Learning Technology Grant Winner: Thomas R. Proctor High School
Award Years: 2015-2018
The Utica City School District’s Learning Technology Plan created for 9th through 12thgrade students from Proctor High School and Notre Dame Senior High School is intended to transform current classroom learning environments. This transformation will provide students with authentic computer and Internet experiences that will ensure success as they complete high school and begin their college and career lives.
There are two central components to this plan: equipment and professional development. Our decision to order Dell Chromebooks--38 for Proctor High School and 8 for Notre Dame Senior High School is based on the product’s dependability, accessibility, and familiarity. The hardware purchase will be supported by Google Apps for Education training which includes Google Classroom and Google Docs. These applications are comprehensive, ad-free, collaborative, student-friendly, secure, and free of charge. These choices assure that the learning process for both teachers and students will be based on a familiar, safe system.
Our primary objective is to bring our technologically impoverished student population closer to what they must understand and do in order to competently move onto colleges and careers. To achieve this, we will first need to teach their teachers and librarians. Each year six participants from Proctor High School and two from Notre Dame Senior High School will be trained. An Instructional Integration Specialist from the Mohawk Regional Information Center will conduct the introduction phase of professional development which will be structured as workshop sessions during which participants will study both the hardware and the supporting software. That initial training will prepare participants to introduce Chromebooks to their students in both their classrooms and the library. This will be the start of classroom transformations that will impact students.
In their transformed environments, students will learn to use Chromebooks as tools to explore digital texts and other media. Students will be taught to how to conduct research, how to evaluate the validity of Internet sources, and will learn to search for meaningful, reliable resources to support their thinking. They will produce and publish independent and collaborative projects, presentations, and writings. These experiences will improve their ability to perform competently on both written and digital assessments.
Once participants are using technology with their students, teachers and librarians will collaborate during ongoing, after-school professional development. They will create lessons that integrate subject-specific Common Core Learning Standards, CCLS that specifically address technology relating to Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking, the Board of Regents USNY Statewide Technology Plan, and the eleven performance indicators in the NYS Teaching Standards that address technology. The MORIC Instructional Integration Specialist will examine the lessons for attention to these standards. A peer review process is also in place so that participants will visit others’ classrooms to observe, learn, and make suggestions for improvement. This structure values NYS Professional Development Standards for high quality professional development by examining practice in a job embedded, collegial learning environment.
A Program Coordinator will schedule training, class visitations, and after-school work sessions. The project will be evaluated by the Director of Grants, Contracts, and Compliance and the Administrator for Testing, Data Analysis & Planning using technology surveys and collected student data.