Braxton and Gilmer County Public Schools
Design and ImplementationPhilosophy
The Central West Virginia Technology Upgrade for Educators project is designed to ensure that all students are prepared for higher education and the workforce. The purpose is to transform teaching and learning in all schools in central West Virginia by providing educational opportunities in instructional technology for students, parents and teachers. The program is designed to offer technology training to K-12 teachers during the summer when they are not faced with the demands of the classroom.
The Central West Virginia Technology Upgrade for Educators project addresses the need for on-going staff development for teachers in the area of instructional technology. According to a recent report (Compaq Educational Resources-online),
In spite of the tremendous influence technology has had in our workplace and in our homes, the impact on our classrooms has moved at a much slower pace. The mere presence of technologies in schools has not always motivated teachers to use computers, video cameras or the Internet. However, strong staff development programs will help teachers take advantage of these resources.
A second report released by the CEO Forum, a national group of business leaders, states that schools are spending less than $6 per student on the computer training of teachers contrasted with more than $88 per student on computers, software, and connections.
The Central West Virginia Technology Upgrade for Educators project assists teachers in learning to use and become more comfortable with instructional technology and its applications. Through our Summer Technology Academy, Software Preview Center at Glenville State College, and Technical Support from Preservice GSC students, we accomplish our goal of making technology as basic to classroom life as the pencil and the chalkboard.
The Summer Technology Academy originated in 1996 in Braxton County for a small group (40) of teachers and middle school students. Teachers volunteered to attend 3 days of hands-on technology training. (No graduate credit, stipend or continuing education credit was offered.) Lunch was provided by MacDonald's restaurant and a small grant from Weyerhaueser allowed for the purchase of a digital camera and a scanner which was used during the academy.
In 1997 and 1998, Braxton County teachers who participated in the Summer Technology Academy received small stipends funded through Education First and Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grants. In 1999, a partnership was formed with the Superintendent of neighboring Gilmer County and the Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology at Glenville State College. Funding was obtained for the Central West Virginia Technology Upgrade for Educators through an Education First Professional Development Grant totalling $74,500. Teachers who attend the academy currently receive $100 per day ($300 for 3 days, plus benefits: Social Security, Workers Compensation, Retirement Contribution). In addition to hands-on technology training, teachers are provided software to use in their classrooms and the 13 schools involved are given equipment, such as digital cameras, scanners, and CD-ReWriters, on the condition that at least 2 teachers from each school participate in the fall follow-up workshop.
Students at Glenville State College visit the schools and assist teachers in using technology. This is accomplished during the teachers' daily planning time. Students are paid for their services through the Education First grant.