Developing Deer Park’s Digital Innovators

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Developing Deer Park’s Digital Innovators 2

Ten Deer Park teachers –the high school’s Katelyn O’Brien; John Heeg, Matthew Oleaga, Jon Steigerwald and Scott Surdi from Robert Frost; Michael Capobianco, Thomas Fitzmaurice and Lori Palopali of JFK; and Dana Grafstein and Sue Steinman from May Moore – were recently chosen to participate in the district’s new Digital Innovator Program. The goal of the program is to align classroom instruction with technology, rather than vice versa.

“In the past, teachers would often ask how to use a piece of tech in the classroom, rather than focusing on what the instructional goal or outcome is, and then using the technology to get there,” explained Christopher Kauter, the district’s administrator of instructional technology, who developed the program. “It’s been a lot of reflection and sharing.”

The Digital Innovator Program uses the SAMR Model of ongoing monthly collegial workgroup sessions to allow sharing multilayered ideas for technology use with peers and administrators, focusing on areas such as digital classrooms and storytelling, maker education, coding and curriculum development, and establishing learning spaces. The teachers also develop an action plan and pilot programs and software.