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Can shoit teim mentoiing foi technology integiation inciease confiuence anu
empoweiment foi fuithei uevelopment anu integiation.

Tiacie Weisz

0niveisity of Alaska Southeast

Ny mentee is a piimaiyeaily elementaiy teachei at my school. I have
known hei foi many yeais, anu we have a goou, fiienuly, anu iespectful woiking
ielationship with each othei. Bei classioom has an iPau cait, which she has hau foi
2 yeais. So fai, the cait has mostly been useu foi fiee time activities oi
iewaius. When she appioacheu me this yeai about builuing hei class blog, I
suggesteu she also think about making a little time to tiy some othei things as well,
with my help, anu she agieeu.
At the outset, my mentee expiesseu inteiest in making technology moie a
pait of hei classioom, although she only hau some geneial iueas about how to uo
this. Bei biggest conceins weie time, anu what she peiceiveu to be hei limiteu
skills. She knew she wanteu to cieate anu maintain a blog foi hei class to builu
communications anu connections with home, as well as to spotlight things that hei
stuuents weie uoing. Beyonu that she was not exactly suie wheie oi how to begin. I
see hei stuuents once a week foi Su minutes uuiing theii technology time in my
classioom. I have been uoing things with the stuuents such as builuing keyboaiu
familiaiity, teaching them the vocabulaiy of technology (uesktop, uock, applications,
biowseis, woiu piocessing, etc), teaching them to open biowseis anu finu a 0RL,
anu how to open applications such as Pages anu PhotoBooth anu woik within them.
Sometimes my mentee stays uuiing this peiiou to obseive oi talk with me (this is
theii "specials" peiiou, which is meant to be a planning peiiou foi hei).


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ulaziei anu Page (2uu6) outline how they maue a ueteimination to change
how piofessional uevelopment foi technology integiation was ueliveieu in theii
school in theii aiticle about Collaboiative Appienticeship. They cleaily sepaiate the
iole of technology cooiuinatoi fiom that of peisonal mentoi oi coach, stating that
they felt teacheis weie becoming too uepenuent on the cooiuinatoi to simply fix
pioblems. This situation was not empoweiing them to exploie new iueas, anu they
weie using the technology cooiuinatoi as a ciutch. The iuea was to change the iole
of theii technology cooiuinatoi to one who cooiuinateu teams of well-matcheu
teacheis anu mentois foi the puiposes of ongoing piofessional suppoit anu
uevelopment in technology integiation. The technology cooiuinatoi woulu manage
anu oveisee the teams, anu meet with the mentois fiequently to pioviue auuitional
tiaining oi coaching. Teacheis piogiesseu thiough foui uevelopmental phases in
this Collaboiative Appienticeship fiom intiouuctoiy, uevelopmental, pioficient, to
masteiy. At each phase, the iole of the mentoi changeu, anu moie exploiation,
inuepenuence, anu autonomy was expecteu. The technology cooiuinatoi guiueu
these effoits. 0ltimately, the iole of the technology cooiuinatoi shifteu, anu the iole
changeu to one wheie the peison was offeiing auvice, cooiuinating new iueas, anu
suppoiting uevelopment anu leaining, iathei than one wheie she was meiely
iesponuing to teachei inquiiy anu giving just-in-time technical suppoit.
An aiticle ieviewing ieseaich on tiaining teacheis foi using technology
(Bianu, 1997), staits out by citing many stuuies anu expeits confiiming the iuea
that in oiuei foi technology integiation to be successful, schools must be willing to
invest in the time anu flexibility necessaiy foi ongoing, peisonalizeu piofessional
uevelopment. The aiticle offeis insights into 1u key factois that aie vital foi schools
to consiuei if any meaningful integiation of technology into the cuiiiculum anu
shifts in teaching anu leaining aie to occui. The aiticle uetails each of these factois,
anu although almost all speak specifically to the iuea of ongoing suppoit anu
tiaining, theie aie seveial that emphasize the benefits of the suppoit that comes in
the foim of a coach oi mentoi.
A school must take into account the vaiying neeus of teacheis. 0ne size fits
all tiaining is not effective, anu can often leau to anxiety anu even negative feelings
about technology fiom some teacheis. Flexibility of piofessional uevelopment
oppoitunities auuiesses the conceins about the "one size fits all" philosophy, anu
encouiages flexible scheuuling, anu the ability foi teacheis to woik closely with
peeis anu mentois as they leain to integiate.
Piovisional suppoit speaks to the commitment of a school oi uistiict to
invest in a paiticulai peison with expeiience in technology anu cuiiiculum. A
technology iesouice peison oi coach is especially beneficial foi novice teacheis, oi
those at the emeiging stage of technology use anu unueistanuing. This peison is
also a vital link as the one who can align staff uevelopment (whole gioup anu
peisonalizeu) with uistiict oi school goals.
Collaboiative uevelopment is a key factoi that neeus to be built into a
successful school enviionment. Teacheis will vaiy in theii level of expeitise, as well
as theii own teaching context. Nentoiing, peei collaboiation, anu inuiviuual
coaching aie key to piofessional uevelopment foi teacheis, as they "pioviue a non-
thieatening enviionment that is sensitive to the inuiviuual teachei's level of
expeitise anu expeiience (Biowne & Ritchie, 1991; Shelton & }ones, 1996)."
The aiticle also specifically uetails sustaineu staff uevelopment, in which
piofessional uevelopment is pait of the leaining cycle, anu tiaining anu mentoiing is
ongoing anu systematic. Schools anu uistiicts must iecognize that leaining to
effectively integiate technology into the cuiiiculum uoes not happen oveinight.
"The neeu to allot time foi continual leaining is echoeu in stuuies outsiue of
euucation, which suggest that pioviuing woikeis with high technology on the job
ultimately fails if employees uon't ieceive auequate tiaining anu continuing, on-the-
job suppoit (Nouisunu, 1992)."
Intellectual anu piofessional stimulation engages teacheis with peeis,
coaches, anu mentois anu foices them to ieflect on teaching with technology.
Typically, it has been founu that teacheis giow in theii use of technology when theie
is substantial effoit anu peisonal inteiest in theii tiaining. This is most likely to
happen in situations wheie the tiaining is peisonalizeu to the neeus of the teachei.
Although the aiticle on integiating technology is fiom an oluei jouinal, Bias
(1999) biings up some giowth benchmaiks in technology integiation that we can
still apply touay. She notes that theie aie five basic stages in technology integiation:
entiy, auoption, auaptation, appiopiiation, anu invention. Each stage has its own
patteins of change anu impoitant suppoit iequiiements if teacheis aie to feel
empoweieu anu motivateu to move foiwaiu.
In the entiy phase, teacheis aie still teaching in a tiauitional mannei, with
the auuition of some technology tools. Initially, uiscipline anu iesouice
management anu technical issues aie typical pioblems at this phase. The suppoit
teacheis neeu incluues time foi planning anu ieflection with peeis oi mentois.
In the auoption phase, teacheis show moie concein about how technology
can be integiateu into uaily lesson plans. Although much of the classioom
enviionment is still tiauitional, technology is useu moie often anu many of the
uiscipline, management, anu technical issues aie being anticipateu anu solveu by the
teachei. At this stage teacheis neeu moie technical suppoit anu tiaining in softwaie,
eithei thiough a seiies of foimal tiainings, oi iegulai meetings with a mentoi oi
At the thiiu stage, auaptation to anu integiation of new technologies into
tiauitional classioom piactice occui. Stuuents spenu Su%-4u% of theii uay using
technology piimaiily foi piouuctivity puiposes. Stuuents anu teacheis piouuce
moie, fastei. At this phase, peei obseivation, peei oi mentoi coaching, anu time foi
uiscussing anu ieflecting on alteinative peuagogies aie vital foi teacheis who aie
embiacing the change occuiiing in theii classiooms. Teacheis aie also ieauy foi
assistance anu suppoit in biinging moie multimeuia softwaie anu equipment into
theii classiooms at this phase.
The next stage, appiopiiation, occuis when teacheis unueistanu
technology's usefulness, anu they apply it effoitlessly as a tool to accomplish ieal
woik. In these classiooms, theie is eviuence of pioject-baseu instiuction,
collaboiation, coopeiation, anu cieative scheuules. Impoitant suppoit foi teacheis
in this phase incluues time with peeis anu mentois to ieflect anu uiscuss alteinative
assessments, piofessional giowth, anu planning technology integiation goals.
In the invention phase, teacheis have begun to make a seiious shift to a
constiuctivist classioom anu peuagogy, anu theii classiooms have changeu
uiamatically. It is impoitant to encouiage these teacheis to uevelop PLN's outsiue of
theii school anu uistiict, as well as to begin mentoiing othei teacheis.
At eveiy step in this piocess, a vital component of the success of teacheis is
iegulai, uepenuable suppoit anu mentoiing in some foim.
Baseu on pievious stuuies, this paiticulai stuuy about the iole of piincipals
anu mentois (Kincaiu & Felunei, 2uu2), hypothesizeu that teacheis associateu with
auministiatois iating aveiage oi above aveiage in leaueiship anu technology
integiation skills will feel bettei piepaieu to integiate technology anu moie
confiuent in continuing with the phases of theii state's euucational technology
initiative. Nentois anu auministiatois weie given tiaining, anu then set out to
suppoit anu assist mentees in uesigningieuesigning lessons anu units to bettei
integiate technology as a tool foi teaching anu leaining. The teacheis weie iequiieu
to implement the new lesson oi unit into theii classioom anu ieflect on theii
expeiiences. Auministiatois anu mentois weie measuieu by vaiious means to
evaluate theii own competencies in technology, as well as self-evaluating. Almost
acioss the boaiu auministiatois anu mentois uiu not iate themselves as high as
they weie iateu by outsiue measuies. Also, contiaiy to the hypothesis, the level of
competency of the mentoiauministiatoi seemeu to have no coiielation with the
level of competencies achieveu by the mentees. All mentees achieveu highei
competency within the stuuy at about the same level anu iate, iegaiuless of the level
of competency of theii mentoi oi auministiatoi. The stuuy points out that this
pattein is confiimeu:
"It has been noteu that, in geneial, inuiviuualizeu suppoit fiom peeis anu
expeits encouiages teacheis to expeiiment with new stiategies foi technology
integiation (NCREL, 1999; Banby, 2uuu). Nentoiing piogiams have been citeu as
successful stiategies foi helping teacheis gain the skills necessaiy to bettei apply
technology as a tool (Tenbusch, 1998)."
In this stuuy, staff obseivations anu comments consistently emphasizeu the
impoitance of the mentoi anu auministiatoi iole foi builuing-baseu suppoit foi the
teacheis. It seems, that with iegaiu to this paiticulai stuuy, even a basic oi aveiage
level of competency on the pait of auministiatois anu mentees was veiy helpful anu
effective foi the teacheis.
In the stuuy looking at levels of teachei technology integiation (Zhao &
Biyant, 2uu6), a laige gioup of teacheis ieceiveu the same intensive technology
integiation tiaining calleu InTech. Aftei the tiaining, foi the puiposes of ieseaich,
the teacheis weie stuuieu in two uistinct gioups. 0ne gioup ieceiveu no follow-up
tiaining oi coaching, but weie inteivieweu about attituues anu behaviois. They
weie also obseiveu, anu uata anu samples weie taken of the types of technology
integiation they piacticeu in theii classiooms. The seconu gioup of teacheis was
given technology mentois to follow up the tiaining ovei an extenueu peiiou of time.
This gioup was also inteivieweu about attituues anu behaviois, as well as obseiveu.
All of the teacheis who took the InTech tiaining iepoiteu feeling moie
positive about technology integiation aftei the tiaining was ovei. Nany also stateu
they felt oveiwhelmeu by the amount of infoimation given, anu expiesseu some
fiustiations that the tiaining was stiuctuieu towaiu giaue levels taught iathei than
the teacheis' levels of expeiience with technology. Although the fiist gioup of
teacheis ieceiveu no follow-up tiaining, they weie still integiating technology moie
than they hau piioi to the tiaining. The seconu gioup who hau follow-up tiaining
with mentois, integiateu technology significantly moie than they hau befoie the
tiaining. Inteiestingly, the fiist gioup happeneu to have moie access to bettei
equipment than the seconu gioup. Although they weie integiating technology
slightly moie than they pieviously hau, they weie not even close to the levels of
integiation that the seconu gioup achieveu with mentoiing. The mentoieu gioup
iepoiteu veiy positive attituues about technology integiation, anu attiibuteu this
moie to the follow-up mentoiing than the actual tiaining. Any initial fiustiations
they hau expiesseu with the tiaining weie oveicome by the peisonalizeu anu
ongoing help of the mentoi. They iepoiteu feeling fai moie confiuent about theii
instiuction. The fiist gioup that hau no mentois expiesseu fiustiation about lack of
follow-up. Although they likeu the tiaining oveiall, they felt that if they uiun't use it
iight away oi iegulaily, they foigot much of it in the time following the tiaining.
The uata I have been collecting thioughout my pioject has taken S foims:
1. Neeting logs - each time I met with my mentee, I loggeu a 4 point uiscussion with
hei. Fiist, we talkeu about what was woiking in hei classioom baseu on the goals
she set foi technology integiation. This was the time we noteu anu celebiateu any
successes she felt she was having. Then we focuseu specifically on challenges she
was having as she woikeu towaiu hei goals. This coulu have to uo with equipment
issues, hei own peisonal unueistanuings oi skills, classioom management issues,
scheuuling issues - anything that she felt was cieating baiiieis to meeting hei goals.
Aftei this we talkeu about builuing on the success anu oveicoming the challenges -
she anu I biainstoimeu iueas about some things she coulu uo specifically to
oveicome a baiiiei, anu agieeu that she woulu woik specifically on these steps.
Then I auueu a shoit list of things that I might also uo to help hei oveicome these
challenges. Sometimes this meant giving hei some iesouices, making some
suggestions, moueling a lesson, oi any numbei of things.
2. Classioom obseivations. I obseiveu tech-specific lessons in my mentee's
classioom 2 times, anu once while she was in my lab teaching a lesson to hei
stuuents. Buiing these times, we agieeu that the uata I woulu collect woulu have to
uo specifically with classioom management issues ielateu to equipment anu time, as
well as hei instiuction to the stuuents.
S. Inteiview. At the beginning of this pioject I sat uown with my mentee foi a
pie-pioject inteiview. The questions weie centeieu aiounu hei comfoit level with
technology in the classioom, anu hei iueas about classioom management with
technology (since that aspect was hei biggest concein).
0vei the couise of the pioject, my mentee anu I have been able to meet on S
uiffeient occasions foi the puipose of uiscussion of hei goals anu assessing hei
piogiess by completing the meeting logs. Bei fiist goal, getting a class blog up anu
iunning, took a couple of weeks, but she eventually got it the way she likeu it anu
founu maintenance to be easy. Foi hei geneial integiation goal, we hau to talk a bit
befoie we lanueu on an iuea she likeu - incoipoiating the iPaus into hei "centeis"
iotation uuiing ieauing time. Initially hei iuea was to have the stuuents play with
ieauing, giammai, anu spelling apps uuiing this time. I suggesteu a few, anu she
quickly founu that apps alone aie only goou foi so long, but most aie
limiteu. Stuuents will become boieu with them. This then has a iipple effect on
what she was most woiiieu about in the piocess - classioom management of
technology integiation. The meeting logs show that ovei the couise of oui
mentoimentee ielationship, she was able to move to a moie useful app - iTalk -
which gave hei anu stuuents valuable feeuback about ieauing fluency. Some of hei
anxieties about management weie allayeu by the implementation of checklists foi
stuuents. 0veiall, the meeting logs kept the goals of the pioject focuseu, anu woik
was centeieu aiounu a veiy specific goal anu the issues that aiose aiounu that goal.
Foi my classioom obseivations, I useu the 0PTIC tool. I have useu this in tech
integiation-ielateu ieseaich befoie, anu founu it to be a goou geneial tool foi
classioom obseivation of effective technology integiation. Two of the obseivations
took place in the mentee's classioom uuiing language aits centei time, when she
hau planneu to utilize the iPaus. 0ne of the obseivations took place in my
classioom, as the teachei leu the stuuents thiough a lesson about euiting in woiu
At the time of my fiist obseivation, the teachei hau iecently auueu the iPaus
to the language aits centei iotation, anu was offeiing the stuuents a choice of S apps
to use uuiing this time - Sentence Builuei, Question Builuei, anu Stoiy Builuei. I hau
iecommenueu these thiee apps in paiticulai to stait with because they coulu be
easily uiffeientiateu baseu on level of the stuuent, anu it was easy to get uata fiom
them. The uay I obseiveu it was only the stuuents' seconu uay using these apps in
the iotation, anu theii small gioups of 4 spent 1S minutes in that pait of the iotation
with the iPaus. Stuuents weie still using the apps impiopeily, in that they weie
switching aiounu between them a lot baseu on what theii fiienus weie using. This
was making it uifficult if not impossible to collect any useful uata fiom the app. Also,
stuuents woulu often get confuseu in setting the levels. The iesult of this was
numeious inteiiuptions foi the teachei while she was tiying to woik one on one
with othei stuuents uuiing this time.
Foi the seconu obseivation, the pieviously mentioneu apps weie still in use,
with somewhat bettei iesults. She hau taken time to ie-teach how the apps shoulu
be useu. Eventually though, she iepoiteu the stuuents quickly became boieu with
the apps anu inteiiuptions woulu stait again. She anu I hau uiscusseu this, anu so
she hau also auueu the iTalk app, anu the expectation that the stuuents woulu spenu
at least S minutes of theii centei iotation ieauing anu iecoiuing a pieviously
assigneu piece, then emailing it to theii teachei. The teachei hau set up 2 stuuy
caiiels in the coinei foi this puipose, anu uuiing one iotation (4-S stuuents pei
iotation), 2 stuuents useu this app in the stuuy caiiels. Buiing the seconu iotation S
stuuents useu it. Inteiiuption of the teachei fiom this gioup was minimal - only 4
inteiiuptions uuiing a 2u minute peiiou, compaieu to 1S inteiiuptions uuiing my
pievious obseivation.
Foi the thiiu obseivation, the teachei agieeu to teach a whole class lesson on
euiting tools within pages to hei stuuents while they weie in my class (computei
lab). She wanteu to have some expeiience uoing whole gioup instiuction in
technology with me theie, befoie she attempteu this in hei own classioom.
Befoie this piocess began, my mentee anu I sat uown foi a shoit pie-pioject
inteiview. I wanteu to get an iuea of hei goals foi the pioject, anu also assess wheie
she was (oi felt she was) in hei own level of ieauiness.
Buiing oui initial inteiview, she maue hei goals cleai (as inuicateu in oui
meeting logs), that she wanteu to builu anu maintain a class blog, anu woik
technology "meaningfully" into hei language aits centeis. As a "usei" of technology,
she seemeu to have constiucteu two uiffeient selves to answei this question -
heiself as a peisonal consumei anu usei, anu heiself as a usei of technology in hei
piofessional life. She kept using the phiase "at home" to iefei to the uiffeiences in
how she useu anu felt about technology. When "at home" she felt quite capable. She
follows many blogs, subsciibes to viueo channels, anu vigoiously bookmaiks items
of inteiest (in hei biowsei). Bowevei, at school, when using technology with
stuuents she felt veiy tentative anu unsuie, anu kept ietuining to the iuea of, "They
aie so much bettei at this stuff than I am." In oiuei to accomplish hei goals, she
believeu that theie was a liteial launuiy list of apps that she woulu have to leain to
use anu ieview, anu she woiiieu she woulu not have the time foi this. She was also
woiiieu about classioom management issues that coulu potentially aiise uuiing this
time, as it was something new, anu she ieally uiun't have time to ueal with
it. Thioughout hei comments, she maintaineu that she fiimly believeu that theie
was a lot that stuuents coulu leain by using the computeisiPaus. She connecteu
this to heiself, obseiving that she useu technology a lot each uay, anu stuuents
woulu neeu to know how to uo that.
Foi oui post inteiview, my mentee's tone changeu in teims of how she
peiceiveu hei stuuents anu heiself when askeu about being a "usei" of technology.
Bei tone towaiu hei stuuents was less uefeiential than it hau been in oui pie-
inteiview. Buiing that time, she fiequently uefeiieu to how smait hei stuuents
weie about technology - that uiu not happen in this inteiview. Bei iesponses took a
stiongei, moie confiuent tone with iegaiu to hei own use anu knowleuge, anu also
showeu an incieaseu confiuence in management of technology integiation. In oui
fiist inteiview, I hau askeu hei what kinus of things she neeueu to know to
accomplish hei goals. This time, I askeu hei what she woulu neeu to uo to meet
futuie goals. 0nce again, the shift in hei language was quite noticeable. This time
she talkeu about what she woulu neeu to uo with iegaiu to leaining things, finuing
apps, etc. In oui pievious inteiview, hei tone was often helpless - anu she useu the
phiase "I neeu help with." often. This time she useu phiases like, "I'll have to
ask.", oi, "I'll have to look up.", fai moie fiequently, showing that the powei of
knowleuge acquisition was in hei hanus.
I have founu that although on the suiface, this uoesn't look like much in the
way of technology integiation, if you look at the piogiess of the uiscussion ovei the
couise of the meeting logs, theie weie gieat stiiues foiwaiu in hei confiuence anu
hei way of thinking about integiation. Keeping the iunning conveisation focuseu on
hei goals anu stiategies to oveicome baiiieis hau the effect of gieatly incieasing hei
confiuence in the piocess. I believe that in the futuie, it is the type of thinking she
will use in hei appioach to moie integiation. It involves setting a single goal, taking
steps to get staiteu, focusing on challenges that ciop up aiounu that specific goal,
anu taking steps to fix them. Pait of these small successes was uue to the fact that
she believeu that what the stuuents weie uoing with the technology was
woithwhile. She believeu that the uata she collecteu fiom theii woik on the apps,
anu the uata anu feeuback uiscussions she collecteu fiom theii iTalk iecoiuings
ieally weie gieat steps in impioving fluency anu wiiting. She believeu that this
technology component in the iotation offeieu the stuuents something she woulu not
otheiwise be able to give them. In this enviionment, the changes weie foicing hei
anu hei stuuents to leain uiffeiently. 0ui post inteiview confiimeu this new
confiuence anu sense of empoweiment.
In the futuie, the aspect of this mentoiship I woulu take fiom this expeiience
anu change woulu be the phases of uevelopment of my teachei ovei the couise of
this piocess. Ny mentee anu I uiu not meet foi a long enough peiiou of time to see
longei teim giowth. Bowevei, in two of the aiticles I ievieweu, Integiating
Technology, by Bias, anu Collaboiative Appienticeship by ulaziei anu Page, both
stiesseu stiuctuiing mentoiship aiounu phases of teachei uevelopment. Bias useu
measuiement uesciiptois such as "entiy" anu "invention", while ulaziei anu Page
useu "intiouuctoiy", anu "masteiy". In both cases, the mentoi iole anu the type of
suppoit offeieu changeu uuiing each phase. This was uone puiposefully to
empowei the mentee teacheis, anu to encouiage autonomy.
As I ieflecteu on my own uata fiom this expeiience, a big question I was left
with was whethei oi not my mentee woulu continue with hei technology
integiation once I was no longei in the pictuie. I know the iuea of a mentoi is not
foievei, but the leveleu stiuctuiing of suppoit anu push towaiu inuepenuence that I
ievieweu in my liteiatuie makes peifect sense.


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