Computers and Teacher Preparation Programs

After researching Peoria District 150 Instructional Technology department I found it to be very resourceful. Administrators, teachers and students can get the help they need in order to evolve as technology evolves in their district. The district curriculum and technology department has three instructional technology facilitators.  They provide the district with the integration of technology into all classrooms within the district. Their use of computers is displayed in a variety of forms that include technology workshops, software training, SMART board workshops and more.

Peoria District 150 Performance indicators mirror those of the ISTE’s.  They believe that,  “Effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS•S) as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community. All teachers should meet the following standards and performance indicators.” (www.psd150.org, 2014) Research will be done to see to what extent this has been implemented.        

Computer Usage

 Computers are used all throughout the district in a variety of ways to include communication, connection, finance, budgeting, teaching, learning, and development.  Peoria District 150 has opened the lines of communication by publishing The REMARKABLE Times, a weekly newsletter that serves as a primary information resource about events. “The REMARKABLE Times has shared compelling stories about the achievements, contributions and challenges of the District’s students, staff members and volunteers.” (www.psd150.org, 2014) It is posted on the school website and e-mailed to staff, parents, and community members.

Administrative Functions

The district’s administrative budget, staff salaries, and other financial information are available on the website which are created in Microsoft Excel and displayed in Adobe.  Just this year the district has the capability of on-line registration.  It captures all personal information for the student and is easily accessed and up-to-date. As a benefit to parents the district uses Family Access.  This software provides a database of student information to include student grades and absences with much more. Teachers enter grades into this system along with student progress.

I spoke to the Director of Technology, Michelle Seipel, at Peoria District 150.  To get an inside look at their technology department regarding computer usage. I knew she would give me more detail on the specific computer programs provided. Michelle told me that they supply the district administration and staff with free on-line Microsoft and Adobe training that also includes e-mail.  They also administer computer training using SMART boards, Compass Learning, Renaissance Learning, and training on how to set-up Type to Learn for students.

Curriculum Enhancement

The districts instructional technology department has designed training and instructions for the development of web pages for teacher websites so they can set-up their classrooms.  IPad lessons are also designed for teachers to learn programs and download apps for lesson planning.  Lessons have been instructionally designed to train teachers how to use Compass Learning, and Teachers Guides to NWEA Learning by referring to PowerPoint, Excel and Adobe files, so they can teach their students.

SMARTboard workshops have been designed to give teachers notebook lessons to learn more activities to provide to their students. There are thinking map templates, games and a variety of lessons to choose from. High school and grades school templates examples are also provided.  Excel, Word, PowerPoint, SmartNotebook, and Type to Learn instructions have also been developed for staff training.

Teacher Preparation Programs

Bradley University in Peoria, IL offers preparations programs to make excellent teachers. They also have adopted and follow the ISTE’s standards as part of their program and those specified in the NCATE/CAEP standards.  This structure of coursework prepares students well for certification and licensure.

 We offer nationally recognized programs leading to a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or certification.” “Bachelor’s programs involve a wide range of teaching choices including art, early childhood education, elementary education, music, 7 areas of secondary education, and special education; the master’s programs are Curriculum and Instruction and Learning Behavior Specialist I (LBSI), the new state designation for cross-category, broad-based special education.” (www.bradley.edu, 2014)

Candidate Performance data was also available on the Bradley website that showed the success of their program.  There are a good number of candidates in every program with a high grade point average. 

Conclusion

Peoria District 150’s extensive use of computers was researched and it was determined that they are very involved in the development of their administration, staff and students continued education. Through the use of computers either by developing programs, designing, programs, or technical maintenance the district is very busy. The district has developed well over the past year in what they can offer students and staff.  There goals continue to improve and most of them have already been met since adopting the ISTE Standards.

References

Candidate Performance Data. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2014, from http://www.bradley.edu/academic/departments/teachered/performance/

Seipel, M. (n.d.). Welcome to the Technology Department. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.psd150.org/Page/279

Teacher Education. (n.d.). Retrieved November 15, 2014, from http://www.bradley.edu/academic/departments/teachered/

Teacher (NETS-S). (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.psd150.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=6727...

Welcome to Instructional Technology! (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from