CoSN District Team Award
Each Washington District technology team member works well together to enhance student learning through the implementation and integration of technology tools and systems. The focus of the district team is helping teachers help students to learn at a higher level. Project based, engaged and personalized learning has been a focus for teachers in the Washington district and the district technology team is highly supportive in helping teachers and students successfully implement these research-based instructional strategies.
Over the years, districts in the state have looked to Washington’s team for leadership in the Digital Teaching & Learning (DT&L) grant program, CyberCorps, Chromebook implementation, the use of Google tools, educational broadband services, professional development programs (ed tech endorsement), Digital Communications and their PowerSchool implementation.
We are pleased to award the Washington School District, this year’s CoSN District Team Award. A huge thanks goes out to the Washington District technology team for their leadership and amazing work.
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community, best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education.
See the full award write up below:
Washington’s CoSN District Team Award
The leadership team carefully designed the application of information technologies to create the needed infrastructure to support our initiative. The team also developed and applied sound instructional frameworks and models to create opportunities and accessibility for student learning around three core and universal concepts that are embedded in the Utah Effective Teaching Standards (UETS) and which are measured using the Utah Teaching and Observation Tool (UTOT). These three concepts are:
- Student responsibility for learning (Personalized Learning) 2. Cognitive Engagement (Deeper Learning) 3. 21st Century Skills and Dispositions, including Digital Citizenship.
The team is composed of educator leaders who are chosen for their solid understanding of information and instructional technologies. The role of each team member is to work with district administration in curriculum, professional learning, and assessment to develop a plan that focuses on research-based digital best practices that support student learning followed by carefully selected digital tools that support those practices to accomplish strategic learning goals.
Each technology team member works well together to enhance student learning through the implementation of technology tools and systems. Districts in the state look to Washington’s team for leadership in Chromebook, Google tools, educational broadband services, professional development programs and PowerSchool implementation.
The team is utilizing digital communication vehicles such as PowerSchool Unified Classroom, Canvas, School Messenger, gMail, Bloomz, and social media to communicate with parent and community stakeholders. District leadership actively communicates with community councils and PTA/PTO’s.
The digital work of the district is also communicated through the district’s strategic plans and through partnerships with the district foundation.
The main points of our communication plan are centered around the district’s purpose to ensure high levels of learning for every student. We know this will be best accomplished through teacher professional growth and development, the work of collaborative teams engaged in the PLC process, and through practices that reinforce the use of digital tools and resources to build equity, efficiency, and effectiveness; while engaging, enhancing, and extending learning experiences that meet the needs of students as individuals.
The modes of execution we have employed include parent meetings, superintendent listening tours, the distribution of pamphlets and fliers, parent technical support meetings, and regular communications via social media to share our message, establish our brand, and to tell our story.
What is unique about our plan and our technology use is our focus on teaching and learning over technology. Our approach is three-fold. First, build equity by improving educator effectiveness and shared practices among PLC collaborative teams. Second, build effectiveness of teaching and learning practices through high expectations for educator effectiveness and the best practice application of digital tools and resources. Third, increase learning efficiency by utilizing digital tools and resources to collect real-time data for collaborative teams. This data is used to more immediately provide personalized interventions, before misconceptions transfer from the prefrontal cortex through the hippocampus and into long-term memory. Instructionally, the team builds teacher capacity in using technology to engage, enhance and extend cognitively rigorous and personalized learning experiences for students.
Project based, engaged, and personalized learning has been a focus for teachers in the Washington district. The district technology team has been highly supportive of these instructional strategies and has helped teachers and students successfully navigate these research-based activities.
The team is implementing the district digital strategic plan. We have over 180 teachers who are self selected and participating in this process. We have acted as a catalyst for moving teachers/administrators from using technology as a management and content consumption tool to a resource that dynamically supports change processes that are learning focused and student driven.
Please note above photo does not contain the whole of the staff in the WCSD Technology Department, but this award goes out to the whole team.