Program History (SY 2007-2010)
PLEASE NOTE: The information below is archived from a now-ended federal grant project, Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT).
The NATICC Years
The federal EETT program provides funding for competitive grants throughout the state of Arizona to partnerships of schools, community organizations, and businesses to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools. It is also designed to assist every student in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that each student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade, and to encourage the effective integration of technology with teacher training and curriculum development to establish successful research-based instructional methods which can be widely replicated.
In Flagstaff, Project Director Mary Knight and Project Facilitators Heather Zeigler and Tricia Roach submitted a grant proposal to the Arizona Department of Education for the 2007-2010 school years to implement a technology peer coaching project using EETT funds. In partnership with five other school districts, this three-year project establishes a technology peer coaching program at every school for which a coach is available in the six districts.
The technology peer coaching program uses the Puget Sound Center model to implement a technology peer coaching structure. Training held during the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009 for all partner districts included intense work on coaching and communication skills, technology integration strategies, and lesson design. The full-time teachers who were trained to be coaches are now back at their school sites and have selected collaborating teachers with whom to share their technology integration expertise throughout the school year in a one-to-one relationship. At each school, the primary focus will be integrating technology to help meet school and district goals for student achievement. Three more full days of training are scheduled throughout the year to offer support and feedback on coaching efforts.
Capacity building is a natural outcome of this grant project, as more and more teachers are trained as coaches or choose to work as collaborating teachers. Professional learning communities are established and supported in ever greater numbers.
In tandem with the peer coaching implementation, each coach will receive equipment and training to create a technology-enhanced classroom. This will serve as a model for collaborating teachers and others to observe the impact of technology integration on student achievement and teacher productivity.
Project facilitators will support all coaches in the six partner districts in any way needed to achieve the goals of the project. This includes making site visits, locating resources, providing professional development training, maintaining program documentation, and coordinating needs across the consortium.
Some modifications were made in our third year of the grant project based on information collected during the first two years of the project. The coaching focus was concentrated at the Primary School in Tuba City, with three coaches and three collaborating teachers. Administrator technology coaching was added in Flagstaff, in order to promote best practice strategies among school leaders. Williams School District will receive technology peer coach training with our cohort of grant project technology coaches and will obtain support for their coaching efforts throughout the year from the Arizona Technology Integration Specialist for Coconino County.
The greatest strength of the Northern Arizona Technology Integration Coaching Consortium is its partnerships. Established to bring each partner's expertise to bear in making the project a success for students, each partner commits to a specific role in the consortium, in-kind contributions to the grant project, and expresses specific needs to be met as the project moves forward.
Grand Canyon Unified School District currently has over 100 student-accessible computers deployed within its schools. In grades six through 8 technology is a distinct and required daily subject. The district is able to provide the consortium with a great opportunity to explore the impact of teaching methods related to technology and investigate the factors affecting technology integration.
As a previous grant recipient, in partnership with Tuba City Unified School District, Flagstaff Unified School District is able to provide consortium members with three years of experience in developing and maintaining technology-enhanced classrooms and planning and implementation of a highly-effective EETT grant. In addition, the current project director and facilitators have successfully completed training in the Puget Sound Peer Coaching Program, allowing our consortium to train all coaches during the summers of 2007 or 2008. This will enable consortium districts to begin peer coaching efforts at the school level at the start of the new year. Flagstaff serves the consortium as the fiscal agent, maintaining all finance-related grant documentation while facilitating entries into the ADE Grants Management System.
Shonto Preparatory Technology High School will provide the consortium with a great deal of expertise in the effective integration of technology. Founding principal, Dr. Thomas Yazzie, developed this high school to implement a vision of using technology to improve student achievement. The school is currently in search of a new principal to continue this work.
STAR School, part of the Painted Desert Demonstration Project, has received EETT grant funds for three years and received outstanding on-site evaluations. Staff members excel in demonstrating the value of technology integration throughout the school, which has received recognition for these efforts, including several Governor's Awards and Navajo Nation Science Fair awards. The school is a model of how cutting-edge educational technology can be integrated with academic achievement, cultural traditions, service learning, and Native science.
Tuba City Unified School District, has worked together with Flagstaff Unified School District for the past three years in a highly successful EETT grant project. Mike Nelson, Director of Technology, has created over thirty technology-enhanced classrooms in the district and intends to establish over twenty more by the end of 2008. Tuba City's role as a partner is to provide new consortium members with four years of experience in establishing technology-enhanced classrooms, planning and implementing an EETT grant, technical and network advice, and outcome data from the previous grant project. For the 2009-10 school year, technology coaching will focus on Tuba City Primary School, with 3 coaches and 3 collaborating teachers each receiving classroom equipment and working together to improve student achievement in language arts.
As a rural district, Winslow Unified School District will bring valuable input to the consortium in order for the grant project to be successful for every student and teacher being served. Winslow's existing computer labs at each school site and district office are available for grant related trainings and professional development offered by the County Technology Integration Specialist. Since the inception of this grant project, Winslow USD has purchased technology equipment for almost all of its teachers, utilizing the NATICC project for professional development and work with professional learning communities at each site.
Needs vary by partner, but revolve around using 21st Century Skills Standards to meet school and district goals in reading or math. Technology coaches will assist collaborating teachers in integrating technology to address these goals. For all partners, increasing technology professional development is a high priority and project facilitators will work to address individual site and district needs, in collaboration with the County Technology Integration Specialist.
The Technology Peer Coaching Program, developed by the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology and sponsored by Microsoft, will train teacher leaders to serve as technology peer coaches for colleagues. As coaches, these teachers will assist their peers in identifying ways that technology can strengthen classroom curriculum and enhance their students’ academic achievement. They will also help their colleagues develop the necessary technology skills and instructional strategies needed to integrate technology into teaching and learning. Selected coaches will work with 1 or 2 collaborating teachers within their school. Coaches will be expected to find common time to collaborate with the teachers with whom they will be working. This may be accomplished before and/or after school, during common lunch hours, or common prep times. An incentive package to compensate coaches for their efforts and devotion to making a difference for students through the integration of technology includes such things as stipends,
In-district credit, free professional development classes, technology equipment, and class release time (including substitutes) for collaboration and training. Training for selected coaches will be provided at eight day-long sessions and through active involvement in the online professional learning community of coaches. Sessions 1-5 were held in the summers of 2007 and 2008; sessions 6, 7, and 8 will take place during the school year.
Coaches will be supported by the program facilitators through professional development, the online learning community, and site visitations. The training that coaches receive will be focused on coaching skills, lesson design, technology integration, and use of the technology equipment. Coaches will be required to maintain a collaboration log or record of time spent, technology integration strategies used, and reflection on the effectiveness of the work accomplished between the coach and collaborating teacher. With the receipt of the technology equipment, coaches will become Technology Enhanced Model Classroom teachers, allowing building staff to see the value of integrating technology for improved student achievement and teacher productivity.