Principals play a vital role in the successful integration of new technologies into the classroom.
From creating inventive professional development programs to pioneering new technologies, four California principals told the crowd at the Spring CUE 2018 conference how administrators can support technology integration.
Determine How to Provide PD
When Principal John Martinez first arrived at Rowland Elementary School in Rowland Heights, Calif., the first thing he did was ask teachers how they were using technology and how they wanted to use technology.
“It was less important to me where an individual was and more about them knowing where they are going to go next,” said Martinez in the session.
Following these conversations with his staff, Martinez was able to send them out for PD that met their interests and goals.
But, not all PD is created equal. At Beechwood School in Fullerton, Calif., Principal Julie Graham wanted to offer professional development that wasn’t one-size-fits-all.
To create different opportunities for professional learning, Graham said she offered her teachers activities that included a social element, like a book club. Graham also encouraged Beechwood School teachers to use Twitter as a professional learning community by holding a scavenger hunt.
At Arroyo Elementary School in Tustin, Calif., Principal Katy Sheyka held “appy” hours, where educators could get together after school to eat pizza and learn how to use new apps.
The principals agreed that their role is to help educators become confident and capable with technology, so they use it more effectively.
“When we’re scaling up technology at our school, professional development is crucial for success,” said Graham.
Principals Model Effective Tech Use
Principals can also serve as role models for educators when they use technology to conduct their daily work for their schools.
For example, Principal Liz Leon of Acacia Elementary School in Fullerton, Calif., uses Google Forms for her classroom walkthroughs so that she can give teachers instant feedback — with the help of an add-on — and gather data to help her be more efficient.
This year, Sheyka said she has started using the video platform Seesaw for walkthroughs, not only to hold herself accountable for celebrating all of her teachers, but also so teachers can see how their peers are innovating.
Keep track of EdTech's coverage of CUE 2018 by bookmarking our conference page.