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TCOE TechConnect - Empowering Innovative Leaders through Collaboration

by Katherine Goyette | Aug 22, 2016

The TCOE Technology Integration Department conducts monthly TechConnect meetings to facilitate collaboration amongst educational leaders from across the Central Valley who share a vision for promoting digital literacy through technology integration in education. Collaboration is a powerful tool. Systems of collaboration can be a catalyst for change, accelerating the effectiveness of our individual and collective work through data analysis/sharing of best practices. 

As defined by Richard & Rebecca DuFour, collaboration is "a systematic process in which we work together interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results". Teachers across the nation have witnessed the power of collaboration via their departmental/grade level work in Professional Learning Communities. These PLCs have served to provide support to teachers and have positively impacted student achievement.

TCOE TechConnect seeks to facilitate a PLC network for forward thinking area educators and administrators seeking to connect and learn alongside their colleagues. 

While TechConnect sessions allow members to experience new educational technologies in an interactive setting, the focus in not on the tech but on its application and ability to accelerate the learning process for students. TechConnect members will focus on the power of technology to enhance student learning by collaboratively examining the 4 PLC questions and their relation to preparing students for college and career readiness.

1) What do we want students to learn? 
  • Information is available immediately with the touch of a button. How does this modern day reality affect our answer to the aforementioned question? 
  • What must a future ready student know and be able to do? 

2) How do we engage students in relevant learning?  
  • The shift must be made from engaging students to empowering them. What pedagogical shift must occur to accomplish this end and what will it look like in classrooms? 
  • What frameworks (i.e. SAMR/TPACK/4 Cs) might we use to communicate this information to stakeholders? 

3) How will we know they learned it? 
  • How do we determine effectiveness of pedagogical practices? 
  • Do our assessments accurately depict learning in alignment to our goals for the future ready student? 

4) How do we respond if students do/don’t learn? 
  • Based on qualitative and quantitative data, what are next steps for learners? 
  • How can we design learning environments that provide options and opportunities for all students to be successful? 

The 4 PLC questions will serve to provide focus for our collaborative conversations. The PLC process creates a framework through which innovative leaders are empowered to apply new learnings and skills in their educational positions.

According to George Couros, author of The Innovator’s Mindset, an innovative leader displays the following characteristics: visionary, empathetic, models learning, open risk-taker, networked, observant, team builder, always focused on relationships. TCOE TechConnect provides an opportunity for members to collaboratively build upon these characteristics.