Preparing Teachers

The most crucial component of preparing for a technology-rich implementation is ensuring that educators are not only comfortable with the technology and have had training on the basic technical parts of devices, but also they are comfortable in using the technology as an integral facet of their teaching. This entails both training in the various programs, content and applications for classroom use and also ongoing, sustained support for teachers through approaches such as on-site instructional technology facilitators or coaches.

Instructional technology facilitators or coaches have proven to be a powerful lever for providing just‐in‐time support to educators as they shift to new instructional practices and the use of online assessments. This direct one-on-one and small group instructional assistance can show teachers how to modify and deliver their lessons to take advantage of new technology resources. The rule of thumb among leading schools and districts is to assign at least one instructional technology expert to each school (depending upon size) in order to accelerate the adoption of new forms of instruction and assessment.

There are many other approaches to getting teachers ready to use devices such as Communities of Practice, Personalized Learning Networks and courses that teachers can take by themselves or with other teachers. These and others are addressed in the Professional Learning section of The Guide to Digital Learning.

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