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Part A Executive Summary The Educational Technology Center at the University of Georgia provides unique, custom, and creative solutions to your educational technology needs. The center is organized with a staff of five key positions. The detailed method of how the information was compiled is listed and artifacts are included in the appendix. Sources of information include interviews with staff members, checklist of items seen through an on-site visit, and the center’s webpage. The center’s goals and mission is outlined with promoting student success being their main overall goal. The activities and courses provided by the center are outlined. The main service provided is individualized, custom, and professional developed courses to address technology needs in schools. A formal evaluation of the center’s ability to achieve their mission and goal is described. The center uses the ability to create custom professional development courses to meet the needs of school systems in order to lead to student success. Finally, a monthly report and outline is included. The monthly report describes the exceptional services provided by the Educational Technology Center at the University of Georgia.
Methods When compiling information to complete the report I used a variety of sources. The main source of information came from interviewing the interim director at the Educational Technology Center. The details from our interview are located in the appendixes of this report. While visiting the center, I also completed a checklist of items noticed, which is located in the appendix as well. Another source of information included the technology center’s webpage. The webpage gave me insight into the organization and timeliness of the center. Center Context and Goals The Educational Technology Center at the University of Georgia opened in 1997 as one of thirteen Educational Technology Training Centers. The technology center was charged with the mission of training teachers for technology integration. The center was opened as a partnership between the Georgia Department of Education and the University of Georgia. The mission of the technology center is to help educators integrate technology in the classroom to lead to student success. The technology center currently has one director (interim director as the previous director just retired), three instructional technology specialists, and one technical support specialist. The three instructional technology specialists spend their time planning, preparing for, and instructing professional development courses for using technology in the classroom. The technical support specialist completes network administrations and server management. Currently, the interim director completes responsibilities as an instructional technology specialist as well as director responsibilities. The technology center currently is providing professional development for several school systems who received federal ARRA grants as well as delivering custom professional development based on school system requests for their digital conversion initiatives (mainly 1:1 with iPads, netbooks, and BYOT or bring your own technology). The training focuses on how to structure lessons to incorporate these devices and engage the students. Most of the professional development is on site and delivered during teacher planning times. Center Activities The Educational Technology Center provides a menu of classes for teachers to take for PLU credits and also help train teachers on any technology related initiatives rolled out by the Department of Education. The technology center also teaches courses for pre-service teachers in social studies education, early childhood education, and agricultural education. ETC professional development courses begin with conversations with school systems to determine specific school improvement needs. The ETC staff then developments customized professional development course(s) to meet the needs of the school system. The courses are then taught on site during teacher planning periods. Recent courses taught related to system wide/school wide digital conversion initiatives, system wide/school wide project
based learning initiatives, and specific educational technology focus with curriculum integration. In the future, the center hopes to provide online learning. Staff members are currently working on online course materials for professional development, which is currently a blend of on-site and online. The main purpose of all professional development conducted by the Educational Technology Center is to improve student success. Evaluation The number one goal at the Educational Technology Center is to improve student success. The center acts to promote student success through educating educational professionals about technology and how technology can be incorporated in the classroom. The center’s main work involves determining needs at the school system level and creating professional development courses to improve those needs. By developing courses to meet the needs of each school and school system the center is able to provide instruction on the direct need(s) of the school/school system. With this model in place, the center is able to work towards achieving their goal of student success at the local level. The system is staffed with highly educated experts in their field. Multiple specialists work on developing each professional development course making sure all aspects are included and different points of views are incorporated. I did find that the website developed by the center is a bit vague at times. The centers hours are not listed and since the focus is on custom onsite professional development there is not a detailed schedule of events and classes offered at the center. The center also provides technology education to pre-service teachers enabling these teachers to pass the knowledge they gain in their program to a myriad of teachers once they read the work force.
The mission of the Educational Technology Center at the University of Georgia is to help educators integrate technology into the classroom to lead to student success. The center acts on achieving this mission and goal by creating unique, customized, and on-site professional development for schools and school systems. The center starts each project by defining the needs of the school or school system. From that point, the technology specialists work together to create professional development courses geared toward the need. The courses are unique in that they are created specifically for the school or school system and not picked from a set of pre-designed courses. Some of the courses previously developed related to digital conversion initiatives including: iPads and Apps for education, laptops for education, Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), online content, eTextbooks and Online Course learning. Other courses related to technology in relation to curriculum integration such as: interactive whiteboards, student response devices, wireless tablets, document cameras, video production, web development, and Web 2.0 tools. The possibilities of courses are endless! Professional development courses are taught over the course of a semester (usually one class per month) and multiple schools/school systems can be served during a month’s period. On average, the center is able to provide professional development courses for one school system or four to six separate schools per month. Taking into consideration courses usually span over a semesters time. If you have any technology needs please contact the Educational Technology Center at the University of Georgia to fulfill your need and help lead your students to success.
Appendix A – Resources used to gain Information Interview Protocol Interviewer: Meghan Roberts Interviewee: Emily Hodge Question 1: How is your technology center staffed and what is the general organization of your technology center? Response: We have 5 staff members. The director (right now I am serving as interim director since our long time director recently retired, instructional technology specialists of which there are 3 (technically I am one too, but I'll just say we have three), and then a technology specialist who does our network administration and server management. Question 2: What activities or support do you offer at your technology center? Response: We mainly offer professional development classes on a variety of topics (hard to name them all - basically any technology topic you can think of) for a variety of educational positions, but mostly teachers (others would include administrators, technology coordinators and instructional technology specialists, media specialists, paraprofessionals, etc.). We also serve a more informal role as consultants and occasional conference presenters. We provide an ongoing service to the surrounding school systems especially, providing technical support on-site or via phone, email, etc. Question 3: Could you provide me with a brief history of your technology center? Response: The Center started in 1997 as one of thirteen Educational Technology Training Centers, or ETTCs, in the state charged with the mission of training teachers for technology integration (a curriculum referred to as InTech). Each of the thirteen were a partnership between the Georgia DOE and a host agency, often a University or a RESA. [In the past] We would provide a menu of classes for teachers to take for PLU credits and also help train on any technology related initiatives rolled out by the DOE including standards roll outs, etc. At the University, we also taught classes for preservice teachers in social studies ed, early childhood ed, and agriculture ed.
Question 4: What is your technology center currently working on? Response: Currently, we are providing professional development for several systems who received federal ARRA grants (STEM, eTextbooks, and Literacy) and we deliver custom professional development based on school system requests for their digital conversion initiatives (mostly 1:1 with iPads, netbooks, and BYOT or bring your own technology). We train teachers on how to structure lessons to incorporate these devices and engage the students. Our PD is always on site and lately it is mostly done during teacher planning times. We see online learning as a big deal in our future and we are currently working on online course materials for some of our professional development, which is mostly blended right now. Checklist Completed The list below states items observed from on-site visit:
The staff was warm and welcoming as I entered. The interim director was eager to answer my questions and was very knowledgably regarding her technology center. The center’s mission is posted and clearly visible to any who enter. When interviewing the interim director, she was able to answer all of my questions. o She was willing to answer my questions and make sure I understood all the components of the technology center. Building was organized, clean, and easy to navigate. Technology tools available for use for professional development courses. Contact information for staff members available in card form
Website Millans, David. (2012). Educational Technology Center. Retrieved from: http://etc.coe.uga.edu/
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