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Hello SAMR, Hello TPACK, Hello T3. How’s everyone doing?

Back in September, I attended the IB PYP Workshop The Role of ICT in the PYP. I was fortunate to learn about many of these frameworks during that conference. For example we learned about the SAMR model and using the SAMR Model to promote technology integration and innovation by Victoria Olson. Our role as a member of this professional development session – was to figure out where our school was and then from there to create next steps/goals on moving from substitution and augmentation towards modification and redefinition. How can we accomplish this? What tools will we need to move forward?

For the readers out there that are unfamiliar with any of these frameworks (or those who need a refresher) I have compiled the articles I found most helpful in my understanding.

What is technology integration?

I don’t want to integrate it, I want to embed it! –The Thinking Stick by: Jeff Utecht

At my school technology integration is a “new concept” if you will. My first year at my school (2015), we had a set of 10 jPads – which were worthless devices. They don’t hold a charge, the touch feature doesn’t work, and they download slower than a turtle. We had desktop computers in our rooms, and some of us were lucky enough to have mounted projectors. It was safe to say that all teachers were just in the Translational phase, T1.

The T3 model is new to me so I am going to use it to describe the current technology integration that is happening at my school. My goal is to fundamentally transform what is happening in the classroom. As Jeff Utecht says, we want to embed technology into lessons. Start using technology from the beginning and teaching skills that students can use to adapt and inquire on which tools will work best. What can be done with the tool of technology? Having this as a question that students are actively asking themselves.

TPACK in 2 Minutes

We need to hit the sweet spot of content (WHAT ARE WE TEACHING?), pedagogical (HOW ARE WE TEACHING?), technological (WHAT TOOLS ARE WE USING?) knowledge. How can we have all three knowledge areas working together?

The T3 Framework

My second year at my school, another teacher who is a previous member of COETAIL (Jessica Charvat) and got me excited to sign up for this course- came together with myself and our administrator to create a “Technology Committee.” Our goal was to make a 3-year-plan to support the needs of our students, as well as a plan that would allow our school board to buy devices. We did numerous surveys on what tablet was the best for each grade level and wrote numerous proposals. We were ready to tackle the challenges of creating professional development with our new devices… but they never came.

Meanwhile our other school campus had an IT director that was insistent on having Chromebooks. His insistence led us to a school set of 20 Chromebooks. Although, not what we had originally planned we were still excited to have something.

When the Chromebooks arrived Jessica and I began teaching and creating essential agreements immediately with our classes. We wanted to begin researching and using them in as many ways as possible. For so long our students were in the consumption phase (T1) and we were ready for them to be producing and contributing online (T2). We began looking for ways to transition our Daily 5 centers, Writer’s Workshop, and summative assessments for our unit’s of inquiry. I was lucky to have her to collaborate with, because most of the other teachers in our school were not willing to take these chances.

We continued the rest of the school year innovating and creating with our students and encouraging them to question and inquire using their devices. I convinced my administration that we needed a coach to teach the teachers and students how to implement technology. Then I signed up to take this course and learn something new everyday. Prior to this, my professional learning network was weak and I wasn’t properly using my time to learn all that I cold be learning. I am excited that I have had this mindset shift.

This year, we have spent the majority of this semester working with Seesaw (T2) and getting our portfolios in a place where we want them to be and our students using time to reflect without being prompted. As we wrap up semester one and move near second semester – I will begin my trainings on Google Classroom. When integrating technology with adult learners, I believe it is best for them to play the role of the student. We will use a Google Classroom for the first month returning to allow teachers to learn the skills of using Google Classroom as a student and then will transition to having them use it as an educator. I am excited to begin teaching this as I complete my Google trainer certification! Step by step we will move from T1 teachers to T2 and then T3.

As a wrap up, I want to leave on the note that, “We are all Technology Teachers.” I agree with Kim as she stated, we often hear administrators say we are all ELL teachers. Learning is differentiated for each student, during various subjects. We shouldn’t expect technology to be taught in isolation – as it is used and is a vital part of all other subjects at some point throughout the school year.