CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Some 100 West Virginia educators have started a 40-day journey to become technology integration specialists as part of the West Virginia Department of Education’s effort to incorporate 21st century skills into the classroom.
The teachers _ including special education and career-technical teachers, library media specialists and Ed Tech grant-funded educators _ recently completed a week-long training session in Charleston. Their training will continue Aug. 5-9 and throughout the year with hands-on and online sessions for a total of 320 hours.
Once trained, the technology specialists will take their new skills back to their home schools where they will help other teachers integrate technology into their teaching plans to improve student achievement.
“Technology is at the core of 21st century learning,” said state Superintendent of Schools Steve Paine. “In a digital world, the 21st century learner must learn to use technology to master the core subjects and other important skills. Teachers play a critical role in how their students will learn the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
Understanding 21st century instruction, project-based learning and available technology resources to support learning is the pursuit of the Technology Integration Specialist. The latest class of technology integration specialists will bring the total number of such trainers in West Virginia public schools to about 400.
As part of the training, the teachers received laptops; data projectors and whiteboards; interactive resources such as SASinSchool, ThinkFinity, Think.com, TechSteps, Intel Teach tools; and the related professional development that will give them the tools to bring 21st century instruction to their schools.
For many teachers, the technology integration specialist is their first and only contact with technology. Across the state, they help the reluctant and eager teacher alike build on their vast subject knowledge and incorporate technology into their lesson plans.
“It’s always exciting when we see once hesitant teachers work with a technology integration specialist and gain the confidence and incorporate technology into their lesson plans,” said Vicki Allen, assistant director of the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Technology.
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.