Vail Valley teachers get tech-training grant
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Eagle County teachers will attend workshops on using technology in their classrooms thanks to a two-year, $150,000 Enhancing Education Through Technology grant the school district has received.
During the first year of the grant, 20 high school teachers will attend professional development workshops to increase their knowledge of integrating technology in the classroom. During year two of the grant, middle school teachers will receive similar professional development as they work to structure their teaching around concepts and skill, such as video streaming and Internet blogs,
The teachers who participate in these multi-day workshops for Eagle Classrooms of Tomorrow-Today in secondary schools will receive a stipend, which will support their integration of technology. The maximum amount available to each teacher is $2,000 but will vary depending on the amount of participation in training and interacting in other technology-related forums.
The Colorado Department of Education has defined “21st Century skills” as critical thinking and reasoning, information literacy, collaboration, self-direction, and invention.
“The participating teachers will help us pave the way in improving Colorado Student Assessment Program scores and support inquiry-based learning and problem-solving,” said Jason Douglas, the district’s educational technology coordinator.
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A State Educational Technology Directors Association Building survey was conducted a year ago among all seven middle and high school principals in Eagle County. The survey showed that there is no allotment of time for teachers to collaborate on ways to implement technologies in the classroom, to learn how technology relates to the content taught to students, to track teacher proficiency or provide advanced users with more technology skills.
The Eagle Classrooms of Tomorrow-Today program will help teachers collaborate on lesson plans in which technology is emphasized, Douglas said.
The program will also provide additional professional development through WebEx technologies, podcasts, blogs, wikis, online courseware and archived modules on-demand, Douglas said.