Clear Creek ISD: Professional Learning Helps Teachers Personalize Learning

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Note: This blog is the 2nd of 3 articles overviewing CCISD’s Latitude 2 Learn program and focuses on the professional learning program the district implemented to help teachers personalize learning.  Part 1 provided an overview of the Latitude 2 Learn program and part 3 will highlight the learning innovation occurring on a daily basis.

When Clear Creek ISD (CCISD) decided to provide a Dell tablet to every student in the district in grades 4-12, they knew teachers needed to be prepared before giving devices to the students.  Starting with a vision of delivering personalized learning by empowering students to have choice in how they learn and how they demonstrate mastery of that learning, CCISD worked with Dell to build a professional learning program to provide the support teachers and district leaders needed to be successful. 

Teachers sitting around a conference table with laptops

The Professional Learning plan was built from a personalized learning perspective and was designed to scale as they continued to roll out additional devices across the district.  The focus first and foremost was on the teachers, but also supported district and campus level administrators. Dell consultants met with principals, teachers and administrators across the district to understand individual needs and to help CCISD devise a sustainable professional learning plan that was specific and unique to meet the needs of the district.

Key elements of CCISD’s professional learning program include:

  • Leadership development to help district leaders understand what to look for in the classroom, how to coach their teachers and importantly, how to model technology use for students and teachers.
  • Technology integration workshops that allow teachers to explore the technology, the resources for lesson and assessment development and classroom strategies for device management.
  • The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM), developed by the University of South Florida, to provide a vision and framework for how to achieve a transformative classroom environment. The matrix is a self-reflective system that illustrates the learning environments that they want to achieve, then defines progressive levels of transformation to help teachers understand where they are and how to progress across the continuum.
  • Latitude 2 Learn Trailblazers, located on each campus, are teachers who have demonstrated success using technology to support learning and who model transformative teaching practices, answer questions and provide guidance for fellow teachers. 
  • Reflective Friends are groups of administrators and teachers who visit classrooms where technology is being utilized and give feedback, including constructive criticism and positive reinforcement, so teachers can reflect on what is going well and areas for improvement.

In addition to the professional learning program noted, Emily Browder, a 5th grade teacher, administrative support has been critical to her success.  Her administrators have supported taking the risks, have helped find different resources to integrate into learning and have brought ideas from other campuses for the teachers to try.

“The best advice I can give any other teacher who is integrating technology in their classroom is just to try it,” advises Browder, “Don’t be afraid to take risks because out of the risk comes great success.”

Watch the video below to learn more about Clear Creek ISD’s Professional Learning program:

About the Author: Kay Kerr

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