Empowering Teachers: Engaging in Continuous 21st Century Learning

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Building teacher leadership in a world of technology can be costly and many districts lack the resources to empower teachers through continuous professional development, especially when they are spread out on different campuses.  Focusing on improving technology use in the classroom, within the scope of the SAMR model and Technology Integration Matrix, learn how to create a Teacher Tech Cohort to support the ever-growing digital curriculum and 1:1 initiative.




Lauren Owens works between the curriculum and technology department at Agua Fria Union High School District in Arizona. As a Technology Integration Specialist, she is responsible for faculty development as emerging technology initiatives come through as well as working to empower teachers to grow as 21st century leaders. Prior to her work as an integration specialist, she taught high school Spanish for six years and coached at various levels. She has a Masters in Educational Leadership and has a passion for all things tech. She is a self-proclaimed Google geek and proudly started a bitmoji movement in her district.

Extended Abstract

We live in an ever-changing world of technology and while we expect our students to adapt to the changes, we don’t always prepare and foster growth within our teaching staff. Creating a Teacher Tech Cohort responded to our teachers’ desperate need of meaningful, continuous technology professional development. This presentation will cover the basics of how the program came to fruition, how the levels are differentiated based on teacher needs and skills, provide time for participants to brainstorm ideas around budget restrictions, and get various real-time examples of the types of lessons teachers engage in throughout the Cohort. It will also cover the good, bad, and the ugly of this process as various hiccups were dealt with and solved over the past two years. 

Engagement tools such as Peardeck, Polleverywhere, and Padlet will be used to gage audience understanding, needs, and questions--as well as model three skills required from the Level 1 Course. 

Participants will learn how to easily create a culture for continual ed tech learning, be provided multiple ways to engage learners, and walk away with resources to edit/use/modify to best fit their needs. They will also be given access to peer coaching templates and technology walk-through observation tools to help target where their staff needs the most attention. 

All those who attend will be given access to a Google Drive folder with templates of the following materials:

-Initial Teacher Tech Cohort Proposal

-Teacher Applications

-Teacher Agreements

-Program overview (Level 1)

-Program overview (Level 2)

-Screenshots of the class materials and any lesson is available upon request 

-Technology use observation tool 

-Peer coaching template