Preparing our PSJA educators for the digital age through Power Tech Sessions
Posted by Senyda Elizondo, PSJA Integration Specialist on 1/31/2019
Education has transformed because of the digital age. Today it is commonplace to find most children surfing the web or using apps on a mobile device. A recently released report from Common Sense shows that 95% of teens now own a mobile device. Educators now more than ever are redefining what teaching looks like by integrating technology into student coursework. Students need to attain skills that will allow them to produce and contribute to our changing digital world. As an Integration Specialist, my mission is to empower educators to use technology to facilitate student learning. I strive to surround myself in new areas of technology improvement and innovation in learning. I work with a team of three additional specialists.
During the summer of 2017, my colleague Debbie Pingel and I had the opportunity to attend the International Technology in Education conference in San Antonio. What we noticed is a change in professional development delivery. Teachers and staff have grown weary of the conventional lecture type professional development and crave a hands-on experience that is more personal. The Ed Camp model that empowers educators by being participant-driven also inspired us to reform our Professional development.
After hosting many of these “conventional” technology trainings, we decided to change things up a bit. From these experiences, the PSJA Tech Power Session was born. The Tech Power Session is an hour-long session where we provide a snack, door prizes and the invitation to learn numerous technology integration tips. During the session, participants can select three out of the seven possible technology sessions. These technology topics range from district programs such as Brain Pop to technology hardware such as Mimio clickers and iPad apps. The sessions are broken into 15-minute segments and participants rotate. Tech Power Sessions are hosted by a different elementary campus each month and are open to all elementary educators. Each topic is delivered by an elementary CIT (Campus Instructional Technologist). The CIT is also a classroom teacher who can give their personal expertise on the topic. The round table setting allows the participants to engage and collaborate in a setting comfortable for both the presenter and attendee.
The Tech Power sessions have been successful due to the elementary administrative support, and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The Instructional Technology Department is moving forward on building more educational leaders in the area of technology integration.
How is this work connected to the Spirit of PSJA?
The Spirit of PSJA encompasses the following four major areas: Positive Engagement, Student-centered Excellence, Joint Empowerment and Adaptive Innovation. Our mission in Instructional Technology is to develop and facilitate growth through technology integration for all educators. My job is to adhere to our district protocols and deliver innovative practices in the classroom that allow teachers to collaborate and drive student success. Our Tech Power Sessions have captured large audiences among our elementary educators and incite new learning opportunities. These sessions build capacity among our educators attending and demonstrate expertise by our elementary CITs who deliver the sessions.
- 15 years working at PSJA ISD
- PSJA High School Class of 1998
- I have three children in PSJA ISD
What does PSJA ISD mean to me?
As alumni, community member and employee I am proud of my district. I am honored to work for the citizens that I live next door to. I am invested in my community 100%. As a PSJA parent, I have the opportunity to see all our district's successes from a different view. I get excited when I see the direction we are headed and look forward to mine and my children's future here.