Technology as a Catalyst for School Communities: Beyond Boxes and Bandwidth tells the story of how three disparate schools handle the many challenges of integrating technology into their classrooms. Teachers and administrators alike will share familiar feelings as they watch the professional learning communities progress toward the change that makes an enormous difference in how they teach and learn from each other and their students. This book provides an attainable approach for educators to create their own communities of practice for the purposes of school improvement. The case studies illustrate how administrators and teachers work together to find solutions to the best ways to integrate technology in the classroom. In the process, through their collaborative work, they discover that they learned much more than the technical skills they first thought would be the focus of their common inquiry. In creating their communities of practice, the isolation of the classroom is removed, new ways of thinking and doing are embraced, and they learn how to learn again.
As the teachers reach out to their peers and students, giving and receiving support in a cooperative learning endeavor, a new enthusiasm permeates their schools.
Mary Burns worked at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) from 1997-2003 as a professional development provider for teachers in the United States and abroad. She is now a senior technology specialist at the Education Development Center in Massachusetts. K. Victoria Dimock is a program director at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) in Austin, Texas where she directs work aimed at improving school performance and improving teaching and learning in mathematics, science, and technology. She has conducted research and provided professional development for educators for the past 20 years.
Chapter 1 Applying Technology to Restructuring Learning Chapter 2 Teacher-Centered Professional Development Chapter 3 Technology: A Catalyst for Change Chapter 4 From Old Guard to Vanguard: Veteran Teachers as Leaders of Communities of Practice Chapter 5 Building a Vision: Toward an Intentional Community of Practice Chapter 6 No Matter What: Leadership and Communities of Practice Chapter 7 Conclusion: Change and Communities of Practice