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Every Student, Every Day


QTL News & Stories


ITRTs See Technology as a Tool for Learning
September 2007

Participants in a QTL ITRT session find that technology is just one piece of the puzzle - important, but most useful when used strategically.

ROANOKE, VA - A problem based learning activity answered with a claymation video, a geoaching adventure, a field study to Explore Park culminating in an educational wiki….What do these items have in common?

These were just a few of the activities experienced by participants during a week long training for Instructional Technology Resource Teachers from across the state of Virginia at Blue Ridge PBS this summer.

"…this is what I have been looking for… ways to integrate technology in such a way that technology is one of many tools that can be employed to teach using sound instructional methods."

During the weeks of June 25-29 and July 9-13, teachers from across the state of Virginia gathered at Blue Ridge PBS, WBRA, in Roanoke for an exciting week of learning how to integrate instructional strategies with technology and sharing best teaching practices. Participants learned how to use portable processors, digital microscopes, GPS devices, and digital cameras in a model classroom environment.

Each attendant mastered emerging collaborative technologies, such as a wiki, in a non-threatening environment. The goal was to show practical and strategic uses of technology and research-based teaching strategies that ITRTs could take back with them. Responses indicated it worked.

"I would certainly recommend this course to anyone," said one participant. "It is essential that every educator today know about multiple intelligences, brain based learning, and differentiation. Moreover, it is very important that teachers know how to incorporate technology into their practices. I would highly recommend this course because you are allowed to experiment with different technologies which are cutting edge in a non threatening environment."

"This week lived up to the 'testimonials' in the brochure," said another. (Read more participant reflections.)

Dr. Jane Falls, the program administrator for the online Instructional Technology Master's program (ITMA) at Virginia Tech, was among the participants. She says the week-long session upended her expectations.

"We were soon to learn that this was not a workshop where we would be sitting around all day 'listening,'" she says. "We were going to be active learners and learn what it meant to teach and learn using 'Quality Teaching' methods and how to integrate technology while using these active teaching and learning styles. I thought this is what I have been looking for… looking at ways to integrate technology in such a way that technology is one of many tools that can be employed to teach using sound instructional methods."

Read Dr. Falls' reflections on the QTL Teachers' Blog.

QTL for Virginia's Instructional Technology Resource Teachers is an intensive professional development program which prepares ITRTs to help teachers understand how they can reach every student, every day through the effective use of technology blended with research-based instructional strategies.

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