What is an EdTech Integration Specialist?

Here is the Technology Integration portion of my website. It provides an overview of the purpose of an EdTech specialist. 

Objective of the EdTech Specialist

The objective of the Educational Technology Specialist is to facilitate teachers in effectively integrating technology into curriculum and instruction to enhance student learning outcomes. Integrating technology provides students with the opportunity to develop skills that are essential for lifelong learners, such as research, collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. Technology integration also assists students in acquiring information, media, and technology literacy, which is crucial for our current rapidly changing media and technology driven world.

Educating Teachers in Tech Integration

EdTech Specialists facilitate teachers in two methods. First, specialists and classroom teacher can collaboratively plan and implement proven methods of integrating technology into instruction and curriculum. This method involves three key stages: Preparation, Instruction, and Assessment.

The preparation stage requires the specialist and classroom teacher to examine the technology standards and try to implement them into existing or new lessons/units. The specialist would then offer new and innovative ideas for technology implementation that would enhance student learning of core academic subject knowledge, and meet technology standards. Next, the instruction stage involves the implementation of the technology-integrated lesson/unit. This step can involve both the specialist and the classroom teacher co-teaching simultaneously, or the specialist providing technology support while the classroom teacher independently leads the lesson/unit.  Finally, the  assessment stage involves the specialist and classroom teacher reflecting on their lesson/unit to see whether integrating technology assisted students in meeting lesson/unit objectives. This final stage allows the specialist and teacher to make the needed changes to improve their lesson/unit. All three stages of technology integration involves the theme of responsible technology use. The specialist makes sure to educate students and teacher about the issues of using online resources and tools, and reminds them of online safety procedures.

The second method of facilitating teachers in integrating technology involves professional development training.  These professional development sessions help teachers acquire the  knowledge and skills to implement technology into their instruction and curriculum. Teachers learn how to use technology to enhance student learning and creativity, create authentic learning experiences and assessments, and improve 21st century skills of their students. Professional development experiences can be provided in numerous ways. The EdTech specialist can:

  • Model the process of utilizing a new technology tool or strategy for teachers so that they have a better understanding of how to approach technology integration themselves.

  • Coach an experienced teacher so that he or she can mentor their grade level or other groups of teachers.

  • Lead a short training session to clarify and address immediate technology concerns.

  • Lead an educational technology learning community of teachers that promotes collaborative inquiry to solve specific problems or meet goals.

Similarly to how classroom teachers use student-centered lessons and hands-on learning activities in their instruction, integrationist should also try to resemble the same environment for their professional development sessions. The teachers would be given the opportunity to collaborate, think critically, and actively participate in their own learning of technology integrating to gain better understanding.

Professional and Personal Qualities via KIS EdTech Vision

  • 1. Personal Skills and Abilities
    • Excellent interpersonal skills with staff, students and parents.
    • Excellent communication skills.
    • Acknowledged leadership and collaboration skills.
    • Acknowledged ability to manage change.
    • Involved in continuous professional growth and leadership.
  • 2. Knowledge
    • A sound understanding of 21st century skills in education.
    • A sound understanding of collaborative planning.
    • A sound understanding of inquiry-based practices.
    • A sound understanding of new innovative technology concepts and operations.
  • 3. Experience
    • Demonstrable success in using 21st century skills in the classroom.
    • Demonstrable success in fostering a range of digital skills and attitudes in others.
    • Experience in leading others in a variety of contexts.

The bolded qualities were added by me. 

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