skills, but we would like to get teachers integrating in their classrooms more.
Having a lab person is great to have. But one person trying to teach a school full of students how to use technology, is pretty much impossible. 30-60 minutes every week or two, just isn't going to do it. It has to be incorporated into the every day mix in order to be effective (IMO). The only way that it can be incorporated into the every day mix, is if the teachers have the knowledge and resources to do it. Our lab people (Technology Integration Specialists we call them) are supposed to help teachers incorporate technology into their curriculum, and are not really in the lab to actually do any teaching (they are not teachers, but staff trained in how to use technology), only helping. They also will go and work in the classrooms with the teachers, and help them during their prep time.
I so agree with this. In fact, my position is exactly what it shouldn't be. My job is to teach students tech skills PS-8th grade twice a week for 30-40 minutes a class period. I've pushed this year to teach in the classroom instead of the lab in the hopes that teachers pick up skills a long the way. I'm also providing professional development for staff usually in one 60 min "class" once a month. Fortunately our school is small enough that I can assist in the classroom, but there's never enough time in my schedule. Those teachers who are "techie" tend to take on tech integration themselves with encouragement from me and as much support time as I can eek out of my schedule.



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