Innovate to Educate Entry

Boyertown Area School District

Michelle Hanna and Rabecca Hester, Instructional Technology Coaches

What innovative technology initiative or project are you most proud of, and how has it improved teaching and learning in your school/district?

This past year we coordinated and facilitated a district-wide innovation summit we named the Boyertown Area School District Tech Fest. It involved over 500 educators and close to 300 parents and students. The purpose of this conference was to share and provide teachers with hands-on experiences regarding innovative classroom practices support by technology. During the day-long summit a keynote speaker shared ideas and a message of innovation. Then, teachers and administrators attended breakout
  Read More

What were some of the biggest challenges to your initiative, and how did you meet those challenges?

There were certainly challenges to facilitating such a large event. First, students, parents and teachers work all year long to develop engaging learning experiences that can be entered into the student showcase of the innovation summit. Coordination of entry forms, communication between all stakeholders, t-shirt sizes, instructional coaching, and set up of the showcase was a challenge. However, we learned very quickly on to be proactive, create a timeline, and provide timely responses to questions
  Read More

What are the three biggest components that need to be in place for tech innovation to succeed are:

In order for ed-tech innovation in education to succeed, there are a few components that must be in place. First, a clear vision for how technology will become a part of the learning environment needs to be in place. Communication of this vision sends a clear message to all stakeholders that educational technology must become part of the learning culture for students and educators and not just an "add-on"".
Next, teachers need to feel comfortable taking risks with their instruction and utilizing educational technology beyond consumption types of activities. In the Boyertown Area School District, we do this by providing support to teachers and administrators through instructional coaching. Additionally, our administrations do a fantastic job of modeling educational technology learning for staff members. When teachers see their leaders taking risks using technology, they feel comfortable doing the same with students.
Third, a culture of innovation must be developed to inspire out-of-the box ideas in teachers and students, to provide students with voice and choice in their learning, and to encourage problem solving, communication and collaboration. We do this by coordinating our innovation summit, professional learning for all teachers on the four Cs and educational technology use, and encouraging teachers to be part of an innovation incubator cohort. "

Return to all entries